Question marks surrounded India’s batting once again as Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar spun Australia to a 21-run win in Wednesday’s series-deciding third and final one day international in Chennai.

Kohli scored a half century but India’s run-chase hit a massive speed bump in the last phase as Australia’s spinners did the star turn. India were bowled out for 248 in 49.1 overs.

Earlier, three wickets apiece from Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Vadav left India in need of 270 to win.

Australia were bowled out for 269 in the 49th over after Pandya (3-44) and left-arm spinner Yadav (3-56) put a brake on the tourists’ early momentum.

It was India’s first men’s ODI series defeat at home since 2019.

Left-arm spinner Agar removed in-form Virat Kohli (54) and the world’s top-rated Twenty20 batter Suryakumar Yadav for his third consecutive golden duck in the first two balls of the 36th over to leave the hosts reeling at 185-6 with a target of 270 to win.

The series was important practice on South Asian pitches for Australia before the ODI World Cup in India later this year.

India bowled out Australia for 269 and were cruising in the first 10 overs of their chase before skipper Rohit Sharma fell after a 17-ball 30 with the team at 65-1.

Sharma’s in-form opening partner Shubman Gill too fell soon afterwards after a steady 49-ball 37 to leg-spinner Zampa.

India’s star batters Kohli and KL Rahul struck a busy 69-run partnership before Rahul also fell to Zampa for 32.

The hosts’ otherwise reliable lower-middle order offered little resistance after all-rounders Hardik Pandya (40) and Ravindra Jadeja (18) also fell to Zampa, who finished with 4-45 in his 10-over spell.

Zampa’s spin-partner Agar finished with 2-41 while pacers Sean Abbott and Marcus Stoinis took one wicket each.

Three wickets apiece from Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav left India in need of 270 to win the series, which stood at 1-1 going into the final game.

Earlier, Pandya (3-44) and India’s left-arm spinner Kuldeep (3-56) played an important role in restricting Australia to a chaseable 269 in the 49th over.

By the eighth over, in-form openers Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh had hit 10 boundaries between them, including three sixes, and looked set for a commanding partnership before Pandya took three quick wickets of Head (33), Smith (0) and Marsh (47).

Yadav had the better of the middle order beginning with David Warner, who made 23 batting at number four on his return from the elbow fracture that forced him out of the second Test in February.

Marnus Labuschagne (28) was next but Alex Carey stubbornly held on for another 10 overs before his departure on 38.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel and frontline pacer Mohammed Siraj each took two wickets apiece as Sean Abbott (26), Agar (17) and Mitchell Starc (10) added important runs to a below-par score.


Rohit Sharma named an unchanged side despite a comprehensive defeat in the second One Day International as India and Australia locked horns in Chennai on Tuesday for the series decider.

The series is tied 1-1 after Australia bounced back in style in Vizag.

Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first in the heat and humidity of Chepauk.

“We were looking to field first,” Sharma said, getting his despite losing the toss.

“If at all there will be help for the bowlers and we are playing three spinners today like last game, in these dry conditions hopefully we can maximize our spin options. It’s an important game and deciders are always exciting. It’s a challenge for us to come back after what happened in the last game and play some good cricket under pressure when it matters the most. Hopefully, we can put our best foot forward and win the series.”

Steve Smith said, “Looks like a very dry surface and it is pretty hot out here as well. Will look to put some runs on this surface and defend later on.”

Australia made a couple of changes with Ashton Agar brought in to make use of the dry conditions. David Warner also returned to action, but did not open the batting.

India XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami

Australia XI: Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Alex Carey (wk), Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa

With AFP inputs