Ton-up Rohit help India post 267-8 against Australia

Melbourne: Rohit Sharma anchored the Indian innings with a scintillating 138 before Mitchell Starc’s career-best six-wicket haul helped Australia restrict the visitors to 267 for 8 in the second one-dayer of the cricket tri-series at MCG, here today.

Opening the innings, Rohit blasted nine boundaries and four sixes in 139 balls to produce his sixth ODI hundred and third against Australia after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat.

The Mumbaikar put on 126 runs for the 4th wicket with Suresh Raina (51 runs, 63 balls, 6 fours) even as Starc produced a fine bowling display to pick up 6-43 in his ten overs.

Electing to bat, India had a horrendous start as they were reduced to 59 for three in 12.5 overs. Opener Shikhar Dhawan (2) was removed in the first over of the innings itself, caught at second slip off Starc.

Rahane (12) had been listed to bat at number four in the team-sheets but then came out at the fall of the first wicket.

He put on 30 runs for the 2nd wicket with Rohit, the two scoring along at 4.64 runs per over.

Just as they were beginning to look comfortable at the crease, Sandhu (1-58) got Rahane to attempt a high cut and instead was caught behind by keeper Brad Haddin. That brought Virat Kohli (9) to the crease but the star batsman was off-colour on the day.

He miscued a pull-shot off James Faulkner (1/63) and was caught easily by skipper George Bailey at mid-on, shortly after India had crossed the 50-mark in the 11th over.

Raina then joined Rohit at the crease and two played responsibly to dig their side out of the rot. The left-hander was dismissed in the 35th over as the opener along with his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought up the 200-mark in the 40th over.

But Starc returned to the attack to remove three Indian captain — Dhoni (19), Axar Patel (0) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0) to restrict India’s innings.

Debutant Gurinder Sandhu (1/58) and James Faulkner (1/63) picked up one wicket each.