Rohit Sharma’s second successive century was once again overshadowed by Australia’s collective batting might as the hosts continued their dominance over Indian bowlers to notch up a seven-wicket victory in the second cricket one-dayer and take a 2-0 series lead here today.
Sharma, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, stood out for a second consecutive game with a 127-ball 124, which was the cornerstone of India’s 308/8, a score that could easily have been more if not for a late collapse.
With 11 fours and three sixes, Sharma was the outstanding performer—Ajinkya Rahane (89) and skipper Virat Kohli (59) being the other notable contributors. This was Sharma’s 10th ODI hundred.
However, the Australians never looked in trouble as they easily chased down the steep target with an over to spare, exposing India’s bowling frailties.
Openers Aaron Finch (71) and Shaun Marsh (71) laid the foundation before George Bailey (76 not out) and Steve Smith (46) snatched the game from India for a second time in three days.
The Indian bowlers were disappointing to say the least and never managed to threaten the Aussies, who scored at will and paced their chase to perfection yet again.
Ishant Sharma (1-60), playing an ODI after 354 days, was especially wayward and undid all the good work done by his new-ball partner Barinder Sran (0-51). Ishant was also guilty of dropping Marsh early in his innings.
En route the victory, Australia completed the highest-ever run-chase in Brisbane, beating their own previous record of 301/9 achieved against England in January 2014.
This was after Indian skipper MS Dhoni once again won the toss and elected to bat. The visitors made a solitary change to their eleven, bringing in Ishant for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Australia made three changes to their line-up from the opening ODI in Perth, with Shaun Marsh coming in for David Warner, while John Hastings and Kane Richardson came in for the rested Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.
The two teams will now travel to Melbourne for the crucial third match to be held on Sunday.