Australia were building the pressure in their quest to break their ODI rut which has stretched on for two years. Adam Zampa had gotten the major wicket of Vijay Shankar when he hit a six but miscued a short ball to long on to be caught by Usman Khawaja. Rohit Sharma, who had gone past 8000 runs, the joint-second fastest by an Indian and third quickest overall, was the only player to stand in their way. The Mumbai right-hander notched up his 41st fifty and looked good to carry India’s hopes as they looked to stay alive in their chase of 273. The Australian bowlers had bowled brilliant lines and lengths and the asking rate had crept over six.
On 52, Rohit tried to nudge a flatter ball that drifted in on leg stump to the fine leg region but he got an inside edge onto the thigh pad. Alex Carey, the wicketkeeper, tried to go for the catch but could not get there. In the very next over bowled by Zampa, with Rohit on 53, the India vice-captain drove a flighted delivery to extra cover but Glenn Maxwell spilled the chance. It seemed today would be Rohit’s day.
However, Zampa would be third time lucky and he ultimately got the big wicket of Rohit. The Mumbai right-hander danced down the wicket to a tossed up delivery and looked to slog to deep midwicket, but the bat slipped out of his hand and he was a long way down the pitch. Carey affected a simple stumping and India’s chances of winning the series took a major hit.
Rohit slowly trudged back to the pavilion, realising that India’s chances of securing the series faced an uphill task. Earlier, Usman Khawaja’s second ton of the series and backed by a fourth fifty from Peter Handscomb helped Australia reach a solid 272/9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers with 3/48 and he was well-backed up by Ravindra Jadeja who took 2/45.
A win for Australia will give them their first series win in India after 10 years and they will win an ODI series after a gap of two years, when they had won at home 4-1 against Pakistan in 2017.