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 ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Opening the innings, Sharma 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 Sharma, the two scoring along at 4.64 runs per over.

Sandhu (1-58) got Rahane to attempt a high cut and instead was caught behind by keeper Brad Haddin. 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.

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

The fourth wicket stand between Rohit and Raina formed the bedrock of the Indian innings as the duo stabilised the visitors after being pushed on the back foot early.

Rohit got to his hundred off 109 balls in the 37th over, his eventual score the highest in an ODI at this ground by an Indian batsman against Australia. The previous best was 100 runs by Sourav Ganguly way back in January 2000.

Dhoni and Rohit brought up the 200-mark in the 40th over, but then Starc returned to the attack to remove the Indian captain and Patel with a double-blow in the 44th over.

R Ashwin (14*) who had been surprisingly held back then arrived in the middle to help add 25 runs for the 7th wicket as the 250—mark came up in the 47th over.

Ashwin was dropped by Pat Cummins (0—52) in the next over but Starc still managed to get his 5th wicket as Rohit was out caught at mid—wicket. He then bowled Kumar who missed a simple full—toss first ball.

The hat—trick was avoided by Mohammad Shami (2*) as the last ten overs yielded just 61 runs for the loss of four wickets.
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