New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: India on Wednesday avoided the second consecutive whitewash in the One Day Internationals by registering a 13-run win against Australia on the back of a fiery 92-run knock by middle-order batsman Hardik Pandya in Canberra. This is India's first win in the past six ODIs and the team will look to carry forward the winning momentum in the T20I and Test series beginning later this month.

Defending 303 against the mightly Australia batting line-up, the Virat Kohli's men broke the jinx of staying wicketless inside the powerplay by sending back Marnus Lebuschagne in the sixth over of the match. Steven Smith, who smashed consecutive tons earlier in the series, was dismissed cheaply in the 12th over. Aaron Finch held the fort in the middle overs, but could not sail the team through the total. Following his dismissal, the in-form Glenn Maxwell fought a lone battle but was cleaned up Jasprit Bumrah at a crucial moment of the match. 

“I though we fought really well,” Finch said after the match. “It was a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. If we got one of those wickets, we could have chased 240 max. Agar bowled beautifully. It was a good day in terms of the changes we made. The impact that the two spinners are having, that’s important.”

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India got off to cautious start, lost Shikhar Dhawan early, steadied itself after the powerplay, before losing track again in the middle overs with a series of dismissals. The team was 152 for 5 in the 32nd over and looked to go past 270, before its fortunes changes with an explosive partnership of 150 runs between Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Pandya missed out on the century but won the game for the country with his career best of 92.

“I will be fine to play the T20I. I have been working hard to play for my country; happy that i have got the opportunity,” Pandya said after the match. Really happy for Natarajan and rest of the bowlers. It’s ben quite a story for him. You need to be on your toes when it comes to playing against Australia. You got to push hard and face the challenge against them.”

Pandya was awarded man of the match, while Steven Smith was chosen man of the series. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja