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India vs Australia, 2nd ODI Match at Rajkot: India Win by 36 Runs, Level Series 1-1

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India 340 for 6 (Dhawan 96, Rahul 80, Kohli 78, Zampa 3-50) beat Australia 304 (Smith 98, Jadeja 2-58, Yadav 2065) by 36 runs

For the second series in a row, India stayed alive having fallen 1-0 behind and lost the toss in the second, thanks again to batting full of intent that gave their bowlers a total they could defend. In doing so, they might even have found a solution to their biggest problem in ODI cricket post Yuvraj Singh: middle-order batting.

India began the series looking to find space to squeeze KL Rahul in the top order. Instead, batting at No. 5 with that experiment lasting only one match, Rahul responded with a 52-ball 80 to take India to 340 after they threatened to end up with little over 300 despite fifties from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.

India lost wickets in two braces, which reduced them to 198 for 3 and 280 for 5, but Rahul played a part in pulling India out of strife on both occasions. If it was Adam Zampa’s analysis of 3 for 50 kept India in check, India’s spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav rocked Australia in the middle overs with two big wickets each. Jadeja kept India in the contest with tight overs and wickets of Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne, and Yadav ended the chase with the strikes of Steven Smith and Alex Carey in the same over. It helped that there was no dew, something Kohli had predicted at the toss.

Smith missed out on a hundred by two runs. He wasn’t the only man to fall in the 90s. Like the openers did in the must-win match against West Indies, it was Dhawan who made India’s intent clear with a 90-ball 96. He started with a lovely straight-driven boundary first ball, and cared more about the team’s scoring rate than his century. He had scored 35 off the last 18 balls when he went to hit another boundary but managed a top edge to long leg off a Kane Richardson short ball. As he had done when setting up India’s win against Australia in the World Cup, it emerged he had batted on with a serious injury, this time a blow to the unprotected ribs. He is expected to be okay for the final game on Sunday.

Intent was apparent from the other end too with Rohit Sharma not shying from hitting in the air early on in the innings. India raced to 55 for 0 in 10 overs, and kept the run rate around six despite Sharma’s fall to Zampa. This was despite Australia looking to attack, using up Pat Cummins’ seven overs in the first 17.

Kohli made an effortless run-a-ball start to his innings, but Dhawan found a bit of a lull with the run rate dropping below six after the 20th over. In the 25th over, Ashton Agar bowled two successive dots to Kohli, but he was in no mood to take risks this early. Dhawan, though, had decided this was time for him to go. A slog sweep, a reverse sweep, and India had found the momentum again.

Dhawan’s wicket brought about a scratchy innings from Shreyas Iyer, promoted ahead of Rahul. It ended with an ugly hoick against a full Zampa delivery, putting India under pressure. Australia looked to push on, going to their wicket-takers, but Kohli and Rahul hit two boundaries each off Cummins and Mitchell Starc’s overs. Rahul soon began to dominate, scoring 42 in the 78-run partnership with Kohli.

In the 44th over, when Kohli looked to hit the next gear, hitting in the air for the first time in the match, he mis-hit Zampa to long-off for a relay catch. Manish Pandey’s soft dismissal left Rahul with only Ravindra Jadeja as a recognised batting hand and six overs to go. Many a time India have gone wrong from there, but Rahul unfurled some attractive shots against the best bowlers Australia had to offer. The highlight was an inside-out flat six off Starc, who was consigned to his second-worst analysis in terms of runs conceded and his first wicketless match in 15 outings.

The significance of Rahul’s innings shows in how this was the first time since 2013 that an Indian batting at 5 or lower had scored a fifty at a strike rate of over 150 when setting a target. Between two such efforts by India, 67 batsmen have done it overall. The last man to do it for India was MS Dhoni. Rahul would further emulate Dhoni with a quick stumping to dismiss Finch.

Before that, Jasprit Bumrah had put on a clinic with a kind of spell that doesn’t gets mentioned in the aftermath of an ODI. There was no wicket taken but he troubled Finch on both the inside and outside edge often. There were successive maidens too. In between David Warner had fallen to a stunning catch by Pandey. Yet such is the nature of ODIs that Australia looked well on target with Finch and Smith adding 62 for the second wicket.

The stumping decision was a 50-50 call that could have gone either way, but there was no doubt that Jadeja had bowled a beauty to turn the ball past Finch’s edge. The wicket didn’t bring India relief. Debutant Labuschagne began smoothly, matching the man he tries to emulate shot for shot. Boundaries and singles kept flowing easily, putting Yadav under the pump. The run rate soon crossed six.

Again, Jadeja dragged Australia back in partnership with Navdeep Saini by stacking up dots. Smith didn’t throw it away despite the slowdown but Labuschagne ended up chipping Jadeja to long-off. At 178 for 3 in the 31st over, Australia were still in the contest. Especially with Smith turning up another gear, looking to take toll of the spinners before one extra fielder went out for the last 10 overs,

Smith and Carey brought it down to 122 required in 13 overs, with Bumrah’s four remaining overs increasingly becoming the key. Facing the heat, Yadav started his ninth over having conceded 57 already. He showed heart by slowing his pace down, creating indecision in Smith with a wrong’un outside leg. He stayed slow, drawing a soft chip from Carey for a catch to extra cover. Three balls later, he bowled another wrong’un to Smith, who got undone by the utter slowness of it and ended up playing on.

