Australia 9 for 298 (Marsh 131, Maxwell 48, Bhuvneshwar 4-45) v India
Shaun Marsh scored a commanding seventh ODI century – the fourth in his last eight ODI innings – to anchor Australia’s total of 9 for 298 on a scorching day in Adelaide. Marsh and Glenn Maxwell added 94 for the sixth wicket to follow three other half-century stands in the middle order, but Australia lost 4 for 3 in the closing overs as India kept their target to stay alive in the series under 300.
Marsh’s one-day form has been one of the few high points amid Australia’s white-ball struggles and this century backed up his fifty in the opening match of the series. Since returning to the ODI side on the tour of England last year Marsh has scored 601 runs at 66.77 and appears one of the few batting certainties for Australia heading into the World Cup.
There was a rare wicketless spell for Kuldeep Yadav – whose last over went for 16 – as India stuck with a five-man bowling attack. That included a debut for Mohammed Siraj who thought he had his maiden ODI wicket when Maxwell was given lbw on 26 but the DRS showed it was comfortably missing leg. Instead Siraj went wicketless for 76 runs, the second-most expensive figures by an Indian bowler on ODI debut. Maxwell added impetus, before late strikes from Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India close strongly until Nathan Lyon hit a four and a six off the last three balls of the innings.
India dominated the opening 10 overs through tight spells from Bhuvneshwar and Mohammed Shami. The new-ball pair kept the pressure on Australia’s openers and they fell in consecutive overs. Aaron Finch’s lean season continued when Bhuvneshwar removed him for the second time in the series as he played across the line then Alex Carey top-edged a pull in the next over off Shami.
The innings was stabilised by Marsh and Usman Khawaja, adding 56 in nearly 11 overs, but just as the pair were finding their stride Ravindra Jadeja produced a magnificent piece of fielding to remove Khawaja. When Khawaja tried to nab a single into the off side, Jadeja swooped on the ball from backward point, collected it one-handed and threw down the stumps with Khawaja an inch or two short. Coaches talk about the fielders earning wickets in ODIs and this was the perfect example.
Another useful stand was then formed between Marsh and Peter Handscomb only to be broken before it could really flourish, when Handscomb missed a sweep at a very full delivery from Jadeja and MS Dhoni completed a sharp stumping. As in Sydney, Marcus Stoinis used up plenty of deliveries getting himself set, reaching 21 off 33 balls, but was threatening to find his stride with consecutive boundaries off Shami when he under-edged a pull.
Marsh played the spinners well throughout: a boundary off Jadeja took him into the 90s, and another off Kuldeep carried him to 99, and he then worked a single down the ground to take him to a 108-ball century. One of the shots of the innings followed when he lofted Kuldeep inside-out over extra cover six in the wristspinner’s expensive final over.
Maxwell, whose role has been much debated, had collected his first six when he pulled a short delivery from Kuldeep then made good on his DRS reprieve, but the big hitting was not purely Maxwell’s domain as Marsh pulled further sixes off Bhuvneshwar and Shami. Maxwell offered a tough chance to Rohit Sharma at cover on 41 when he nailed a drive off Siraj which Rohit leapt to and almost grabbed one-handed but couldn’t quite take the rebound.
Maxwell couldn’t quite take the innings right to end, however, when he picked out long-off against Bhuvneshwar, who claimed Marsh in similar fashion in the same over, with the final three overs of the innings bringing just 17 runs.