Hardik Pandya Removes Travis Head, Steve Smith in Quick Succession to Dent Australia’s Perfect Start – WATCH

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Hardik Pandya celebrating the wicket of Steve Smith (AP Photo)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya struck in the 11th over to break the 68-run stand between Head and Marsh, providing the much-needed breakthrough to India

Australia went off to yet another rollicking start when they opted to bat in the final ODI against India on Wednesday in Chennai. It was the second consecutive toss won by the visitors and they didn’t fail to make the most of it. They persisted with the opening pair of Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh which was phenomenal in the previous encounter in Visakhapatnam. They had stitched a 121-run unbeaten stand for the first, helping Australia defeat the Men in Blue by 10 wickets and level the series 1-1.

India vs Australia 3rd ODI Live Cricket Score

Head and Marsh carried on the same temperament when they walked out to bat at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Wednesday. Both of them batted at a strike rate of 100 or more, troubling the Indian bowlers right from the first over. The duo formed a second consecutive 50-plus opening stand and seemed to wreak havoc once again. But then came Hardik Pandya into the picture and put a break to Australia’s run-fest.

Pandya struck in the 11th over to break the 68-run stand between Head and Marsh, providing the much-needed breakthrough to India. He bowled a short delivery, Head went chasing after it and slashed it away aerially wide of the man at third man. Kuldeep Yadav ran to his left and took a really sharp catch tumbling down.

In his next over, Pandya took down captain Steve Smith to jolt Australia a bit more. The ball was pitched up and the Aussie skipper looked for a cover drive but got a big outside edge that carried through to the keeper and KL Rahul grabbed it easily.

The all-rounder had found a great rhythm at the beginning of his spell which ended with the priced wicket of Mitchell Marsh who was nearing his third half-century in this series. While batting for 47, the Australian opener looked to drive a length ball through covers but unfortunately, he found an inside edge and the ball rammed into the middle stump.

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Hardik Pandya’s first three overs certainly brought India back into the game and the new pair – of Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner – turned cautious as they batted further.

Earlier, Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. The visitors included David Warner into the mix along with left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. Pacer Nathan Ellis and an unwell Cameron Green missed out.

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