No World Cup panic for Kohli despite Aussie drubbing

No World Cup panic for Kohli despite Aussie drubbing

Australia beat India by 35 runs in the fifth one-day worldwide in Delhi to complete their comeback from 2-0 down and win the five-match series 3-2.

India crashed to 132-6 in response and were bowled out for 237, marking the first time Australia have battled back from 2-0 down to win a five-match bilateral ODI series.

But the skipper urged his players to manage their workload during the almost two-month-long Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament starting 23 March, in their bid to stay fit for the 50-over World Cup in England and Wales beginning on 30 May. Khawaja has batted extremely well throughout the series, it means a lot to come to India and win a series. The 12-month bans handed down to Smith and Warner by Cricket Australia for their role in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident end on March 28 and the duo are expected to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before the World Cup starting May 30.

To express solidarity with the Indian soldiers killed in the February 14 attack, Indian cricketers wore camouflaged army caps during the third ODI against Australia - which they lost owing to a thrashing performance again by Usman Khawaja.

"We are more or less sorted", Kohli said in Delhi.

Rohit Sharma's 53-run stand with the captain, Kohli (20), briefly calmed nerves in the Indian dressing room before their top order caved in spectacularly. It is fair to say that the Tamil Nadu all-rounder did his chances of going to the World Cup no harm, although the team might have loved to see one of those cameos with the bat translate into a match-winning innings.

The left-hander started the series turnaround with a maiden ODI ton in Ranchi and bettered Kohli to finish the leading run-scorer of the series, all but cementing his spot in the 15-man World Cup squad.

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But when Jadhav was dismissed off Jhye Richardson, India wilted under the climbing asking rate.

Ashton Turner, who starred with 84 not out as Australia chased down a record 359 to win the preceding game, scored 20 on Wednesday after being preferred ahead of Shaun Marsh.

The late belligerence of Kedar Jadhav, who made 44, and Kumar (46) injected some excitement but India could not avoid defeat in their final ODI series before this year's World Cup in England and Wales.

A 37-run win in the fifth and deciding ODI in Delhi was always in reach of Australia with a competitive score and tight bowling setting up the result.

The win is Australia's first since they hosted Pakistan in January 2017, snapping a streak of six consecutive series defeats - Australia's worst run of all-time.

The 3-2 result snaps a series losing streak in ODIs in India that dates back to a seven-game series in 2009.

However, the bowlers could not defend a total of 358 as Australia chased down the mammoth total with four wickets and 13 balls remaining to level the series 2-2.

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