Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja helped fire Australia in the must-win third one-day international (ODI) of the five-match series against India, setting 313 runs for five at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.
Australia got off to a strong start after being asked to bat. Finch and Khawaja hammered the hosts with their regular boundaries, stitching together a 193-run partnership for the first wicket before India got their much-needed breakthrough as Kuldeep Yadav trapped Australia captain, who missed out on his 12th ODI ton.
Glenn Maxwell came in at number three for Australia with a solid foundation. Maxwell along with Khawaja formed a quick 46-run stand for the second wicket, which saw Khawaja registering his maiden century off 107 balls in the format.
India shrugged off the pressure for a while as Mohammed Shami struck to remove Khawaja for 104 in the 39th over of the innings. The Australian opener was caught at mid-wicket by Jasprit Bumrah.
In spite of losing both its settled batsmen, Australia did not let go off the momentum as Maxwell smashed three sixes and three boundaries before getting run-out, courtesy excellent fielding and alertness from wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, off Ravindra Jadeja's throw. Maxwell returned to pavilion three shy from half-century.
Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey in the middle helped ticking the scoreboard to push Australia to 300-mark. The pair of Stoinis and Carey remained unbeaten on 31 and 21.
For India, Kuldeep returned three wickets while Shami picked up a piece as India restricted Australia to 313 for five.
India, with a 2-0 up, will aim to win the third match to take an unassailable lead in the five-match series.