Skipper Virat Kohli’s 41st ODI ton went in vain as India were bowled out for 281 runs in reply to Australia’s formidable 313-5.
Chasing 314 for victory, India were given three early jolts by the Aussie bowlers. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s poor form in the series continued with both the batsmen dismissed inside the first five overs by Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson respectively.
Ambati Rayudu didn’t last too long either with the right-hander castled for just two runs by Cummins. Local boy MS Dhoni gave the Ranchi crowd something to shout about with a brief stand alongside Kohli who was looking in magnificent touch at the other end.
However, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa ended the brief resistance offered by Dhoni and subsequently Kedar Jadhav to put the visitors back in control. Kohli continued to battle single-handedly with the India skipper bringing up his 41st ODI ton off just 85 deliveries but once he fell to Zampa for the second time in the series, the writing was on the wall for the hosts.
Richardson, Zampa and Cummins picked up three wickets apiece as the hosts were ultimately bowled out in the penultimate over.
Earlier, Australia had been made to bat first by Kohli in anticipation of some dew later in the night. The Aussies started off excellently with openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja putting on a 193-run stand.
Having managed to score 37 runs in the second ODI, Finch looked back at his best on Friday with the Australian skipper registering his first half-century in 22 limited-overs innings. The right-hander was looking good for a superb ton before his innings was cut short on 93 by Kuldeep Yadav.
Khawaja, though, continued to march on with the left-hander bringing up his maiden ODI ton in the process. India’s bowlers fought back strongly in the latter half of Australia’s innings with Kuldeep picking up three wickets in what was an expensive spell.
Mohammed Shami ended Khawaja’s stay on 104 before Glenn Maxwell played a superb 47-run (33) cameo. After the visitors lost Maxwell to a run-out following some excellent work from Ravindra Jadeja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb fell in quick succession. Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey struck a few late blows in the death overs to ultimately take Australia to 313-5.
Australia now trail 1-2 in the five-match series with the fourth ODI set to take place in Mohali on Sunday.
Usman Khawaja: 104 (113)
Aaron Finch: 93 (99)
India: 281 all out
Virat Kohli: 123 (95)
Pat Cummins: 3-37
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