8th over: Australia 52-0 (Head 19, Marsh 32) Head goes downtown! Axar Patel bowled a tight over last time and Head showed it respect. But he showed that first delivery no respect whatsoever, stepping down and scorching it down the ground for a maximum. After a single to Head, Marsh uncoils a glorious slog over cover for FOUR. Three balls. Eleven runs. All that hard work by Siraj undone! But the next three are better from Patel. Australia’s fifty is up.
7th over: Australia 41-0 (Head 12, Marsh 28) India slowed the runs with that Patel over and now Rohit Sharma slows the game, with elaborate fielding changes. Kohli has gone to the midwicket boundary in a catching position. Can Mohammed Siraj find an off-middle stump line and lure Marsh into a skewed catch? In his 24th ODI for India Siraj is slinging them down at 139kph and finding skid and sure enough Marsh swings for the grandstand but misses. The next ball is a bouncer and Marsh swats at it as it flies over his right shoulder but he lost sight of it late and missed it. Two more skidders and a slower ball finish it off and what an over that was from Siraj – a much-needed maiden.
6th over: Australia 41-0 (Head 12, Marsh 28) Almost a run out! India have brought spin into the attack with Axar Patel and Head, pinned down for the first three, took a chance on the fourth. The throw was wide but a direct hit might’ve had Head in serious trouble. Marsh picks off a single from the last as India staunch the torrent of runs at last. Just two from that over.
5th over: Australia 39-0 (Head 11, Marsh 27) Head joins the party! That ball from Shami was fast and hip-height and Head pivoted beautifully to send it over the fence for SIX. Head smokes the next two as well but Sharma’s field is good and both shots find the fielder. Head drops the fifth at his feet and Marsh responds with a quick single. India’s bowlers and fielders under real pressure here. Marsh adds to it, cheekily working a straight ball past the short fine leg for FOUR.
Mitchell’s Dad, Geoff, might’ve raised a Swan Lager to that one. India and Australia played the first ODI ever at this MA Chidambaram Stadium in 1987 and Geoff Marsh made a brilliant 110 to help Australia win a World Cup thriller.
4th over: Australia 28-0 (Head 4, Marsh 23) Siraj gets Head hopping! They run a leg-bye but there’s bite in this wicket and both batters have fallen afoul of balls that have jagged in and beaten them on a stump line. The power of Marsh is on show on the next delivery as he blocks Siraj to mid on but strikes it so sweetly it flies along the carpet to the rope for another FOUR. There’s an appeal on the fifth ball and to Siraj it looked very close. His screams fall on deaf ears as captain Rohit Sharma doesn’t review. Replays show it maybe flying over. Marsh celebrates by belting a full ball on off stump down the ground for another FOUR. Marsh has 23 from 15 with four fours and a six. Clearly not in a running mood.
3rd over: Australia 19-0 (Head 4, Marsh 15) Hot start from Australia! Now it will be Shami to Marsh for the first time. He is coming over the wicket to the right-hander and there’s some nip in this pitch as Marsh is beaten on the inside line. Pinned down for two balls, he unleashes at the third for SIX! That was sweet half volley and Marsh didn’t hesitate to cash-in. A slower ball – 124kph down from 141kph – foils another heave. And Shami repeats the dose on the last ball, bringing the ball back to beat bat and pad and send it flying through the gate. Good comeback by the veteran seamer.
2nd over: Australia 13-0 (Head 4, Marsh 9) Here comes Mohammed Siraj to Mitchell Marsh. The big allrounder from Western Australia has been in imperious form all series with 81 in the first game and 66 not out (from 36 balls) in the second. And straight away he’s seeing it like a watermelon, stepping inside the line to a straight ball and flicking it over midwicket for FOUR. And he goes again very next delivery as Siraj puts it in the corridor outside off and Marsh whips it high over the infield for another big FOUR. After a single from Marsh Kohli saves a powerfully punched shot from Head. Four runs saved.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Head 4, Marsh 0) Here we go. Australia v India. Mohammed Shami v Travis Head. Shami is coming around the wicket and is bang on line, beating Head on the inside edge with his second delivery. Head has chopped onto his stumps before chasing hard contact and fast runs so Shami will try the ploy again. The offside is packed and the ball is repeatedly angling in at Head’s ribs… until the fifth which is full and met with a fat bat by Travis Head who sends it hurtling to the long on boundary for FOUR. We are away!
Australia: 1 Travis Head, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 David Warner, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Marnus Labuschagne, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Ashton Agar, 11 Adam Zampa
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Australia have made two changes to their XI, bringing in Agar and Warner for Ellis and Green, with the latter too sick to play. India are unchanged.
Australia have won the toss in Chennai and will bat first
It’s a hot day here in Chennai and David Warner is back in the XI albeit batting at No 4. Here come the teams…
Game Two found Australia climbing off the canvas to square the series with some masterful reverse swing from Mitchell Starc and a whirlwind opening partnership by Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh.
Game One went India’s away… but only after Australia gift-wrapped it with an incredible batting collapse.
Hot on the heel of the Test series, hard up against the IPL and non-existent on the schedule until a couple of months ago, this has been a hasty yet tasty ODI series between two proud cricketing nations.
For India, it will be their final ODIs until the tour of the Caribbean in August. For Australia it’s the last one-dayers until a tour of South Africa in late August. And for both, it’s kind’ve a six-match series given these teams meet again in Sept-Oct for another warm-up event of three rubbers ahead of the One Day International World Cup kicking off October 5.
Here’s how Geoff Lemon previewed the series…
Howdy cricket fans and welcome to Chennai for the final ODI between India and Australia. Angus Fontaine here to call the first innings for you. And what a rip-roaring night we have ahead of us.
Since 1980 these two nations have met in 145 one-day internationals. Australia has won 81 of those and India 54 with 10 games ending with no-result. With a mere 40% win-rate that is India’s poorest record against any international side.
However, this series is dead level at one victory apiece and a tantalising showdown awaits us tonight, with the dust still settling on a fiercely-fought Test series and both nations hurtling toward a “fifth Test” and global bragging rights at the World Test Championship final to be played at The Oval in June.
A quick recap on the series for those who came in late…
Fresh from claiming the Border-Gavaskar Test series by 2-1, India took Game One at Mumbai in fine style, fighting back from 89-5 to mow down Australia’s total of 189. That score was a disappointing one, given the visitors were flying at 129-2 before imploding to lose eight wickets for 59 wickets.
As they did in the Test series, Australia roared back, claiming Game Two at Visakhapatnam by ten wickets as Mitchell Starc ran through India to bag 5-53 and skittle them for 117. Mitchell Marsh (66 not out) and Travis Head (51 not out) then gobbled up the chase in 11 overs to romp home and take us to a decider.
As it did in the first three Tests, ball has dominated bat in this series with no batting total above 200 thus far. Interestingly, it has been pace, not spin, that has proven the most destructive though, with Mitchell Starc in blistering form and Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis offering excellent support.
Chidambaram Stadium isn’t known as a high-scoring venue but tonight could be the night. Both sides bat deep and the simmering tension between the teams is set to explode as players chase both a series win for their countries while also firing up their individual credentials ahead of the $6bn India Premier League tournament that starts on April 1.
We’re about to light the fuse so buckle ‘em up and batten ‘em down!