Kohli, Dhawan gun down 350 again
(Sports Page) Push the boundaries, shift the goalposts, change vocabularies. Three hundred and fifty no longer inspires awe. Not when Indian batsmen are batting on flat Indian pitches surrounded by quick outfields with only four fielders outside the circle and two new balls to kill any chance of reverse swing. With Shikhar Dhawan’s assured century at the top, and Virat Kohli’s 61-ball one at No. 3 – the third-fastest by an Indian, challenging his own record of 52 balls – India became the first team to have chased down 350 or more twice, both of them in this series, and both without much frenzy.
The belief and the absolute absence of any slogging was remarkable once again, but India did face some nerves this time around. The match was doing a pretty fine job of retelling the Jaipur ODI story – Dhawan was dropped early, there was a big opening partnership, and Kohli was bursting through the target – when Dhawan played a rare low-percentage shot and exposed Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. Mitchell Johnson duly removed them, and 62 off 48 required became 35 off 18 at one point.
Kohli, though, pulled out some of the most incredible shots of his innings, driving chest-high balls for fours wide of long-off, to take India through with three balls to spare. With this result the series remained alive, and George Bailey, who might have had reason to believe he had booked his Ashes spot with a 114-ball 156, will have to put in the drawer possible plans of going home early for Ashes preparation
Summarized scores: 50 overs India 351 for 4 (Kohli 115*, Dhawan 100, Rohit 79) beat Australia 350 for 6 (Bailey 156, Watson 102) by six wickets