In the third and final ODI between India and Australia, India’s batting collapse followed a dismal showing with the ball, as they lost by 190 runs, their third-worst defeat. Tuesday saw Australia complete a 3-0 series rout. After giving up the highest total against them ever (338/7), India’s weaknesses at the batting took centre stage as they were dismissed for 148 in 32.4 overs.
After putting up a fierce fight in the second ODI at Wankhede Stadium, none of the Indian hitters could stop the opposition from winning away bilateral matches for the tenth time in a row. It is Australia’s fifth series victory away from home versus India. They have won nine overall. In India, Australia has defeated India 3-0 in 2018, 3-0 in 2012, and 4-0 in 1984. India also lost to Australia 0–3 in 2006 and 0–5 in a clean sweep in 2008.
India suffered setbacks twice in the powerplay as Smriti Mandhana (29) blasted a deep extra cover shot right at Kim Garth after Megan Schutt (2/23) had wiped up Yastika Bhatia (6). India’s predicament worsened when captain Harmanpreet Kaur was benched after scoring just three runs in succession.
Harmanpreet attempted to sweep Georgia Wareham (3/21), but Mooney anticipated her move and beat her, forcing her to move fast on her left from the initial slip to finish the dismissal. Following a brilliant 96 in the second ODI, 19-year-old Richa Ghosh continued to take wickets off Wareham, with the Australian leg-spinner taking vital wickets once more.
India’s aspirations to extend the match were severely damaged in the twentieth over when Jemimah Rodrigues, who has been their most reliable batsman in the series, sent a straight shot off Ashleigh Gardner to Alana King at short midwicket.
But Phoebe Litchfield’s incredible one-handed catch was the high point of Australia’s second innings. After completing a diving attempt at cover, she flew to her right and dismissed Amanjot Kaur off King. After that, King (2/21) made the series’ best play when she tricked Pooja Vastrakar (14) into turning from a leg stump to hit the top of the off.
Annabel Sutherland contributed a pitiful 3-0-9-2 as well. Earlier, Australia thumped India, and Litchfield maintained her excellent streak of form with a superb century. Litchfield scored 119 off 125 balls with 16 fours and a six, putting on a record 189-run first-wicket stand with Alyssa Healy, who also took advantage of the situation with an 85-ball 82.
From the start, Australia showed no mercy with the bat, and even with Shreyanka Patil’s 3/57, the visitors had a field day on a quiet pitch that turned out to be a batting paradise. The 50-over format in India now records the biggest partnership for any wicket between visiting teams, thanks to Litchfield and Healy’s 189 runs. This partnership surpasses the 2021 record of 169 runs shared by South Africans Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt.
With scores of 78 and 63 in the first two ODIs, Litchfield may have missed out on making a tonne of runs, but she still used her extensive toolkit of strokes to destroy India. But Litchfield was also fortunate when, with the batsman on 62 in the 19th over, Deepti Sharma was unable to hold onto a difficult diving catch to her left off Amanjot Kaur (10-0-70-2).
If it was any comfort, Deepti’s right-arm spinner Harmanpreet caught Litchfield, making him just the fourth Indian to capture 100 wickets in one-day cricket. With three wickets for fifty-seven in her ten overs, Patil was the most successful Indian bowler. Her twin strikes in the 36th over gave some much-needed relief on a challenging day.
In consecutive deliveries, Patil nabbed Mooney (3) and Tahlia McGrath (0) at LBW to bring Australia back, if only briefly, as the visitors’ aggressive style of play put them ahead once more. Australia surpassed their own record thanks to Gardner’s 27-ball 30 with four fours, Sutherland’s 21-ball 23, and King’s late fireworks, which included 26 not out off 14 balls, three sixes, and one four.
With King taking 19 off Vastrakar’s last over, Australia surpassed their own record to post the highest-ever total in ODIs against India. In March 2018, Australia achieved 332/7 at Vadodara. In addition to committing numerous misfields and dropped catches, the Indian squad also let up 28 extras, which added to the visitor’s enormous total.
Mandhana dropped a sitter at deep midwicket to offer Ellyse Perry a reprieve, but India’s fielding did not appear to have improved much after giving up as many as seven catches in the previous game.
Brief scores: India vs Australia 3rd ODI
Australia 338/7 in 50 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 119, Alyssa Healy 82; Shreyanka Patil 3-57) beat India 148 in 32.4 overs (Smriti Mandhana 29; Georgia Wareham 3-23, Annabel Sutherland 2-9) by 190 runs.