Australia’s shot on India’s rare clean sweep streak was killed in the final overs as they missed 13 points in the third ODI in Canberra. Glenn Maxwell put the hosts in a position to win the game with a dominant 59 on 38 balls, but his 45th-place dismissal saw Australia lose 4-21 to go all-in for 289.
Their effort was in stark contrast to that of India, who smashed 84 points from the same five-and-a-half-year span up their sleeves. With that, Australia’s chances of their first round of whitewashing India since 1999-2000, as tourists gain some confidence in the Twenty20 round from Friday.
After Aaron Finch helped revive Australia’s pursuit against India’s 302-5 with 75 of his own, Maxwell seemed to have it in the bag for Australia. The Victorian’s shot included four big sixes, having already managed 108 points from just 48 balls in the first two games of the series.
He threw two of those off Ravindra Jadeja in as many bullets, one of which he shot 108 yards to land on the roof of the Bob Hawke Stand. On another occasion, he punished Kuldeep Yadav with a ridiculous 100-yard reverse sweep into the crowd.
But when he was the seventh man out, played by Jasprit Bumrah (2-43), the game turned drastically, with the hosts still needing 35 to 33. Australia no longer managed to manage the borders from this moment, Ashton Hagar, Sean Abbott and Adam Zampa fell.
Meanwhile, Bumrah eventually blackmailed the Kookaburra for India again, in a dangerous opening spell that was unlucky without a wicket. He knocked Finch down on the first slip on 22 and turfed a tough chance to him his own bowling on 27, while Marnus Labuschagne fell for seven on the other end.
Steve Smith had his first failure of the summer, caught seven times by Shardul Thakur (3-51) while debutant Cameron Green showed great promise with his 21.
Alex Carey’s wicket was also crucial, short of 38 points, which ended a 52-point stand with Maxwell as they sought to stabilize the ship. But in the end, Hardik Pandya and Jadeja’s big shot at the end of India’s rounds proved crucial.
After the tourists looked ready for a mediocre total, Pandya finished with an unbeaten 92 of 76 deliveries while Jadeja hit three sixes in her 66 of 50 balls. Abbott (1-84) took most of the penalty and had 32 runs in an eight-ball streak as Australia missed Pat Cummins (rested) and Mitchell Starc (side).
Josh Hazlewood (1-66) had previously secured the wicket from master drummer Virat Kohli for the fifth time in as many battles with him, with the Indian megastar being caught late for 63. The much-vaunted 21-year-old Green played well but had a tough introduction to international cricket with numbers 0-27 from four overs.