India outplay Australia in second ODI after Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer centuries

Home team post 399-5 before dismissing Aussies for 217 in rain-affected Indore ODI to win series

India's Shubman Gill, left, and Shreyas Iyer scored fine centuries during the second ODI against Australia in Indore. AP
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India put in a near-perfect performance in the second ODI against Australia in a rain-affected match to establish themselves as the hot favourites for the home World Cup that begins next month.

India set an imposing target of 400 after opening batsman Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer hit attractive centuries on a flat wicket and small ground.

Australia, however, found the going tough as the ball assisted seamers and spinners under lights. Ravichandran Ashwin (3-41) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-42) found prodigious turn to reduce the Aussies to 140-8 after another rain interruption.

Seam bowlers Sean Abbott and Josh Hazlewood then entertained the crowd with some fearless hitting but their innings folded on 217, chasing a revised target of 317 from 33 overs. The Indians thus prevailed by 99 runs and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Asked to bat first on a good Holkar Stadium wicket by stand-in Australia captain Steve Smith, top-ranked India posted 399-5 as opener Gill continued his superb form with a fifth ton this year and sixth overall.

The 24-year-old began cautiously but later kicked on to make 104 off 97 balls, with six fours and four sixes, while Iyer gave him good company with 105 from 90 balls.

Iyer's third century in the format will be a huge confidence boost after the 28-year-old missed the IPL and the World Test Championship final earlier this year with a lower back injury that required surgery.

He also missed much of India's triumphant Asia Cup campaign with a back spasm but has now more or less sealed his spot in the middle order. He hit 11 fours and three sixes in a 200-run second-wicket stand with Gill.

Home skipper KL Rahul made a steady 52 in the middle overs before Suryakumar Yadav turned up the heat, striking four consecutive sixes off Cameron Green in the 44th over en route to a 37-ball 72.

Australia started shakily as seamer Prasidh Krishna removed Matthew Short and Smith off successive balls before rain briefly halted play with the tourists mounting a fightback at 56-2.

Left-hander Warner went on the offensive after play resumed and displayed his ambidexterity by batting right-handed against Ashwin, but was trapped lbw for 53 as he looked to sweep.

Warner bizarrely did not review the umpire's decision as television replays showed he edged the ball onto his pad.

Jadeja then got in on the act as Australia fizzled out for 217 after a battling 54 by Abbott.

The margin of defeat would have been even bigger for India but they dropped multiple chances when Abbott and Hazlewood were batting.

India, who rested several frontline players for the first two games, will eye a clean sweep when the teams meet in Rajkot on Wednesday. They begin their World Cup campaign on October 8 against Australia.

Updated: September 24, 2023, 6:07 PM