Marsh hits 96 as Australia make 352-7 against India

RAJKOT, India: Mitchell Marsh made 96 in an Australian batting onslaught of 352-7 against India that raised hopes of a consolation win in today's third and final one-day international.

Marsh tore into the Indian bowlers in attacking partnerships that included a second-wicket stand of 137 with Steve Smith, who hit 74, after the tourists elected to bat first in Rajkot.

Fit-again players Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell returned to boost Australia's chances of avoiding a whitewash in the series, led by the hosts 2-0, ahead of next month's ODI World Cup in India.

The top-order batsmen made an early impact with Marsh, David Warner (56), Smith and Marnus Labuschagne (72) all contributing to a mammoth total that looked like going beyond 400 before India hit back.

Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets while left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav took two.

Marsh took on Bumrah with boundaries and a six in the first few overs and the left-handed Warner soon joined in the charge.

Warner hammered Prasidh Krishna for three fours and a six in the seventh over and raced to his fifty in 32 balls in the next with another hit over the fence.

Marsh reached his half-ton in 45 balls but was denied a century by Kuldeep, who got him caught out after an 84-ball knock laced with 13 fours and three sixes.

Smith, Alex Carey and Maxwell fell beginning from the 32nd over, slowing the tourists down before Labuschagne took control until he fell in the 49th over.

Skipper Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli returned for India, who have several players rested and a virus in the camp that forced Ishan Kishan out of the game. - AFP

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