Bengaluru, Jan 19 (IANS) Indian ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma was Man of the Match after their third ODI against Australia at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Rohit scored 119 off 128 balls as India beat Australia by seven wickets to win the series 2-1.
"It was an important game, the decider, and we wanted to come out and enjoy ourselves," said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony. Australia were restricted to 286/9 and India chased the target down with 15 balls to spare.
KL Rahul had opened the batting with Rohit with Shikhar Dhawan being injured early in the Australian innings. Rahul was dismissed in the 13th over but Indian captain Virat Kohli then got stuck in with Rohit and the pair put up 137 runs for the second wicket.
"To keep that Australian batting under 290 was a great effort from the bowling unit. Once KL (Rahul) got out, we knew we needed to stitch a big partnership there and no better person than the captain himself to be out there and us getting that crucial partnership," said Rohit.
"The talk we had in the middle was that one of us wanted to keep going. At no stage, did we want the momentum to go towards the opposition. I was seeing and middling the ball well, and I said I would be the one to take the chances. Days like this, if it comes off, it looks good. If we had lost a wicket in the middle, it would have been different."
Rohit was dismissed for 10 in the first match and 42 in the second. He said that on Sunday, he prioritised being in the middle longer over scoring runs and that may have been key.
"Australia always comes up with a good bowling attack. Their fast bowlers always challenge you with their variety and skills. The first two games, I was trying to do something different, and it didn't come off. Today I just wanted to be there, and I was able to stay till 35th, 36th over," he said.