Game, set and match right there with Yadav taking more than one wicket in an over for the 13th time, six more than anybody has done in ODIs since his debut. The fast bowlers then finished it off in style, but there was some cause for concern for India: Sharma hurt his shoulder when making a diving save at the boundary and is unsure for the decider in Bangalore.

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Cricket

India vs Pakistan, U-19 World Cup: India enter final after thrashing Pakistan by 10 wickets

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India defeated Pakistan by 10 wickets to storm into their third successive final in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup. India will now play the winner of the second semi-final between Bangladesh and New Zealand.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena helped India gun down the modest target of 173 with 10 wickets to spare after the highest partnership of the 2020 Under-19 World Cup in South Africa. Yashasvi was unbeaten on 105 as he finished off the chase with a massive six as early as the 36th over. Divyansh was not out on 59 as the India openers put on a masterclass on Tuesday.

India and Pakistan have now won 5 matches against each other in all Under-19 World Cups. If India manage to win the World Cup final on Sunday (February 9), they will extend their title count to 5. India are already the most successful team in the history of the Under-19 World Cup.

A little over 2 years ago, India had crushed Pakistan in the semi-final of the 2018 U19 World Cup after Shubman Gill’s unbeaten 102 had lifted the Indian U-19s to 272 for 9 off their 50 overs. In response, Pakistan were bundled out for 69.

In Potchefstroom on Tuesday, Pakistan had won the toss and decided to bat. Haider Ali and skipper Rohail Nazir hit gritty fifties but India pacers Sushant Mishra (3 for 28) and Kartik Tyagi (2 for 32) were too hot to handle.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, on the other hand, picked 2 for 46 off his 10 overs and was a consant source of bother for the Pakistani batsmen.

At one stage, Pakistan did look like they were in control but Yashasvi Jaiswal snared Haider Ali to trigger a dramatic collapse. From 96 for 2, Pakistan were shot out for 172.

In response, India openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena started watchfully but once they got their eyes in, the pair was unstoppable. Jaiswal was particularly in punishing mood and took the indisciplined Pakistani bowling attack to the cleaners and gave India the chance to defend their world title which they won under Prithivi Shaw 2 years back in New Zealand.

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ഇന്ത്യയുടെ ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഏറ്റവും മികച്ച കളിക്കാരൻ രോഹിത് ശർമയെന്ന് അനില്‍ കുംബ്ലെ.

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ബംഗലൂരു: വര്‍ഷാവസാനം ഏകദിന, ടെസ്റ്റ് റാങ്കിംഗുകളില്‍ ഒന്നാം സ്ഥാനം നിലനിര്‍ത്തിയത് ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ക്യാപ്റ്റന്‍ വിരാട് കോലിയാണെങ്കിലും ടെസ്റ്റിലും ഏകദിനത്തിലും ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഇന്ത്യയുടെ മികച്ച ബാറ്റ്സ്മാന്‍ കോലിയല്ലെന്ന് മുന്‍ നായകനും പരിശീലകനുമായ അനില്‍ കുംബ്ലെ. ലോകകപ്പിലെ പ്രകടനത്തിന്റെ കൂടി അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ രോഹിത് ശര്‍മയാണ് ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഇന്ത്യയുടെ ഏറ്റവും മികച്ച കളിക്കാരനെന്ന് കുംബ്ലെ പറഞ്ഞു.

ഇന്ത്യക്കായി ഒരുപാട് പേര്‍ ഈവര്‍ഷം മികച്ച പ്രകടനം പുറത്തെടുത്തിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്നാല്‍ അവരിലാരെക്കാളും തലയെടുപ്പോടെ നില്‍ക്കുന്നത് രോഹിത് ആണ്. ടെസ്റ്റിലെ ഡബിള്‍ സെഞ്ചുറിയും കോലിയുടെ അഭാവത്തില്‍ ഇന്ത്യയെ നയിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ പുറത്തെടുത്ത മികവുമെല്ലാം ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഏറ്റവും മികച്ച താരമായി രോഹിത്തിനെ തെര‍ഞ്ഞെടുക്കാനുള്ള കാരണങ്ങളാണെന്ന് കുംബ്ലെ പറഞ്ഞു.

ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഇന്ത്യയുടെ ഏറ്റവും മികച്ച യുവതാരം മായങ്ക് അഗര്‍വാളാണെന്നും കുംബ്ലെ പറഞ്ഞു. ഏകദിന, ടി20 ക്രിക്കറ്റിലും മായങ്കിനെ കളിപ്പിക്കാവുന്നതാണെന്നും അതിനുള്ള പ്രതിഭയുള്ള താരമാണ് മായങ്കെന്നും കുംബ്ലെ അഭിപ്രായപ്പെട്ടു. ഈ വര്‍ഷത്തെ ഇന്ത്യയുടെ ഏറ്റവും മികച്ച നേട്ടം ഓസ്ട്രേലിയയിലെ ടെസ്റ്റ് പരമ്പര ജയമാണെന്നും കുംബ്ലെ പറഞ്ഞു.

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