New Delhi: It was almost like a day's pleasure, a momentary happiness for Team India and then snatched away. Australia have not only snapped their bid to make the longest winning streak in one-day international cricket by an Indian side, but also dethroned the Men in Blue from the top spot on the ICC ODI Team rankings with a splendid 21-run victory at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, on Thursday.
Opting to bat first, the tourists rode on an astounding 231-run opening partnership by Aaron Finch (94) and David Warner (124) with the latter notching up a century in his 100th ODI game. Successive batsmen did play their cameo as Aussies put forth a massive total of 335-run target.
Colossal indeed for India, but they did pick up the right note. Openers Ajinkya Rahane (53) and Rohit Sharma (65) notched up their respective fifties to take the opening stand to 106 runs. But quick strikes by the Aussie pacers wounded the Indian side to 147 for three in the 25th over. Hardik Pandya did play his role once again at No.4 but failed to light up a carnival at Chinnaswamy. A patient knock of 41 runs failed alongside Kedar Jadhav's 67 failed to provide ample hope to the hosts.
The Aussies scripted a late fightback, swung it their way in the death overs and simply dismantled India's middle-order lineup to finally clinch a victory on foreign soil. After 12 winless matches on the trot, all on away conditions, the team from Down Under finally bagged a win. A moment of happiness for the Aussies and for Steve Smith as the ones that had caused him a trouble were the ones who were the root cause for the victory – the batsmen.
Well, all that goes for Australia and what is left for the home team is an utter shock. After three consecutive victories in the series, Team India were looking for a fourth which could lead their ODI tally to a historic 10. Virat Kohli would have turned out to be the first Indian skipper to lead his side to 10 successive ODI wins.Alas! That was snatched.
Adding to their woes, with the 21-run defeat in Bengaluru, Team India slipped to No.2 in the ICC ODI rankings. With 5828 points from 49 matches, India have ratings of 118.93 ≈ 119. South Africa, have once again climbed atop with 5957 points from 50 matches, with their ratings 119.14. Ergo, the difference is of just 0.21. However, if India can finish the series with a 4-1 win, then once again they can topple the Proteas side and reclaim top honour.
Team India will play the last and final ODI game of the series in Nagpur, on October 1.