"I saw the promotion as an opportunity rather than a surprise", Pandya said. But the left-arm spinner held the length back and secured a leading edge.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who missed the first three games due to family emergency, is left out for the last two matches. Without any doubt, India-Australia cricket rivalry is one of them in modern-day cricket.
The target at Kolkata was 253, and this time the smallness of the total got the Australians into confusion.
Pandya, who was promoted to number four, said message was simple - "play your game".
After winning the toss and batting first, Steve Smith's men put up 293-6 in their 50 overs after returning opener Aaron Finch's eight one-day ton. After that, India's home grounds will get a series record against Australia. Sharma was the first to fall, miscuing a shot to deep midwicket off Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 22nd over.
Virat Kohli's "star" has been the all-rounder that the Indian team has been looking for since quite some time. "We totally back Hardik".
The original No.4 batter Manish Pandey walked out with India suddenly finding themselves in a queasy position. India was reduced to 206-4.
This was Kohli's 30th win in 38 ODIs as captain, second only to Ricky Ponting (31). "He is a very good player and he has played a lot of cricket for us in the past couple of years", Warner told reporters. We need a guy like that, we've been missing an explosive all- rounder. The bowlers have made a decent showing with regards to up until this point thus no progressions are normal in India's rocking the bowling alley lineup. Finch and Smith brought up their 100 partnership off only 99 balls.
This was his fastest half-century in the 50-over format, surpassing the 43-ball fifty against Sri Lanka in Pallekele last month.
"I thought we set it up beautifully with the bat to launch at the back end, but I thought the Indian bowlers executed really well and we executed poorly".
At the other end, Smith worked the ball cleverly into leg-side gaps, the pick of his shots a pick-up flick against the turn off Chahal, made possible by his dancing footwork down the track.
The visitors were tormented by spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in both the matches so far, and though both Smith and David Warner denied having too many problems against them, the numbers suggest otherwise. Australians will also heave a sigh of relief as the weather will not trouble them as much. Australia were running into dead-ends in search of wickets as India moved on to 132 for no wicket in 20 overs.
The stage was set for Australia to go for the kill, being placed 234 for two in 40 overs, but they lost Smith and Glenn Maxwell (5) in successive balls.
Questions still remain about India's middle-order even though the hosts have been in fine-form results wise.
The fourth ODI is at Bengaluru on September 28.