Saturday 9 March 2019 2:15 AM UTC
MUMBAI March 8: Team India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said MS Dhoni will be rested for last two One-day Internationals of the five-match series against Australia. “MS Dhoni will not be playing the last two ODIs of the ongoing five-match series against Australia.
He is going to take rest after this,” Bangar said at the press conference after India’s defeat in the third ODI on Friday. Virat Kohli scored his 41st ODI hundred but that wasn’t enough to prevent India from losing the third ODI against Australia by 32 runs in Ranchi on Friday.
There have been speculations that the former India skipper might decide to hang his boots after the World Cup which will be hosted by England and Wales, starting May 30.
If that happens, the ODI against Australia was the last chance for Ranchi crowd to see the city’s favourite son in action for India.
Usman Khawaja’s hundred and Aaron Finch’s 93 saw Australia put up a more than decent 313 for five and India could manage only 281 in 48.2 overs, that too solely due to Kohli’s 123 off 95 balls.
It was yet another superlative effort from the Indian skipper, who lacked adequate support from the other end as Australia kept the five-match series consequential going into the fourth game in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Kohli scored his first 50 off 52 balls and the next 50 off just 33 balls which was sheer class as always. The acceleration was so sudden that it even took the Australian attack by surprise.
The skipper launched a brutal assault on the Australian bowlers. From gorgeous looking cover drives to delectable on-drives and those deft touches everything was present in a bouquet.
The true nature of the pitch helped him hit through the line as he smashed 16 fours and a six.
However Adam Zampa (3/70), by far the most impactful Aussie bowler, yorked the Indian skipper after having accounted for former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26). He did get hit but he would any day take wickets of Kohli, Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav (26) in return.
Kohli had three significant partnerships — 59 with Dhoni for the fourth wicket, 88 with Jadhav for the fifth wicket and 45 with Vijay Shankar for the sixth — but none good enough to take India across the line. Shikhar Dhawan (1), Rohit Sharma (14) and Ambati Rayudu (2) were dismissed cheaply as India was left tottering at 27 for three and it was always a difficult task from there on.
Dhawan’s slash was grabbed by Glenn Maxwell at point while Cummins angled one to trap Rohit Sharma plumb in-front.
Rayudu, not the most reliable player against quality fast bowlers, was beaten for pace by Cummins, who pegged his off-stump back.
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