India vs Australia 2019: Important takeaways from the 2nd ODI
The second ODI between India and Australia in Nagpur was a very competitive one. The hosts were put in to bat by the visitors who were hoping to exploit the slow nature of the pitch. India was all out for 250 runs in 48.2 overs due to a good bowling performance from Pat Cummins who took 4 wickets in the match. The Aussie spinners too performed quite well.
However, the Australian team failed to chase the target successfully. They were bundled out for 242 in 49.3 overs. Vijay Shankar, who disappointed India with an expensive over initially bowled an exceptional final over. Here are some of the important takeaways from the match which saw the record breaker Virat Kohli on duty with some help from Shankar.
#1 Outsmarting Ricky Ponting against Australia
This guy is absolutely the best cricket has to offer at the moment. Kohli seems to be becoming a professional record-breaker with each game he plays for India. During the previous game, Kohli had created a captaincy record by becoming the third most successful ODI captain after 64 games.
During this match, Kohli carved his 40th ODI century in a batting masterclass. He scored 116 runs off 120 balls with 10 boundaries and a strike-rate of 96.67. The Indian captain also became the fastest to reach 9000 international runs as a captain.
Kohli surpassed the record of Australia's former captain Ricky Ponting who took 203 innings to achieve the feat. Kohli needed just 159 innings to reach his 9000 runs.
#2 A bright spot in the Aussie camp
Australia may not have many reasons to be happy in their clashes against India so far but Pat Cummins is the reason for them to be a little optimistic about the future. The paceman snatched 4 wickets in 9 overs. He also became the first bowler to dismiss Rohit Sharma for a duck on Indian soil.
The Nagpur pitch is basically a spin friendly pitch but Cummins was able to defy the odds with a world-class bowling performance. The 25-year-old finds himself with the second best bowling figures (4/29) at Nagpur. He overtook his former Aussie teammate Mitchell Johnson's bowling figures of 4/33 in the process.
#3 Another series slipping out of the Aussies' hands
Aaron Finch has been struggling to get the job done against India. He has an opportunity of his lifetime at his hand. The management had come forward to give him the full-time captaincy in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, but the 32-year-old has been on an unimpressive run.
Before the start of the second ODI, Shane Warne had said, “At the moment, he (Finch) probably only has a game or two left,” The former Australian legend believes that Finch's drop in batting form and captaincy form might get him axed from the World Cup 2019 squad.
Now the pressure is on Finch. This is a twist of fate for a guy who denied playing in the cash-rich Indian Premier League in order to concentrate on the World Cup. In a fair world, Finch's dedication level should be rewarded with at least a few wins in the series.
Will Finch overcome his nemesis Kohli and lead the side to a series victory? The remaining matches will reveal.