Canberra [Australia], December 2 (ANI): All-rounder Hardik Pandya (unbeaten on 92 off 76 balls) continued his good form with the bat and found able company in Ravindra Jadeja (unbeaten on 66 off 50 balls) as India managed to finish on 302/5 in their 50 overs in the third ODI against Australia at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
Having lost the series after losing the first two ODIs in the three-match series, Kohli went into the third game with four changes and decided to give Shubman Gill an opportunity at the top of the order. While the batsman hit a 39-ball 33, the opening partnership did not produce much for the Indians as Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 16 by Sean Abbott.
Coming in with the score on 26/1, Kohli once again looked to stay positive and took on the Australian bowlers as he reached the 12,000-ODI runs during the course of his innings of 63. But the Indian middle-order once again failed to rise to the challenge against the Australian batsmen as spin partners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar sent back Shreyas Iyer (19) and KL Rahul (5) respectively.
With the score reading 123/4 in the 26th over, it looked like the Indian batting would fail to repose the faith shown by skipper Kohli in deciding to bat first after winning the toss. But Pandya decided to stick on and build a partnership with Kohli. The two were in fact looking good in the middle when Hazlewood once again sent Kohli back for 63 against the run of play. The pacer has now dismissed the Indian captain four times in the last four encounters between the two countries.
The game looked tilted in favour of Australia when Jadeja came in to bat with the score reading 152/5 in the 32nd over. But the spin-bowling all-rounder showed intent from the word go as he took on the Australian bowling. Pandya too ensured that the foot was on the pedal and the home bowlers were not allowed to make any further inroads.
Pandya and Jadeja combined beautifully to compile an unbeaten 150-run partnership as the Indians ensured they finished well. The last eight overs saw the Indian pair go on overdrive mode as they picked 98 runs, 93 of those coming in the last seven.
Brief Scores: India: 302/5 (Pandya 92, Jadeja 66; Agar 2/44) vs Australia (ANI)