Opener Rohit Sharma hit a dominant century as India thrashed Australia by seven wickets in the fifth and final one-day international on Sunday, clinching the series 4-1.
Chasing 243 for victory, the hosts rode on Sharma’s 109-ball 125 to achieve their target in 42.5 overs at Nagpur and move to the top of the ODI world rankings table.
The Virat Kohli-led side had slipped behind South Africa after their loss in the fourth game but are now number one in the International Cricket Council ratings for ODIs. They were already the top Test team.
It was a disciplined bowling effort led by spinner Axar Patel, who claimed three wickets, that set up India’s comfortable victory after restricting the visitors to 242-9.
In reply, Sharma and Rahane made batting look easy on a two-paced track and extended the teams’ dominance in the match and the series.
Sharma, who opened his account with two successive boundaries after 14 deliveries, was the first to get to his fifty with a double off Marcus Stoinis.
Rahane also got his fourth successive 50-plus score before being trapped lbw by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Sharma went on to register his 14th ODI ton during his 99-run partnership with Kohli, who made a sedate 39. He got to his hundred with a six off Coulter-Nile.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa sent Sharma and Kohli back to pavilion. Kedar Jadhav, unbeaten on five, and Manish Pandey, 11 not out, then saw the team team through.
Earlier, opener David Warner’s 62-ball 53 was not enough to inspire Australian batting as they ended on 242-9 after electing to bat first.
Travis Head and Stoinis tried hard to counter a persistent Indian bowling with their 87-run fifth-wicket partnership, but their departure spelt further trouble for the visitors.
Head, who made 42, and Stoinis, who scored 46, failed to convert their starts into bigger scores as Australia totally lost steam in the final five overs.
Left-arm spinner Patel returned impressive figures of 3-38 while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah claimed two wickets.
The action now shifts to the three Twenty20 internationals starting Saturday in Ranchi.
Feature image: ICC