Melbourne, Jan 17 (IANS) Virat Kohli led the way with a century as India posted 295/6 in the third One-Day International (ODI) against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Sunday.
Kohli scored 117 runs off an equal number of deliveries before falling to a slower one from pacer John Hastings. He smashed seven boundaries and a couple of sixes during his innings.
Ajinkya Rahane (50) also did well, scoring a half-century. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried to push up the run rate late in the innings, smashing 23 runs off nine balls.
Hastings was the most successful among the Australian bowlers with figures of 4/58 in his 10 overs. Fellow pacers Kane Richardson (1/48) and James Faulkner (1/63) took a wicket each.
Australia won the first two matches by five and seven wickets respectively and a win here will see them pocket the five-match series.
Asked to bat first by the hosts, India lost opener Rohit Sharma early. The Mumbai batsman was caught behind while attempting to steer a Richardson delivery to third man.
Rohit’s departure saw Kohli stride to the crease and he proceeded to try and steady the innings along with Shikhar Dhawan.
The duo however, found the boundaries hard to come by as the Australian bowlers managed to keep the run rate down.
Although Dhawan finally scored his first half-century in 17 international innings, he was not totally comfortable and struggled to find the gaps.
The Delhi left-hander scored 68 before trying to guide a full length Hastings delivery to the leg-side, only to see the ball hit his leg stump.
Rahane’s arrival in the middle saw a spike in the run rate with the Mumbai batsman and Kohli trying to go after the Australian bowlers.
Rahane had four hits to the fence and a six in his 55-ball knock before being undone by a superb effort in the field by Australia skipper Steven Smith.
The Mumbai lad tried to pull Hastings for another six but could not clear the ropes.
Smith ran in from long-on and caught it at the edge of the boundary. But he lost his balance and tossed the ball over to Glenn Maxwell who was running in from deep midwicket.
After Kohli had hit a slower delivery from Hastings into the hands of George Bailey at extra cover, Dhoni tried to accelerate the run rate. But the Australian bowlers bagged another couple of wickets towards the end to restrict the visitors to a manageable total.