Trailing 0-2 in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series, Team India posted a total of 295 runs against Australia in the third ODI at Melbourne on 17 January.
Asked to bat first, Indian cricket team suffered an early blow after the in-form batsman Rohit Sharma (6) was sent back into the hut by Kane Richardson in the fifth over. Shikhar Dhawan (68), who has struggled in the series so far, stitched a 119-run partnership for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (117) to steady the ship for the visitors.
However, the southpaw failed to build on his start and gave his wicket away with a poor shot to John Hastings. Following Dhawan's dismissal, Ajinkya Rahane (50) gave adequate support to Kohli as the duo added 109 runs for the third wicket.
Kohli, who notched up his 24th ODI hundred, also brought up his 7,000 runs in the 50-over format. The Delhi lad reached the milestone in his 161st innings and 169th match - fastest among the 36 batsmen who achieved the feat. He surpassed South Africa's AB de Villiers who reached it in his 166th innings and 172nd match.
With two set batsmen at the crease, India looked destined to go past 300 or even add a few more with a final flourish at the end. But, against the popular perception and similar to the past two ODIs, the Indian batsmen failed to capitalise the fielding restrictions in the last 15 overs as the hosts fell short by 20-odd runs once again.
Hastings struck in the 45th over to dismiss Rahane who was caught at deep midwicket while looking to smash a six. Kohli, too, couldn't survive in the death overs and finally fell prey to Hastings who finished off his spell at 4-58 in 10 overs.
After missing out in the first two matches, Indian captain MS Dhoni did find the sweet spot on his bat this time around. The right-hander smashed a quickfire nine-ball 23 including two fours and two sixes to give India a much-needed boost in the death overs. But, the question remains, whether it's going to enough on the batting surface at the MCG.
Dhoni has found himself in the same situation today. The score doesn't look enough on the MCG wicket against the explosive batting line-up of the Australian side. More importantly, India's beleaguered bowling unit has another tough task ahead to contain the opposition batsmen.