Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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Washington Sundar in action during third India-Australia ODI match© AFP

The Indian cricket team came up with a surprising strategy during the third ODI match against Australia in Rajkot as the team management decided to send Washington Sundar to open the batting with skipper Rohit Sharma. It was a calculated decision on their part as Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul were allowed to bat in their preferred batting positions ahead of Cricket World Cup 2023. However, he failed to impress and was dismissed for 18 off 30 deliveries. Fans were left stunned by the team management’s move and social media were flooded with hilarious memes.

Mitchell Marsh‘s stroke-filled 96 and Marnus Labuschagne‘s polished 72 took Australia to a commendable 352 for 7 against India. While Marsh missed reaching triple figures by a whisker, Australia’s batters came good collectively in what will be their last official ODI before the start of the World Cup.

David Warner had himself to blame for his dismissal after a fiery 56 off 34 balls (6x4s, 4x6s), but he set the tone for Australia early on. Steve Smith also put brakes on his poor run of scores to make a rapid 74 and towards the end, Labuschagne upped the ante with his 58-ball knock to help Australia post their challenging score. Labuschagne also became Australia’s top run-getter in the ongoing calendar year.

On a hot and humid day, drinks were brought out more often than not between change of over while batters dropped down to their haunches, turning out to be quite a laborious effort for the Australian batters after their captain chose to bat. Marsh took the attack to Jasprit Bumrah (3/81 in 10 overs), hitting two fours and a six and forcing India to take off the solitary slip since there was no early movement on offer.

(With PTI inputs)

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