Only one India bowler looked the part in the first three ODIs. And when MS Dhoni handed over the team sheet to his counterpart George Bailey at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi, the omission of Bhuvneshwar Kumar raised many an eyebrow. That Ishant Sharma would be dropped was, of course, expected.
Nevertheless, it’s another thing that Dhoni sorely missed Bhuvneshwar’s swing after winning the toss in overcast conditions. But Mohammad Shami, his replacement, removed three top-order batsmen within the first eight overs.
It’s a different story that the match was abandoned because heavy rain just five overs into the Indian chase. The hosts were on 27/0 in reply to Australia’s 295 for eight.
Bailey (98, 94 balls, 7x4, 3x6) produced yet another masterful knock and, in the company of Glenn Maxwell (92, 77 balls, 6x4, 5x6) sent the Indians on a leather hunt. Australia all but posted their fourth consecutive 300-plus score in the series. The duo added 153 runs for the fifth wicket in only 22.4 overs before being felled in their nineties.