They’ve done it again
For the second-time in their current one-day series, India have pulled of a great escape after chasing down yet another huge target set by Australia.
In front of a home crowd, the cricket giants smashed their way to the target of 351 with six wickets and three balls remaining. Two weeks ago the hosts had never chased own such a target yet now the feat has been completed twice in one series.
A fortnight ago India made 362-1 to win in Jaipur - the second highest one-day international run chase in history, and this latest victory is officially the third highest chase successfully completed.
Once again, Virat Kohli led the way at the crease, smashing an amazing 115 runs, including 18 fours, from just 66 balls, whilst Shikhar Dhawan also notched up a century (102).
Australia had started their innings in fine form, batting first, and must have thought they had done enough to clinch the game thanks to centuries from Shane Watson (102) and skipper George Bailey (156). Finishing on 350-6, a repeat performance seemed almost impossible for the hosts who looked destined to be defeated in the seven-day series.
However the irrepressible Kohli had a different opinion, once again guiding his side to an incredible comeback.
The big-hitting batsman has now taken just 112 innings to hit 17 hundreds in ODIs, 58 fewer than Sourav Ganguly who was the fastest to 17 ODI hundreds before him. Saeed Anwar, the next quickest batsman to 17 ODI hundreds, took 177 innings.
Speaking after the epic encounter, man-of-the-match Kohli questioned the format of the One Day Internationals after witnessing a rise in huge run-chases lately.
“I think [the rules are] something that we need to sit and think about if 350 is the new 280 or 290 or 300.
“With the rule changes and everything, most of the bowlers are getting smashed with the extra fielder inside. Even the best of the bowlers, the fast bowlers, are bowling with third man and fine leg up.
“It was more of a fight as to which side bowls less badly. With the extra fielder inside, if you are slightly off target, it goes for a boundary. A few of the bowlers are disappointed, they actually feel it will be better off to put a bowling machine there. It is a new challenge for the bowlers.
“I don't know where [this format of the game] is going. Is it good in the long run that we are seeing - for seven hours - only fours and sixes?”
The series is now tied at two games apiece with the deciding seventh match scheduled for Saturday 2nd November.