The second ODI of the ongoing three-match series against Australia in Visakhapatnam didn’t turn out to be a happy outing for India as the hosts were completely humbled, first by Mitchell Starc’s lethal spell of fast bowling, and then by an onslaught from the visiting openers Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh.
Australia won the toss and chose to bowl this time, and it turned out to be a great decision as the pacers utilized the conditions to perfection to bundle up the hosts for a paltry 117 in just 26 overs. It was Starc, who led the charge with the ball, registering excellent figures of 5/53. Four of Starc’s five wickets were that of India’s top five batters – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, and KL Rahul.
Among the Indian batters, only Virat Kohli and Axar Patel looked to offer some resistance as the former made 31, before being trapped lbw by Nathan Ellis, and the latter remained unbeaten on 29. Sean Abbott and Ellis also bowled well, claiming figures of 3/23 and 2/13 respectively.
117 was never enough to restrict a mighty Australian batting unit, but the Indian bowlers were expected to pose some sort of threat at least. Instead, the opening pair of Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head went on the charge from the very beginning, smashing the Indian bowlers all over the park.
It took Australia only 11 overs to chase down the target as Marsh made his way to an unbeaten 66 from just 36 deliveries, including six sixes and an equal number of fours. Head also batted well for an unbeaten 51 from 30 deliveries, with his knock consisting of 10 hits to the boundary.
This was a very demoralizing loss for the Indian team and they need to pick themselves up quickly as they lock horns in the final match of the series in Chennai on Wednesday, March 22.
India 117 All Out in 26 Overs (Kohli 31, Axar 29*; Starc 5/53)
Australia 121/0 in 11 Overs (Marsh 66*, Head 51*)
Australia won by 10 wickets. Series level at 1-1.