The second ODI between India and Australia went underway today at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot. Unlike the first match, opening batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma provided India with a rollicking start at the top of the order. The openers put on an 81-run stand before Virat Kohli joined forces with Shikhar Dhawan to carry on with the run-scoring momentum.
Shikhar Dhawan was eventually dismissed after scoring a breezy 96 from just 90 balls. He holed out at deep fine leg to Mitchell Starc off the bowling of pacer Kane Richardson. He struck 13 free-flowing boundaries and a six in his innings. During the course of his knock, Dhawan also moved up the individual run-scoring charts against Australia in ODIs. The stylish left-hander has now amassed 1,145 runs against Australia in 26 matches at an average of 45.80.
In the opening clash of the series, Shikhar Dhawan became only the fifth Indian batsmen and 32nd overall to score over 1,000 ODI runs against Australia. After his Rajkot knock, the cricketer now holds the second-highest strike-rate among all 32 batsmen who have achieved the same. With a strike-rate of 98.79, Shikhar Dhawan is only behind South African superstar batsman AB de Villiers (99.04). Interestingly, Virat Kohli is third on that list, going at 96.43 at the time of writing this report.
Australia won the toss and elected to field first. At the time of publishing, India were 231-3 off 37 with Virat Kohli (63) and KL Rahul (12) unbeaten at the crease. Virat Kohli and co. must conquer Rajkot in order to stay alive in the series.