Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar have led Australia to a series victory over India and helped the tourists recapture the World No.1 ranking in one-day cricket. India appeared to be in cruise control at 2-146 in response to Australia's total of 269, before Zampa (4-45) and Agar (2-41) turned the match in Australia's favour.
Agar snared the prized scalp of Virat Kohli for 54 off 72 balls, before getting Suryakumar Yadav for his third-consecutive golden duck of the series. Agar bowled Yadav to made him the first Indian player in ODI cricket history to register three golden ducks on the trot.
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India lost their last eight wickets for 101 runs, as well as 6-79 in a devastating period. Zampa was named man of the match after claiming the wickets of Shubman Gill (37), KL Rahul (32), Hardik Pandya (40) and Ravindra Jadeja (18) as the Aussies won by 21 runs and secured a 2-1 series victory.
In doing so they leapfrogged India and re-claimed the World No.1 ranking in ODIs. "It's always fun bowling with Zamps," Agar said after the match. "We're great mates. We have a pretty good time out there.
"We usually have a whisky in his room most nights and discuss how we're going to go about it. It paid off for us today."
Kohli appeared poised to guide India to victory, but his soft dismissal to Agar's bowling proved to be a critical moment of the match as he holed out tamely to David Warner in the deep. Agar clean-bowled Yadav on the very next delivery, while Rahul, Pandya and Jadeja were all dismissed playing expansive shots.
"Ashton Agar, he changed the game," Zampa said afterwards. "I don't feel like I deserve this (man of the match) to be honest with you. For me to be able to do what I did at the end, it's kudos to the guys who bowled before me."
Indian captain Rohit Sharma said his batters failed to carry on after getting a start to "take the game deep". He added: "All of us were trying our best to go out and achieve that but it just didn't happen. Obviously a loss like this really hurts. But again we can understand what we need to do better as a team, as a group."
Fans were highly critical of India's batting display on social media. A number of soft dismissals came in for heavy scrutiny, with some labelling the hosts' collapse 'horrible' and 'awful'.
All in all it's a horrible batting display from India, starting with careless captain Rohit Sharma & ending with brainless Ravindra Jadeja.
This series defeat was v necessary to make some vv necessary changes o'wise we'll face similar fate in the upcoming WC.#INDvAUS #INDvsAUS https://t.co/TfGp35qxl9
— Vipul Ghatol 🇮🇳 (@Vipul_Espeaks) March 22, 2023
— .... (@YouBearsssssss) March 22, 2023
Awful play by the Indians. Didn't understand the idea of playing a test match like-play if the match could have been won by rotating strikes in this less-than-run-a-ball chase after Virat's wicket.#INDvAUS
— Anmol Yadav (@onemole001) March 22, 2023
This series loss orchestrated by the team management including captain and coach. Backing a player who was utterly terrible in ODI despite other proven players sitting outside was a disgrace and unfair. Blood is in your hands. #IndvAus
— Saint (@Cricguy1) March 22, 2023
— Vansh Pahuja (@PahujaVansh) March 22, 2023
Mitch Marsh stars again to win player of the series
Mitch Marsh took the player of the series honours as he continued his fine form with the bat while opening. Marsh and Travis Head were again picked to open the innings despite David Warner coming back into the side, with Warner batting at No.4 for the first time in his 14-year ODI career.
Marsh again top scored with 47 off as many balls, while Warner made 23 off 31 balls. Marsh and Head (33 off 31) guided Australia to 0-68 after Steve Smith elected to bat, but a collapse of 5-70 put the visitors behind the eight-ball. Alex Carey (38), Marcus Stoinis (25) and Sean Abbott (26) led a fine recovery effort to help Australia reach a respectable total.
Warner's demotion marked just the second time in his decorated 142-game ODI career that he didn't open the batting. The only other time came when he batted at No.5 against Scotland at the World Cup in 2015, scoring 21 not out off six balls.
His relegation down the order only adds more intrigue as to who will open at World Cup in India later this year. The Aussies appear to have found their ideal openers in Marsh and Head, with Marsh's latest knock taking his tally to 194 runs at an average of 97 across this three-match series - all while opening.
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