India produced a brilliant rendition of how to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, by throwing away a match they were cruising in, after some incredible batting from Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Chasing an improbable 349 for victory, Rohit got India off to a flier with a brilliant 41 (25b, 2x4, 3x6), with Dhawan and Kohli picking up from there in even grander style. After Rohit's blitz early on, which just set the chase up nicely, Kohli (106, 92b, 11x4, 1x6) and Dhawan (126, 113b, 14x4, 2x6) showed just why this India top three is considered so dangerous, by putting on 212 runs in under 30 overs.
With the partnership at well over seven runs an over, the duo took India to 277/1, before the house of brick suddenly turned into a house of cards.
Dhawan sliced one to backward point off John Hastings, before the big Australia bowler had MS Dhoni caught behind for a duck in the same over. A few balls later, and Kohli mistimed a drive off Kane Richardson to mid-off and from then on it was absolute carnage.
With the run rate at just above six, the likes of Gurkeerat Singh and Rishi Dhawan showed their inexperience, going for the big shots, when all that was needed were singles. With Ajinkya Rahane batting injured and falling quickly as a result, India collapsed from 277/1 to 323 all out -- Kane Richardson helping himself to a five-for -- to hand Australia a scarcely deserved 25-run victory and a 4-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
Earlier, Australia showed just what the India batsmen should have done batting first in the first three one-day internationals, with an ODI opening innings masterclass – get off to a flying start, keep up the momentum in the middle overs and then go hammer and tongs in the final ten. Australia finished on 348 for eight in 50 overs, as a result of that brilliant batting performance, leaving India with plenty to do.
David Warner, returning from paternity leave and taking the place of Shaun Marsh, and Aaron Finch blazed a trail of boundaries from the off, as the India bowlers, yet again, looked around helplessly, wondering what the plan was before the start of the match and how it had all gone awry so quickly.
The two openers jumped on every loose ball sent in by the India bowlers – and there were plenty of those – while making sure to smash a few of the good ones to the boundary as well. Finch and Warner put on 187 for the opening wicket, with all those runs coming in under 30 overs.
Warner (93, 92b, 12x4, 1x6) fell in the 30th over, after dragging one onto his stumps off Ishant Sharma, with Australia then making the eyebrow-raising decision of sending in Mitchell Marsh. That particular decision did not work according to plan, with Marsh (33, 42b, 3x4) struggling in the middle, as Finch (107, 107b, 9x4, 2x6) got into top gear.
The opener quickly crossed his hundred, before falling to Umesh Yadav off a mistimed pull shot. However, in came Smith (51, 29b, 4x4, 3x6) with his ridiculous ability to just find the necessary runs at the necessary time. As Marsh continued to struggle, those boundaries flowed off Smith's blade easier than beer down an Irishman's throat, with the skipper notching up yet another half-century in the process.
As Australia went smash-bang towards the end, the inevitable clump of wickets fell, but the batting side still managed 111 runs in the final 10 overs – Glenn Maxwell (41, 20b, 6x4, 1x6) going boundary-crazy again -- to set India the formidable target, which they completely fumbled as the pressure told.
Watch all the highlights of Australia vs India 4th ODI HERE