Australia won the last game of the three-match ODI series at Rajkot by 66 runs, but India had already secured the series 2-1. The visitors performed remarkably in the last encounter in all the three departments after winning the toss and choosing to bat.
In the first inning, Australia’s top four batters scored half-centuries, with Mitchell Marsh leading the way by scoring 96 runs. Steve Smith contributed 74, Marnus Labuschagne added 72, and David Warner blazed through with 56 off just 34 balls. Their efforts helped Australia post a total of 352/7 in 50 overs, with Jasprit Bumrah being the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 3/81.
In response, India experimented with a new opening pair, as Washington Sundar (18) came out to bat alongside Rohit Sharma (81 off 57). Rohit initially played aggressively and later partnered with Virat Kohli (56 off 61) to put on 70 runs for the second wicket.
Glenn Maxwell led the way with figures of 4/40. Josh Hazlewood took 2/42, while Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, and Tanveer Sangha claimed one wicket each, eventually bundling the hosts on 286. This match marked the last ODI game before the ODI World Cup 2023, which is set to begin on October 5.
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‘We’ve been playing really well’: Rohit Sharma
The Indian skipper expressed his high level of satisfaction with his team’s World Cup preparations and emphasized that he prefers not to attach too much significance to the 66-run loss in the third ODI on Wednesday.
“I am pretty happy. Of course, I would have liked to go all the way along, but as long as I’m batting like that, I am happy. In the last 7-8 ODIs that we played, we did really well in different conditions. We were challenged at different times of the game, and we took it well. Under pressure, there were different conditions and teams as well, so I thought we responded to it very well. Unfortunately, this is not the result we wanted today, but I am not going to look into this game. We’ve been playing really well,” Rohit said in the post-match presentation.
Discussing the 15-man squad for the ODI World Cup 2023, Rohit asserted that the team has made their selections with absolute clarity and confidence, knowing precisely who will step up to fulfill their roles within the team.
“When we talk about the 15, we are very clear what we want and who are the guys who are gonna do the job for us. Pretty clear in our mind, not confused. We know where we are headed as a team. Its a team sport at the end of the day and you need everyone to come and play their part. That’s how you win championships” the 36-year-old added.
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