Despite losing the four-match Test series 1-2 against India owing to their lackluster performance, the Australian team has made a phenomenal comeback as they have won the first ODI of the three-match series by 34 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Moreover, they have also registered their 1000th international win and importantly took the 1-0 lead in the series. However, India had their moments but the hosts outclassed them in most of the moments.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat first as they lost both the openers, Aaron Finch and Alex Carey inside the first 10 overs. While Finch perished early to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Carey became Kuldeep Yadav’s first victim. Then Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh steadied the ship and put on 93 runs from 111 balls. Khawaja went on to score 59 runs and eventually fell prey to left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
Shaun Marsh, after scoring 54 runs from 70 balls, was dismissed by Kuldeep. Thereafter, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis took the game forward and took Australia to the defendable total of 288 in 50 overs charge.
Talking about the same, the Australian skipper, Finch said, “We needed to take it deep with the ball and took the wickets at the crucial time. I thought we got a par total, Peter played a gem. In the middle period, we played really well. We didn’t score a lot of runs in the middle overs but we saved the wickets for the final overs. Jhye and Jason are full of confidence, they both have a good future ahead of them. We can always improve, it will be a good series.”
The visitors didn’t have the best of starts to the run chase as Jhye Richardson got the priced wickets of Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu while Jason Behrendroff sent back Shikhar Dhawan. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni didn’t play any rash strokes and built a partnership of 137 runs for the fourth wicket. Dhoni scored a half-century in 93 balls but was trapped in front by the left-armer Behrendroff.
However, Rohit carried on and accomplished his 22nd ODI century in 110 balls. Unfortunately, the other batsmen failed to get support from the other end and eventually dismissed by Marcus Stoinis at the score of 133 runs from 129 balls with 10 boundaries and six hits over the boundary hoardings. After his dismissal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar entertained with a breezy 29, but by then the match was all over bar the shouting.
Describing the same, the Indian skipper, Kohli said, “We are not very pleased with the way we played. I thought we could have done better with the tempo of the game. It was a 300+ wicket. We thought 280 was chaseable. Rohit was outstanding and MS supported him well. They took the game deep, MS got out at the wrong time. If we would have had one more partnership, we would have been close. Rayudu got a good ball, Shikhar was out on the first ball and I hit it sweetly but straight to the fielder. The defeats like these make you aware of the things you need to improve on.”
Richardson bowled a spell of 4-26 which played a crucial role in Australia’s 34-run win over India in the Sydney ODI of the three-match series on Saturday and the young pacer was named Player of the Match afterward.
Accepting his award during the post-match presentation, the Richardson said, “Credit to them, they gave us a run for our money in those middle overs. When you have a team three down early, it becomes difficult to bounce back. I am very happy to get (Kohli’s) wicket, but more happy with the win. As a bowling unit, we are clear about our plans, doing our homework and being professional out there. I think it was about assessing the conditions more than anything else. Felt like bashing the wicket was quite difficult here. In the end, it became easier to bowl with the softer ball. My finger’s fine.”