Australia beat India again despite Rohit heroics
Rohit Sharma made a second successive century but George Bailey was in the runs again as Australia took a 2-0 lead over India in the one-day international series with a seven-wicket win at the Gabba.
Opener Rohit scored 171 not out – the highest ODI score by a touring player in Australia – in the five-match series’ opener at the WACA and he added another 124 from 127 balls in India’s total of 308-8 after MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first on Friday.
The tourists were unable to defend 309-3 in Perth and Australia’s batsmen again chased down their victory target to stand on the brink of a series victory.
Openers Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh both made 71 and put on 145 for the first wicket to provide the platform for Perth centurion Bailey (76 not out) and Glenn Maxwell (26no) to finish off the job after captain Steve Smith chipped in with 46.
Ajinkya Rahane (89) and Virat Kohli (59) gave support to the brilliant Rohit, but dropped catches and the inability to pick up wickets cost the tourists.
Joel Paris (1-40) claimed his first international wicket when Shikhar Dhawan (6) edged through to Matthew Wade in the third over, but Rohit and Virat combined for another big second-wicket stand to put India on course for a challenging total.
The experienced duo kept the scoreboard ticking over, just as they had earlier in the week, and put on 125 before Kohli was run out when he took on Kane Richardson’s arm and paid the price.
Rohit spoke of the need to bat through and was in great touch again as he brought up his fifth ODI century against Australia off 112 balls and Rahane also took advantage of good batting conditions as the pair added 121 for the third wicket.
The classy Rohit was fortunate when he edged Paris behind only to be given not out on 89, but his luck ran out when James Faulkner deflected a Rahane drive onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end and the opener was run out.
Dhoni became Scott Boland’s (1-64) first international victim and Rahane missed out on a century, with Faulkner (2-64) taking two of the six India wickets which fell in the final 10 overs
Finch made a statement by hitting two boundaries off the first over from Barinder Sran (0-51) and Marsh, in for David Warner, was given a life as the recalled Ishant Sharma dropped a simple catch when the opener was on 19.
Marsh and Finch piled on the runs as India’s bowlers suffered again, but Ravindra Jadeja (1-50) finally got the breakthrough to dismiss the latter. Australia were wobbling slightly at 166-2 with 20 overs remaining when Marsh failed to make the most of being dropped again to give Ishant (1-60) a wicket.
Smith and Bailey inspired Australia to victory in the first game and they were well on course to win again by the time the captain was bowled by Umesh Yadav (1-74), with the impressive Bailey – who hit a six and another six boundaries – and Maxwell going on to seal victory with an over to spare.