India beat Australia in the second ODI at Rajkot on Friday to level the three-match series 1-1 on Friday.
Mohammed Shami returned with best figures of 3/77 while spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja supported him ably as Australia lost wickets at regular intervals to be all out for 304 in 49.1 overs. For the visitors, Steve Smith top-scored with a 102-ball 98.
Australia’s Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bowl first.
While Dhawan added 81 for the opening stand with Rohit Sharma (42) who would regret this missed opportunity on a batting belter after getting set, the southpaw also had a vital 103-run stand with Kohli for the second wicket.
The Kohli-Rahul duo’s 78-run partnership off 10.3 overs was also pivotal as it helped the latter to launch a final assault during the end overs.
While Dhawan’s innings had 13 fours and a six, Kohli had six hits to the fence including a classic jab-flick off Pat Cummins (0/53 in 10 overs). Rahul’s was a stand-out innings with six boundaries and three -maximums, one of which was a lofted cover drive off Mitchell Starc (0/78 in 10 overs), who had a forgettable day.
Adam Zampa (3/50 in 10 overs) was once again the stand-out performer taking Kohli out of equation for the seventh time in limited overs just when he was looking to get his 44th ODI ton.
The first wicket of David Warner set the ball rolling for India and the back of the openers early on was good riddance for the men in blue. However, they still had to deal with the threat of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. But it was Kuldeep Yadav’s over that turned things around. Shami’s searing yorkers at the death was also too hot to handle for the Kangaroos. His twin strikes at the end helped India breathe easy.
Kuldeep Yadav’s spell of two wickets for 65 runs was the decisive spell in this contest. The chinaman struggled in the early half of his spell but came back strongly to get rid off Alex Cary and Steve Smith.
SCORECARD: India- 340/6 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 96, Virat Kohli 78, KL Rahul 80, Rohit Sharma 42; Adam Zampa 3/50).
Australia- 304 all out in 49.1 overs (Steve Smith 98, Marnus Labuschagne 46; Mohammed Shami 3/77, Kuldeep Yadav 2/65, Ravindra Jadeja 2/58, Navdeep Saini 2/62).
India- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia- David Warner, Aaron Finch (captain), Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
Umpires- Richard Kettleborough, England, and Virender Sharma, India.
TV Umpire- Michael Gough, England; Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.
(With PTI inputs)