India vs Australia 3rd ODI: Faulkner and Voges ruin Dhoni’s century

Image courtesy of: India Today

Faulkner smashed 30 runs off an Ishant Sharma over to turn the tables on India

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s brilliant century counted for nothing at all as Australia batsman Adam Voges and all-rounder James Faulkner inspired the baggy greens to a sensational comeback in the third ODI in Mohali.

India looked to be in control for most of the match, but thanks to Voges and Faulkner, who both scored half-centuries, everything was turned on its head in an instant.

Australia captain George Bailey won the toss and elected to bowl first due to the dew.

His decision seemed to pay off immediately as India opening batsman Rohit Sharma, who recorded his career-best score in the previous ODI in Jaipur, was caught out off the bowling of Shane Watson for only 11 runs.

Sharma’s opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan, who hammered 95 in the second ODI, did not last long either as he was caught behind off the bowling of Clint McKay.

India found themselves in even more trouble after Suresh Raina was dismissed for 17 and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh followed him back to the pavilion the very next delivery.

Virat Kohli and Dhoni steadied the innings with a 72-run partnership, during which Kohli brought up his half-century, before he was caught behind off the bowling of spinner Glenn Maxwell.

Kohli had amassed 68 runs off 73 balls, which included nine boundaries.

This was Kohli’s fourth successive innings where he has scored fifty or more in an ODI and this makes him only the third batsman in the history of the game to score fifty or more in four innings on three separate occasions after Australia’s Mark Waugh and India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja failed to make a contribution as well as he was removed by left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson for just two runs.

Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin rescued India with a 76-run partnership, during which Dhoni registered his half-century, before Ashwin was caught behind off the bowling of Johnson for 28.

Following Ashwin’s dismissal, Dhoni immediately upped the scoring rate and almost before anyone could blink, he had recorded his ninth ODI century.

Dhoni powered India to a mammoth total of 303 off their 50 overs and finished unbeaten on 139 off 121 deliveries, which included 12 boundaries and an incredible five sixes.

The Indian captain’s knock of 139 is the third-highest score for a number six batsman in ODIs.

Dhoni also holds the record for the highest individual score in Mohali with this inning as he managed to go past South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who previously held the record with 134 against the Netherlands during the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup. ,

He is also the seventh captain to score 5,000 ODI runs, but only the third Indian captain to accomplish the feat after Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.

Johnson was the pick of the Australian bowlers with four wickets, while McKay, Watson, Faulkner and Maxwell all chipped in with one wicket apiece.

This was Johnson’s sixth four-wicket haul in Asia and as a result, he surpassed fellow countryman Brett Lee and West Indies pace bowler Courtney Walsh, both of whom have five four-wicket hauls in Asia, as the bowler with the most four-wicket hauls in Asia.

Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin also deserves a special mention as he took five catches behind the stumps.

He is only the second Australian wicketkeeper to accomplish this feat after Adam Gilchrist, who has done it on nine different occasions.

Chasing 304 to take a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series, Australia got off to a solid start as their opening pair of Phillip Hughes and Aaron Finch registered a 68-run partnership before Hughes was caught behind off the bowling of Vinay Kumar for 22.

Finch followed soon after for 38 as he was given out lbw to pace bowler Ishant Sharma.

Watson failed to last long either as he too was given out lbw, but only off the bowling of Jadeja.

Bailey and Voges stemmed the bleeding with an 83-run partnership before Bailey was dismissed by Vinay Kumar for 43 off 60 balls, which included four boundaries and a six.

Maxwell failed to have an impact as he was run out for just three runs, while Haddin made a quickfire 24 before being caught out off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

With Australia looking down and out, Voges and Faulkner produced their moment of magic.

The turning point in the match came in the 48th over when Faulkner smashed 30 runs, which included four sixes, off  Sharma.

Voges and Faulkner put together an unbeaten 91-run partnership at a run rate of 10.92, during which Faulkner brought up his half-century.

Australia eventually reached their target with three balls to spare.

Voges finished on 76 off 88 balls, which included seven boundaries, while Faulkner remained undefeated on 64 off just 29 deliveries, which included two boundaries and an astounding six maximums.

By scoring 304 runs, Australia completed their highest ever run-chase against India in ODIs.

Vinay Kumar was the most successful Indian bowler with two wickets, while Kumar, Sharma and Jadeja all snapped up one wicket each.

Dhoni was deeply disappointed with the loss and admitted that India’s death bowling was a serious concern.

“I think the last few overs were disappointing, it is an area of concern and it is getting worse,” he said. “There was a bit of dew but not like in the last game, the individuals will have to step up, you have to back your strength. you don’t need to spoonfeed bowlers at the international level. I think we could have batted better, on a track like this we were fortunate to get beyond 300, looked like we would get around 250. We started well, Jadeja bowled really well in the middle overs, we need more from the part-timers.”

Bailey was still in awe at what he had just witnessed, but finally managed to snap out of it and praise Faulkner and Voges for their match-saving knocks and partnership.

“Faulkner’s hitting was as good as I have seen,” he said. “f I could learn to catch, we would have been chasing 20-30 less from MS. The bowling was fantastic, particularly after the other day. 300 is always imposing, but we were quietly confident when we came off the field. There is no easy game.”

Faulkner was named Man of the Match for his trailblazing innings.

“I didn’t feel I could get Ashwin to the long boundary with his carrom ball, I wanted to knock him around for 7 or 8,” he said. “I made a pretty slow start, so I need to do something. I think Voges found it quite tough early on, but he stuck around all the way through, it was a good innings. It is going to be a cracking series now.”

The fourth ODI between Australia and India will take place on October 23 in Ranchi at 13:30 local time or 08:00 GMT.

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