Team India bounced back in the 2nd ODI after their thwarting loss in the 1st ODI at Mumbai. The Indian team was in absolute form as they chased down the Kangaroos to level the series.
Aaron Finch won the toss in the last night’s game and again asked the hosts to bat first. But unlike the last game, the Aussie skipper’s plan to restrict India to a low score backfired. The Rajkot stadium witnessed a brilliant 81 runs opening-wicket partnership between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
Even after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal, Virat Kohli stepped onto the crease at his original No.3 position and helped the momentum of the game going. Shikhar Dhawan unleashed 96 runs off 90 balls by thrashing the Aussie bowlers for thirteen 4s and one 6. Dhawan’s fiery stroke play came to end when he tried to hook Kane Richardson’s short ball for a bigger hit, the ball eventually landed into Mitchell Starc’s hands making Gabbar miss his much-awaited century.
184/2 quickly turned in to 198/3 when Shreyas Iyer was sent back to the pavilion by Adam Zampa. From then on, it was the masterclass play by duo Virat Kohli and KL Rahul which helped team India redeem its middle-order strength. Virat Kohli went on to score 78 runs off 76 balls before giving away his wicket to Adam Zampa for the fifth time in the ODIs.
Amidst of this brilliant runs scored by the Indian batsmen, KL Rahul’s innings of six 4s and three 6s stood out. The young lad contributed 80 runs off just 52 balls in India’s total score of 340 runs at the loss of 6 wickets.
When the Kangaroos came out to chase India’s target, they seemed to be in a good form instead of losing David Warner’s wicket early. Steven Smith again made his presence felt by scoring 98 runs off 102 balls before getting bowled down by Kuldeep Yadav. Even the Aussie’s Test cricket star, Marnus Labuschagne showed his worth in the ODI format by scoring 46 runs off 47 balls.
After Labuschagne’s departure, Australian innings crumbled down at 304 runs all out. Kane Richardson played some big hits in the end but the target runs were too much to chase down.
Thus, India went on to win the 2nd ODI at Rajkot by 36 runs by leveling the series 1-1. KL Rahul was awarded the Man of The Match for his amazing innings by the bat, and also for his work behind the stumps in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
Indeed it will be a nail-biting 3rd ODI at Banglore, with both the teams trying to win the three-match series by 2-1.