Australia faced a significant setback as India clinched the three-match ODI series with a resounding 99-run victory in the second ODI. This morale-shattering loss has prompted Australian skipper Steve Smith to make a candid admission regarding his team’s performance and prospects for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in October.

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Australia’s Struggles Continue

Australia’s recent form has been far from ideal, having suffered five consecutive losses leading up to the World Cup. In the post-match presentation, Steve Smith acknowledged that there are crucial areas that his side needs to address. Despite his confidence in the team’s potential, he conceded that they have yet to reach their peak at this stage.

“When we came here it looked a good wicket, changed a little bit. Credit to India, they batted beautifully…400 was always a big challenge on that. I have seen games here before and it’s looked good for chasing. We were a fair way off. We have lost quite a few in a row now…World Cups are about peaking at the right time, we certainly haven’t done that at this stage. A few things to sort out. We know we are a good side. Both teams are working towards the World Cup but still want to win games,” said Smith in a post-match presentation.

India’s Dominance on Display

India’s comprehensive victory was the result of a stellar performance with both bat and ball. Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer’s formidable 200-run partnership for the second wicket set the stage for a daunting total. Contributions from KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan propelled India to a formidable 399/5 in their 50 overs.

Chasing an Imposing Target

Australia’s pursuit of a 400-run target began poorly, with the team reeling at 9/2 before rain temporarily halted the action. When play resumed, the revised target was 317 runs in 33 overs. David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne managed to stabilize the innings with an 80-run partnership, but the wickets continued to tumble, leaving Australia struggling at 140/8.

Late-Game Fireworks

A late resurgence from Sean Abbott and Josh Hazlewood provided some entertainment for the spectators. Their explosive 77-run partnership featured boundaries and sixes, but it was not enough to change the outcome as Australia was eventually bowled out for 217 in 28.2 overs, succumbing to a 99-run defeat.

Bowlers Shine for India

India’s bowlers played a pivotal role in securing the series win. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja led the way with three wickets each, while Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Shami chipped in with crucial breakthroughs.

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