Australia seal series triumph against India after a superb all-round display in Delhi
India suffered their first ODI home series defeat since October 2015 as they went down in the fifth and final ODI against Australia by 35 runs at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. They last lost ODI series to South Africa in October 2015 at home. This is the first time India lost three consecutive ODIs under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
India’s experiment with the playing XI to get their combination right for the ICC World Cup 2019 proved expensive for the hosts as they lost the series 3-2. The home side dropped K L Rahul from the game, tried Rishabh Pant at number four and Vijay Shankar at five in the last-ditch effort to find the right batting order.
Opener Usman Khawaja hit an exact 100 off 106 balls as he shared two big partnerships at the top of the order to set platform for the visiting side. At 175 for 1 with 17.1 overs left, a major score seemed likely, but when Khawaja picked out Kohli at cover, causing the Indian captain to hurl the ball into the turf as he released his frustration, the game began to shift in momentum.
The ball was ageing, the pitch slowing, and new entrants to the crease found the going harder. Glenn Maxwell shaped to hit Jadeja inside out but could not clear cover, Handscomb's innings ended when he was surprised by extra lift from a Shami delivery he wanted to run down to third man, and Turner's follow-up innings to Mohali ended when he miscued Kuldeep Yadav to long-on after he had lifted the left-arm wristspinner for six.
At the other end Stoinis soaked up 16 dot balls out of 27 faced before dragging Bhuvneshwar onto the stumps, but Richardson and Cummins were able to pull together a priceless stand in the closing overs to push Australia's total past 270.
Chasing a target of 273, India were all out for 237 after being made to field first. India have not successfully chased a 250-plus total at the Kotla in the last 37 years. It was way back in September 1982 against Sri Lanka when they overhauled a 278-run target. The Australian spin trio of Adam Zampa (3/46), Nathan Lyon (1/34) and part-timer Glenn Maxwell (0/34) kept the Indian batsmen on a tight leash as the visitors claimed a 3-2 win, despite valiant efforts from Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rohit Sharma.
To make it worse for the men in blue, this is only the third time that India lost the deciding match of an ODI series since the 2015 World Cup. The first loss came against South Africa at home in 2015-16 season, followed by England last year. This was also Australia’s first ODI series win in two years and first in India since 2009. Aaron Finch-led visiting team stunned India in Ranchi and Mohali to take the series to the decider after the hosts won the first two ODIs. Hosts India have lost a bilateral ODI series at home for the first time since 2015, when they came second to South Africa (2-3). It was also the first time India have lost a five-match series after taking 2-0 lead.