Third ODI: Australia beat India by 21 runs, win series 2-1

Chennai: Leg-spinner Adam Zampa took four wickets while left-arm spinner Ashton Agar chipped in with two scalps to lead Australia to a 21-run victory over India in the series decider at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here to win the series 2-1.

After posting 269 in 49 overs on a slow pitch where strokeplay wasn’t easy, Zampa and Agar helped Australia fight back in the middle overs to break the back of India’s batting. Even though Mitchell Starc went wicketless, the rest of bowlers along with fiery fielding show and spot-on fielding placements led to India being bundled out for 248 in 49.1 overs.

Despite India having a 65-run opening partnership, India lost four wickets for 43 runs after Virat Kohli and KL Rahul had put on 69 runs for the fourth wicket. But after Rahul and Kohli fell, the chase went downhill and India ended up on the losing side, which meant they lost an ODI series at home after four years.

With the pitch offering not much help for the fast bowlers, Shubman Gill took a liking to the pace from Mitchell Starc. A whipped six over deep mid-wicket was followed by his trademark short-arm jab and two leaning drives to pick three boundaries off the left-arm pacer.

Rohit Sharma joined the boundary-hitting party in the seventh over with an elegant loft over long-off for six against Starc, followed by a pre-mediated scoop and pull off Sean Abbott to get two boundaries. After he lifted Adam Zampa over long-on for six, Rohit couldn’t keep a swipe down and was caught at deep square leg off Abbott.

Three overs later, Gill missed a drifting delivery from Zampa and was struck on pad first, with Australia getting him out after taking the review. Kohli took time, before pulling Agar off backfoot through mid-wicket and followed it up with a beautiful inside-out loft over extra cover for six.

Rahul then hit India’s first boundary after 49 balls with a smash over Zampa’s head for four, bringing up the fifty of his partnership with Kohli. When Starc pitched it full, Rahul was quick to slam it down the ground for six and one ball later, unfurled a loft over extra cover for four.

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