Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Steve Smith Says They Got Talent to Challenge India

Kohli mocks the Aussies. Pic Fox Sports Kohli mocks the Aussies. Pic Fox Sports
Christy Curtis | 22 September, 2017, 01:58

Kuldeep Yadav took a hat-trick to help India comfortably beat Australia by 50 runs in the second one-day global at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. "I would have Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh in my team", Steve Smith told reporters ahead of the second ODI against India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Pacer Pat Cummins (1/34) and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar (1/54) also picked up a wicket each for Australia as India were bowled out in the last ball of the innings after they comfortably placed at 186 for three in 35 overs.

The Eden Gardens strip which was relaid previous year surprised everyone with its pace and bounce during the India-New Zealand Test match last September and even the ODI between the hosts and England this January. But in the last three-four matches, the situations I got myself in, 10-15 overs I batted and in Sri Lanka I got the confidence that I can contribute in ODI as well. There was another double blow when MS Dhoni (5), playing in his 300th ODI for India, was caught.

Kohli might have been disappointed with his dismissal, where he dragged a wide ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile, onto the stumps, but Twitter recognised his contribution. Smith kept on leading from the front while he was joined by Glenn Maxwell. If India continuous the same as Chennai match, then Aussies should win all other upcoming matches to won the series.

The match also saw some verbal battles with Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis, while trying to get stuck into Kohli when he was nearing a century. He has recorded 30 ODI hundreds and 45 fifties.

India's Virat Kohli and Australia's Steve Smith.

But it was Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 55, who laid the foundation for the victory with their 102-run second-wicket partnership that made India post 252 all out. The partnership between him and Rahane, who made most of the opportunity in the absence of the regular opener, ended up being the catalyst for India's defendable total.

Riding the momentum, Coulter-Nile took two more wickets in the match. Kohli and Rahane then came together and steered the Indian innings, scoring 50 runs off 51 balls. The sun continued to play hide and seek with clouds throughout the day as the players of the two teams landed in a chartered flight to play the second ODI here on Thursday.

"(But) we knew if we had a good start, we had a chance". Coulter-Nile and Richardson's bowling in the death ensured there was no late blitz, but even 252 proved to be enough by quite a distance.

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