3rd ODI: Glenn Maxwell picks career-best four-for; stars in Australia’s consolation 66-run win over India

Rajkot : India’s Washington Sundar leaves the ground after losing his wicket to Australia’s Glenn Maxwell as Australian team celebrates during the third ODI cricket match between Australia and India in Rajkot on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Siddharaj Solanki)

Rajkot, Sep 27 (IANS) All-rounder Glenn Maxwell picked career-best figures of 4-40 on his return to the ODI team as Australia picked a consolation 66-run victory over India in the final match of ODI series at SCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

Australia’s top-four batters, David Warner (56), Mitchell Marsh (96), Steven Smith (74) and Marnus Labuschagne (72), smashed half-centuries to propel the visitors to a mammoth 352/7, the highest ODI score at this venue.

In reply, India began well, thanks to half-centuries from returning duo of captain Rohit Sharma (81) and Virat Kohli (56). But Maxwell took the duo out, apart from Washington Sundar and Shreyas Iyer, to derail India’s chase, with his accuracy and relentless line and length, while varying his pace.

Australia took a leaf out of India’s strategy of using slower balls in the back-end of the innings to bowl out India for 286 in 49.4 overs. The result meant Australia broke their five-match losing streak in ODIs, though India has won the series 2-1.

Chasing 353, Rohit was in dazzling timing from the word go, like his lofted cover drive going for six off Mitchell Starc or driving the pacer over deep cover fence for another maximum. Even three of classic pull shots had an air of nonchalance, followed by him getting his fifty in 31 balls in power-play, with Starc unable to hold on to a catch despite diving from third man.

After Rohit had a stand of 74 runs for the opening wicket with his new partner Washington Sundar, Maxwell enticed the latter to go for the big hit and Labuschagne took a wonderful diving catch at long-off. Kohli came in and got going with a drive down the ground off a juicy full toss from debutant leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha.

Kohli was at his wristy best in whipping, driving and delivered a ‘wow’ moment by dancing down the pitch to dispatch a Starc delivery for six via a lofted straight drive, while sharing a 70-run stand with Rohit. But Maxwell put an end to it by taking a stunning one-handed reflex catch, clutching the ball with his right hand.

From there, Australia dried up runs, even though Kohli brought up his 66th ODI fifty by lofting Cameron Green over mid-off for a boundary. But he soon became Maxwell’s third scalp by top-edging a quicker delivery to mid-wicket.

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer hit four boundaries between themselves, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the increasing required run-rate. Rahul slogged a slower off-cutter to keeper Alex Carey off Starc, while Iyer was castled by Maxwell and Suryakumar Yadav miscued a slower ball from Josh Hazlewood to mid-wicket.

From there, the result was a foregone conclusion despite Ravindra Jadeja three fours and a six in his 36-ball 35, in a bid to get his batting mojo back and became Sangha’s first ODI scalp, as Australia finally got a win ahead of the World Cup.

Brief Scores: Australia 352/7 in 50 overs (Mitchell Marsh 96, Steven Smith 74; Jasprit Bumrah 3-81, Kuldeep Yadav 2-48) beat India 286 in 49.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 81, Virat Kohli 56; Glenn Maxwell 4-40, Josh Hazlewood 2-42) by 66 runs.

- Advertisement -