Indian skipper Virat Kohli led Team India to a dominating series win over Australia after losing the first match of the series at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Australia who won the last ODI series in India 3-2, came out blazing in the first ODI and won it comprehensively by 10 wickets.
India came back strongly in the second ODI at Rajkot and put a mammoth 340 total on the board, that helped them win the match by 36 runs.
In the series decided, Indian bowlers restricted Australia to 286/9 despite Steve Smith’s first ODI ton in three years. KL Rahul was promoted to open the innings with Rohit Sharma after Shikhar Dhawan suffered an injury during the course of the match.
Rohit Sharma smashed his 29th ODI ton and Virat Kohli continued his top-form to help India win the match and the series with 15 balls to spare.
Here are the three takeaways from the series:
Versatile KL Rahul:
After delivering regularly in the limited-overs format, KL Rahul was initially accommodated in the team as a batsman at number three. In the first match, he scored 47 runs, but it meant skipper Kohli had to play out of his usual position and it did not go well for India.
In the same match, Rahul had to don the wicketkeeper’s gloves as Rishabh Pant could not take the field after suffering from a blow on his head while batting that lead to concussion.
In the second game, Rahul was asked to bat at number five and he impressed with the bat after scoring 80 runs off 52 balls. While keeping, he completed a quick stumping to dismiss Aaron Finch and was involved in three dismissals.
By the final match, he embraced the keeper’s role and took two fine catches behind the stumps before opening the innings. His versatile role earned praises from skipper Kohli after the match.
Team India’s winning attitude:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli led his side to another comeback series win after going down in the first match. This was the third instance, since the cricket World Cup last year where India have lost the first match of the series but have come back to win it.
It has been Team India’s hunger for wins that has helped them analyze their shortcomings and come back stronger against a particular opposition. Australia, a stronger opponent than West Indies and Bangladesh, were defeated by India’s analysis of their opponents’ positives and playing on their weaknesses.
Consistent Virat Kohli:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli was taken by surprise in the first match by the Aussie leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who became the most successful spinner against the Indian batting maestro. But in the second and last game of the series, Kohli showed why he was the best batsman in the world.
After one ‘rare failure’, ‘King’ Kohli was at his consistent best. After being dismissed for 16 runs in Mumbai, Kohli returned with scores of 78 runs and 89 runs at Rajkot and Bengaluru, respectively. His consistency and leadership earned him the Man of the Series award even though, his rival and Australian batsman Steve Smith was the highest run-getter in the series.