India vs Australia 2017, 2nd ODI: 5 reasons why the hosts won
India took a 2-0 lead in the 5-match series against Australia by winning the second ODI at Eden Gardens by 50 runs. The rain gods showed their mercy today, barring a drizzle which halted the game for a short while.
Fifties from Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli took India to 252 with Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile picking up three wickets each. In reply, Australia lost both their openers early but Steve Smith and Travis Head added 76 for the third wicket to keep Australia in a good position before the latter was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal.
Smith reached his fifty but was dismissed for 59 thanks to a fine catch from substitute Ravindra Jadeja. Shortly after, Kuldeep Yadav's hat-trick was the 43rd in ODI cricket and the 3rd by an Indian.
Marcus Stoinis battled hard, in the end, but his partners kept departing and Australia were dismissed for 202. Virat Kohli was adjudged the man of the match for his 92.
Let's take a look at five things India did right today to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
#5. Partnership between Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli were batting brilliantly for India with both players scoring fifties. Following Rahane’s dismissal, Kohli batted his way to 92 before being skittled by Nathan Coulter-Nile. Following Kohli’s dismissal, India lost Dhoni early and were at 204/6 with Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the crease.
The duo batted with a lot of composure, with Pandya not showing his usual aggressive self and instead focusing on holding onto his wicket. They took India to 239, adding 35 from 53 balls for the seventh wicket. Both batsmen were dismissed after scoring 20 each but their partnership played a key role in India crossing 250. Had they not stayed in the crease for as long as they did, Australia may not have even required to chase down 220, let alone 250.