REUTERS – Rohit Sharma struck his second successive hundred of the series and featured in two century stands to help India post 308 for eight in the second one-day international against Australia in Brisbane on Friday.
Rohit (124) joined hands with test skipper Virat Kohli (59) to rebuild the innings and partnered the selfless Ajinkya Rahane (89) to lay the foundation for a huge total before Australia pegged the tourists back in the final 10 overs.
For the second successive match, Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat and opener Shikhar Dhawan again fell cheaply to pace with Joel Paris claiming his first ODI wicket in his second match.
Rohit and Kohli were once more left to rebuild the innings, which they did with some elegant shot-making as India seek to level up the five-match series after falling behind in Perth.
The opener dug out a Kane Richardson yorker to bring up his fifty in 61 balls, while Kohli needed one delivery less for his 36th half-century in this format.
The duo, who had forged a 207-run stand in India’s five-wicket defeat at the WACA, added 125 before Kohli paid the price for attempting to steal a non-existent second run.
Rohit was lucky to reach his 10th ODI century, after snickometer confirmed he, then on 89, had edged Paris but Australia’s caught-behind appeal was turned down by the umpire.
Rahane proved a perfect foil for Rohit, shunning risks and still finding the ropes to bring up a run-a-ball fifty in their 121-run stand when boundaries flowed from both ends.
Rohit’s 127-ball knock ended in bizarre circumstances when Rahane’s straight drive brushed bowler James Faulkner’s fingers before hitting the stumps with the non-striker out of his crease.
The boundaries soon dried up and the visitors lost five wickets in the final five overs while adding 38 runs to their score.
Rahane perished in the penultimate over after a fluent 80-ball knock as India settled for what appears to be a par score at the Gabba.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien)