India lost by 35 runs in the series decider against Australia in New Delhi on Friday to lose the five-match series 3-2. The visitors made a remarkable comeback after losing the first two ODIs of the series.
Team India won the first two ODIs in Bengaluru and Vizag but Australia levelled the series with registering wins at Ranchi and Mohali.
This was India’s first bilateral ODI series loss at home since 2015. In fact, this is India’s only second loss in an ODI series in this decade. The last time Team India were beaten in an ODI series back home was by the South Africans in 2015. India went down 2-3 in the five-match series.
This was Australia’s fifth bilateral ODI series win India. The last one came ten years back in 2009, when Australia won the seven-match series 4-2. The series win would be a big boost for the Australian side ahead of this year’s World Cup.
The Australian team had a disastrous 2018 since the suspension of David Warner and Steve Smith in the ball-tampering incident. India beat Australia in the three-match ODI series 2-1 earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma on Friday reached yet another milestone in his ODI career. He became the ninth Indian batsman to cross the 8000-run mark in ODI cricket when he took his 49th run in the 22nd over.
In the process, he equalled Sourav Ganguly’s record of becoming the third fastest to reach the landmark. Both Indian batsmen took 200 innings to go past 8000 ODI runs.
Virat Kohli tops the list with only 175 innings followed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers who reached the 8000-run mark in 182 innings. Sachin Tendulkar is sixth on the list. He took 210 innings to reach the same milestone.
Before Rohit, Sachin Tendulkar (18426), Ganguly (11363), Rahul Dravid (10889), Kohli (10823), Mohammad Azharuddin (9378), Yuvraj Singh (8701) and Virender Sehwag (8273) were Indian batsman who had breached the 8000-run mark in ODIs.
Rohit also became the fastest batsman to hit 6000 runs as an opener in ODIs. The Mumbai batsman took 121 innings to race to the milestone. He overtook South African Hashim Amla who had taken 123 innings.
Apart from him, the other two Indian openers to feature in the top five are Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
While Sachin reached the milestone in 133 innings to take the number three spot on the list, Sourav Ganguly follows him at the number four spot as he took 10 more innings to complete his 6000 runs as an opener.
Meanwhile, Team India still have many unanswered questions as they played their last ODI match before the World Cup in England this year. India are yet to find a solution for their number four conundrum. The team management tried as many as four batsmen in the number four position in the five matches against Australia but without any success.
Ambati Rayudu batted at number four in the first three matches while Virat Kohli took over the mantle in the fourth ODI as Lokesh Rahul batted at the number three. For the last ODI, Rishabh Pant came in at number four.
Apart from this, the debate over Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant for the World Cup bound squad continued as Pant failed both with the bat and behind the stumps in the last two ODIs he played. Karthik didn’t play the ODI series against Australia.
(Statistics by Arun Gopalakrishnan)
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