Aaron Finch started the series with a masterful century in Mumbai, but couldn’t make much of an impact in Rajkot and Bengaluru. To add insult to injury, in the decider at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the Aussie captain got run out after doing the hard yards. After playing out the initial burst from Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, the opener had a terrible mix-up with Steve Smith.
Smith tapped the ball to point and set off for a single. But midway, he turned his back on his captain. To save himself, Smith dived back and made his ground, leaving Finch stranded. In the end, Finch was caught napping at the striker’s end even as Shami took the bails off calmly at the other end. Finch was absolutely furious with Smith as he helplessly had to walk back to the pavilion..
Finch was later asked to throw some light on the dismissal also whether or not he had a chat with the middle-order batsman. “We haven’t discussed it yet, maybe we will tonight over a beer,” Finch was quoted as saying in the post-match press conference.
Smith was exceptional, says Aaron Finch
Though Finch got out, Smith went on to make amends. After missing out on a ton by a couple of runs in the second ODI, the 30-year-old got to his ninth ODI century off 117 balls. Smith notched 131 runs off 132 balls with the help of 14 fours and one six before Shami accounted for his wicket.
The knock helped the Aussies put up a competitive 286 on the board, though it wasn’t enough for the hosts to come out trumps. Finch didn’t miss out on lauding Smith for the masterful knock. The captain said that his inning gave control in the middle-orders and steadied the ship for the visitors.
“He played an exceptional knock, he rode the momentum when he had to, controlled the innings at various parts when we’d lose a wicket. He really controlled that middle part which was really important to give us a chance at the back end. It was a top knock, real quality,” Finch stated.
Australia went on to lose the match by seven wickets as the Men in Blue chased down 287 with 15 balls to spare. Rohit Sharma’s 119 and Virat Kohli’s 89 didn’t allow the Aussies to get a stranglehold on the Indians. Subsequently, Finch’s men also lost the series 1-2.
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