Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis very nearly took his team over the line in their chase of 251 in the second one-day international against India in Nagpur, but his inablility to close the game out left him feeling ’empty’.
Stoinis had scored a composed 52 off 65 balls, but with 11 runs needed off the final over, Stoinis fell lbw to Vijay Shankar on the first ball, leaving the tail with a tall order. Shankar then got rid of Adam Zampa with a yorker to win India a tense game by eight runs – their fourth successive ODI win over Australia in 2019.
“Just a bit of an empty feeling coming to the end of the game,” said Stoinis. “We did well, fought hard, got close, but we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
Vijay Shankar impressed in India's eight-run win over Australia, hitting a 41-ball 46 before taking two wickets in the final over of the game. https://t.co/7bHB9048pl
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 5, 2019
At the end of the 44th over, Australia seemed to have acquired complete control of the game, requiring just 38 more with five wickets in hand. Their chances took a slight dent when Alex Carey was dismissed in the next over by Kuldeep Yadav, but it was Jasprit Bumrah’s next over that Stoinis felt changed the game. The No. 1-ranked ODI bowler dismissed Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins in the space of three deliveries.
So profound was the impact of that over from Bumrah that Stoinis decided to play him out in the 48th over, taking a single only of the final delivery to shield Nathan Lyon from strike. In the end, Stoinis wasn’t able to pull the chase off as Bumrah’s exceptional death bowling prevailed.
“The plan was changing as we lost a few wickets and as they brought different bowlers back that I did not expect them to bring back as early,” Stoinis said of Bumrah being brought back in the 46th over. “I thought if we didn’t lose two wickets in Bumrah’s second last over, then he would have been saved for the end.
“But then he came back again, I thought if we lose another wicket here, then that’s the end of the game. So I thought it’s better to take it deep and see what happens at the end rather than lose it with three overs left.”
Australia have run India somewhat close in each of the last four matches, stretching back to the series in Australia, which India won 2-1 after losing the first game. They have repeatedly faltered in key moments, but Stoinis felt the experience of playing India so extensively leading up to the World Cup is good as it gives Australia a chance to learn from the likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
“Virat and MS play very different roles, but they make sure they get the job done for the team,” Stoinis said. “Two of the best players in the world … so there’s things to learn from them, and it’s probably fortunate we’re playing them so frequently leading up to a World Cup.”