Shami vindicated Dhoni's decision to field
India did well to restrict Australia in the fourth one-dayer of the seven-match series at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi in Wednesday.
The visitors managed 295 for eight. The home team had reached 27 without loss (4.1 overs) in response when the heavens opened. The players couldn't return to the field thereafter.
The washout ensured Australia preserved their 2-1 lead ahead of the fifth match in Cuttack on Saturday.
Earlier, Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field. India made two changes in their playing eleven, bringing in Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma, while Australia fielded an unchanged side.
Shami vindicated his captain's decision.
India: MS Dhoni (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jaidev Unadkat.
Australia: George Bailey (Captain), Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Adam Voges, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.
Image: Mohammad Shami celebrates a wicket
Finch was dismissed for five
Shami struck with his fifth delivery, getting through the defenses of Aaron Finch (5).
Finch has been a consistent performer for Australia in this series but was guilty of leaving a huge gap between bat and pad.
Image: Mohammad Shami
Shami also accounted for Hughes and Watson
In his fourth over, Shami had Phil Hughes (11) caught behind.
After 7.2 overs, with Australia on 28 for two, there was a brief interruption because of rain.
Four balls after resumption Shami rattled Shane Watson's (14) timbers.
The 23-year-old bowler finished with figures of three for 42.
Image: Mohammad Shami
Bailey scored a measured 98
George Bailey, Australia's captain, eased the pressure by taking 14 runs off R Vinay Kumar's first over.
Bailey had good fortune on his side when Virat Kohli put him down at third slip (off Shami) before he had opened his account, and again on 35, when R Ashwin dropped him at mid-wicket, Vinay Kumar being the unfortunate bowler.
The batsman made the most of the reprieves to score a magnificent 98. It was his 11th career fifty, and third of the series - after his 85 in Pune and unbeaten 92 in Jaipur.
Bailey's 93-ball knock was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and three over it, but he fell short of a well-deserved hundred when he skied a Vinay Kumar delivery to Rohit Sharma at deep mid-wicket.
Image: George Bailey bats
Maxwell contributed an aggressive 92
Glenn Maxwell made an equally sizeable contribution to the Australian cause.
The 25-year-old's belligerent 92 came off just 77 balls and included six boundaries and five sixes.
It was Maxwell's fourth ODI fifty, the second of the series following an equally attacking 53 in Jaipur.
The Mumbai Indians star was unlucky as well to miss out on the three-figure score, Vinay Kumar having him out leg before.
Image: Glenn Maxwell of Australia bats
Bailey, Maxwell saved Australia the blushes
Bailey and Maxwell came together with Australia struggling at 71 for four and it was their partnership that laid the foundation for a competitive total.
The duo added 153 runs for the fifth wicket, at more than a run-a-ball (about 23 overs).
It turned out to be the best ever fifth-wicket partnership for Australia against India, eclipsing the 144 added by Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin a few years back.
Mitchell Johnson (25) and James Faulkner (23 not out) put on 43 for the eighth wicket to give the total a semblance of respectability.
Image: Glenn Maxwell and Geroge Bailey of Australia
India had made 27 for no loss when it started to pour
Chasing 296, India were 27 for no loss in 4.1 overs in when heavens opened up for the second time during the match.
There was some hope in the middle as the rain had stopped after one hour and the groundsmen and super soppers were pressed into action.
The mopping exercise by the groundsmen continued for more than one hour but the two onfield umpires took the call after inspecting the ground at 8.30pm.
The match was called off after the umpires found out that the ground was too water logged to continue the proceedings.
Image: Groundsmen in Ranchi