India vs Australia 2019 | Glenn Maxwell | Kedar Jadhav

Rex Christensen
March 14, 2019

NEW DELHI: Opener Usman Khawaja struck his second century of the series to lead Australia to 272-9 in the winner-takes-all fifth one-day worldwide against India on Wednesday.

It was Australia's first ODI series win in India since 2009, when a Ricky Ponting-led side won a seven-match series 4-2, and follows humbling home Test and ODI series defeats against the same opposition.

Kohli's star-studded outfit had been widely expected to be England's greatest threat at this year's World Cup but Australia's batsmen and bowlers have both stepped up on the current tour. The series came against the backdrop of India blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama attack and then crossing the Line of Control into the Pakistani airspace.

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"The fight we showed, we've had our backs against the wall for quite a while now so I'm really proud of the group". "Eventually, everyone will know no one wants to miss the World Cup and cost the team good balance". "Being down 2-0 it would have been easy to roll over".

Virat Kohli has said his team is not panicking about the World Cup despite India suffering their first one-day series loss at home since 2015 at the hands of a resurgent Australia.

Rohit Sharma's 53-run stand with the captain, Kohli (20), briefly calmed nerves in the Indian dressing room before their top order caved in spectacularly.

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"We always seem to peak around the World Cup", he said post-match.

The opener Khawaja strengthened his claim for a place in the World Cup squad with an elegant 100 to steer Australia to 272 for 9, although the tourists had looked on course to exceed 300 at one stage.

Khawaja took a single off Yadav to bring up his hundred but fell soon after to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 for 48), triggering a mid-innings collapse for Australia who had been cruising at 175 for 1 in the 33rd over.

Michael Clarke also tweeted his congratulations as Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins soaked up the historic win.

The left-hander started the series turnaround with a maiden ODI ton in Ranchi and bettered Kohli to finish the leading run-scorer of the series, all but cementing his spot in the 15-man World Cup squad. "It has been an unbelievable ride since India arrived in Australia", Langer said. "Usman Khawaja also has been fantastic, having not played much of white-ball cricket, in the last 12 months".

Kohli, whose team won an ODI series in Australia then hammered the Black Caps 4-1 in New Zealand to stamp their cup favouritism alongside England, believed there were no standouts ahead of the United Kingdom tournament starting on May 30. They even threatened to run away with the game but with their back-to-back departures in the in the 46th and 47th overs, Australia sealed the deal.

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