Hardik Pandya guides India to series win over Australia

Australia winless streak continued as India wrapped up the series in the third game of the one-day series played at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore. Aaron Finch made an immediate impact with the bat after replacing Adam Zampa in the side. He scored a belligerent ton to see Australia post 294 runs from 50 overs.

Rohit Sharma played with aggressive intent after coming into the game on back of failures in the first two games. He attacked the Australian bowlers to get India off to a good start and pulled anything short into the stands against the likes of Pat Cummins and co. The swashbuckling opener scored 71 runs off 62 balls and smashed four sixes in his innings. Ajinkya Rahane played a much sedate role as he added 139 runs with Sharma for the opening wicket.

Sharma was dismissed by Nathan Coulter-Nile who bowled a short-pitch delivery to see Hilton Cartwright take a clean catch at deep square-leg. Rahane also followed Sharma back to the pavilion as Cummins trapped him leg before to see India go from 139 for 0 to 147 for 2 after 23.3 overs.

Hardik Pandya got promoted up the order with the bat and added 56 runs with Virat Kohli to put India on course to chase down the target. Ashton Agar dismissed Kohli to see India lose their third wicket in the 34th over of the innings. Kedhar Jadhav also edged an innocuous delivery to the wicket-keeper Peter Handscomb to see India placed at 206 for 4 after 35.2 overs.

Pandya kept attacking the spinners as runs were coming along nicely with Manish Pandey at the other end. He brought up his half-century off 50 balls to see India in a dominant position to win the game. He scored 78 runs off 72 balls and added 78 runs with Pandey to steer his side to win the game by 5 wickets and clinch the series against Australia.

Aaron Finch started off the innings after Australian Skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first on a surface that looked a batting paradise from the outset. Finch added 70 runs with David Warner to see Australia get off to a perfect start. Hardik Pandya came into the attack and produced a peach of delivery to dismiss Warner in the 13th over. Smith came to the crease and added 154 runs with Finch to see Australia in a great position to a post atleast 330 runs on the board.  Finch looked in superb form as he scored 124 runs off 125 balls. He smashed 12 boundaries and five sixes in his innings.

Things did take a dramatic turn as Aaron Finch and Steve Smith’s departure saw India make a comeback in the game. Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head and Peter Handscomb failed with the bat as Australia could only add 50 runs in the last 8 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaspreet Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled well on a surface that did not any sort of assistance for the bowlers.

Australia could manage 294 runs on the board and will rue the fact they did not make full use of the last 10 overs that could have pushed their score beyond 330-run mark. Hardik Pandya was named man of the match for his all-round performance in this game.

The fourth game of the one day series will be played on Thursday at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. India have taken 3-0 lead in the five-match series while Australia will be keen to salvage some pride in the last two remaining games of the tour.

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