In the third ODI between India and Australia at Holkar Stadium in Indore, team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya once again played a vital role in guiding the hosts to a 5-wicket win and clinch the 5-match series with a 3-0 lead. Earlier, Pandya picked up well-set batsman David Warner and later played a wonderful knock of 78 runs while chasing 294.
At first, Australia opted to bat first after winning the toss and got a decent start when David Warner and Aaron Finch compiled a partnership of 70 runs. Warner was cleaned by Pandya but Finch continued with his batting and notched up a 154-run stand with skipper Steve Smith for the second wicket.
However, Finch claimed his eighth ODI century. But the departure of Finch and Smith saw a flurry of wickets and Australia were eventually restricted to 293/6 in allotted 50 overs. In reply, India was off to a flying start after Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma put on 139 for the first wicket.
Both the batsmen scored individual half-centuries and the partnership was ended by Nathan Coulter-Nile, who removed the ‘hitman’ for 71. Couple of overs later, Rahane too perished as LBW off the bowling of Pat Cummins for 70. Hardik Pandya then joined Virat Kohli in the middle and the duo then put on a 56 run-stand for the fourth wicket to steady the ship after the twin blows.
The home side did lose the plot in the middle overs after losing wickets in quick succession but a partnership of 78 runs between Pandya and Manish Pandey anchored the side to a convincing win in the end.
Celebrating Pandya’s knock, the Indian skipper played the interviewer on Sunday night and interviewed Hardik regarding his knock, sending him at No. 4 and the series win. But the two didn’t just stop at each other, they even pulled the leg of teammate KL Rahul. The Indian skipper shared the video on his official Twitter handle.
The caption of the video read, “Ladies and gentlemen, here is the man of the moment @hardikpandya7(Also @klrahul11 at the back) Great win, series clinched #NumberOne.”
Watch The Video Here:
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 24, 2017
Kohli’s men not only clinched the series but also sealed the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings for the team. India has jumped to the top of the ODI rankings, for now, overtaking Australia and South Africa, but can still slip to the number-two spot if the visitors win the next two games. The fourth ODI is scheduled for Thursday in Bengaluru.