India’s disappointing run in the ODI format continued after suffering fifth defeat on the trot. The Men in Blue lost the 2nd ODI against Australia by 51 runs in Sydney.
After winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first and posted 389/4 in 50 overs. Captain Aaron Finch and David Warner once again gave a solid start and put 142 for he first wicket whule Steve Smith struck a fine and consecutive ton in the series.
Warner, Finch, Labuschagne and Maxwell scored individual half-centuries. In reply, India began in a steady manner but wickets kept falling at regular intervals. They were eventually restricted to 338/9 in 50 overs.
WHO SAID WHAT?
Moises Henriques: It’s the most I’ve bowled for a while, so I was getting a little sore. The ball was definitely stopping when you roll your fingers over, so it had to be smart in-between length. It was a really big wicket, that catch. After we got Virat out, the guys were a lot calmer out on the field. All the IPL guys were camping somewhere else, but clearly their methods worked. The clean guys trained in a different place. Steve is incredible – he gets all these runs without taking any risks and suddenly you look up he’s on 30 or 40. He can accelerate really easily too, and we’ve taken the mickey out of him for saying “I’ve found my hands”, but there’s some merit in that because I haven’t seen him time the ball like that before.
Aaron Finch | Australia captain: It was a perfect performance with the bat. There was no extra talk or game plan. Very pleased to wrap it up in two games and win the series. A quicker innings from me would’ve been better, but it’s a bit of a trade-off and I think we set the foundation. Smithy was incredible as usual, and Warner got it off the middle everytime as well. Moises bowled really well defensively including his cutters, and as Virat said, we got a bit of a blueprint from Hardik, by taking the pace off the ball.
Virat Kohli | India captain: They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well. The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would take the RRR up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference. Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could’ve gotten us across the line with Hardik to come.
Steve Smith, Player of the Match: I felt good from ball one. Got myself in and went hard. It was another great foundation set by Finchy and Davey. That enabled myself and Maxi to go hard at the back end. It’s just summing up conditions and what’s in front you. Against India, you need to score big totals. It was just about taking the game on. Fortunately, it’s come off in the last couple of games. I tried to whack the ball a bit too hard in the IPL, now I have started to hit the ball with a bit more finesse which is probably working better for me. I’m just playing nice cricketing shots. It (records) doesn’t bother me, nice to score some runs again for the team and get us to a good total. The boys were outstanding in the field as well. The guys bowled really well and yeah, nice performance.