World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and bowlers shine as India wallop Australia

India defeated Australia by 36 runs to win their second match in World Cup 2019 at The Oval on Sunday. After Shikhar Dhawan (117) and Virat Kohli (82) led a power-packed batting performance, India’s bowlers produced an exceptional show against the defending champions.

Shikhar Dhawan’s 17th ODI hundred, half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma (57) and a barnstorming 48 from Hardik Pandya helped India post 352 for 5 – the highest by any team against Australia in a World Cup match.

This was only the 4th time India defeated Australia in a World Cup. Australia have won 8 times against India.

Australia needed a smashing start to be in a position to gun down 353. However, that was not to be. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar tied down David Warner and Aaron Finch. The Australian openers – two of the most dangerous in the world – were unable to get any kind of momentum in the first 10 overs.

As the pressure piled on, Aaron Finch was needlessly run out. Steve Smith walked in to bat at No.3 ahead of Usman Khawaja but he and David Warner were unable to press ahead as the asking rate shot up for Australia.

David Warner fell to Yuvendra Chahal after making a scratchy 56 before Usman Khawaja came in and showed some intent. With Steve Smith, Khawaja tried to take Australia close, so the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey could cut loose later in the innings.

But there was way too much for Australia to do towards the end. And when Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck twice in the 40th over to remove Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis, it looked like India were runaway winners.

In the 41st over, Yuzvendra Chahal returned to get rid of the dangerous Glenn Maxwell for a 14-ball 28.

But like India, Australian bat deep too. Alex Carey came out all guns blazing and he had Nathan Coulter-Nile for company. Against West Indies, Coulter-Nile had smashed 92 to bail Australia out of trouble.

While Carey played a stunning cameo to give Australia a glimmer of hope, Bumrah removed Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins to make Australia’s job more difficult.

Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli won the toss and said it was a no-brainer for India to bat.

After a watchful start, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma opened up to play some elegant shots. The two openers added 127 for the first wicket before Rohit Sharma fell to Coulter-Nile for 57.

Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan had missed out in India’s first match of the 2019 World Cup against South Africa. Up against Australia, neither man was going to miss out. In a little over 14 overs, the duo added 93 runs – Dhawan brought up his 3rd World Cup hundred and India were primed for a big total.

Virat Kohli was looking good for his 42nd hundred but the India captain chose to give the majority of the strike to Hardik Pandya whose brutal 48 off 27 balls left the Australians dazed. There was more to come when MS Dhoni walked in and hammered 27 off 14 – a few lusty blows from KL Rahul (11 not out off 3) meant India finished with an intimidating total on the board.

Australia will now take on Pakistan on June 12 while India next play New Zealand on June 13.

Updated: June 9, 2019 — 10:56 pm