Hyderabad: After an embarrassing loss at the Wankhede in the first ODI, It was time for retribution for the Men in blue at Rajkot in a do or die encounter against the Aussies.
Australia once again won the toss and chose to bowl first, backing their chasing abilities which were seen in the first ODI. Although records said the opposite as the team chasing lost the match on the previous two occasions.
Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma walked out to bat and gave a good start by depositing the bad balls to the fence and respecting the good ones. They stitched a wonderful partnership of 84 until Adam Zampa caught him leg before in spite of a review for 42.
Virat Kohli walked out to bat at No.3 as the fans had a huge sigh of relief. Virat and Shikhar steadied the ship and kept the Run-rate in check as they put up a 100-run partnership. Dhawan brought his 22nd fifty in the ODIs. He then went all guns blazing against Aston Agar and reached the 90s in no time. He then pulled one off Richardson on 96 and missed out on a well-deserved 100.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul started attacking the bowlers as the Run-rate never went under 6. Virat once again got out to Adam Zampa, this time on the boundary line with some coordination.
Rahul took over the innings and made sure India reached a commandable position as India closed in at 340/6. Rahul was run-out on 80.
Australia now had a mountain target of 341 with Warner and Finch on the crease. Warner hit one hard in the air as Manish Pandey plucked it out of nowhere. Finch and Smith had a decent partnership of 62 as Finch was stumped off Jadeja.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne were out in the middle and controlled the innings very well with a partnership of 96. As Labuschagne was marching on to his maiden fifty, he hit one straight to Shami in the deep and got out on 46. Jadeja was the man with the breakthrough.
Alex Carey walked out alongside Smith as Kuldeep Yadav completely turned the tables and sent Carey and Smith back to the pavilion in the 38th over. Smith missed out on his century by 2 runs. Kuldeep also reached a milestone of 100 wickets in ODIs, the third fastest for India after Bumrah and Shami.
Talking about Shami, he almost missed out on a Hat-trick in the 44th over as he cleaned up Aston Turner and Pat Cummins with perfect Yorkers.
Among all the proceedings, India had another injury scare, this time in the form of Rohit Sharma as he injured his left arm while trying to stop a boundary.
This almost sealed the win for India as Saini also had a go at the Aussie tail and picked 2 wickets.
Richardson had some fun at the end as he hit 19 runs off Shami in the 49th over. Bumrah picked the last wicket as India won the game by 36 runs.
With the series levelled at 1-1, the decider is now set to be played at the Chinnaswamy stadium at Bangalore on Sunday.