If one had to term this game in two words, ‘see-saw’ would have perfectly summed it up. The game tilted so many times that it was difficult to predict which way the game was moving. This makes one say, that we witnessed a crackerjack of an encounter which went all down to the wire. And one will have to say, in the end, it was India who held their nerves and managed to upstage Australia comprehensively in the end. A stupendous batting display from MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav led India to register a 6-wicket win over the men-in-yellow to go 1-0 up in the five-match ODI series.
In the scorching heat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the toss fell in favour of Australian skipper Aaron Finch who asked the opposition to have a bowl first. For Australia, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja started off the innings.
And Indian captain Virat Kohli went to his favourite aide Mohammad Shami who used his tall frame to extract extra bounce from the wicket. His discipline helped his counter-part Jasprit Bumrah to send Aaron Finch back to the pavilion.
Finch’s wicket led Marcus Stoinis to the crease, who along with Usman Khawaja rebuilt the Australian innings and smashed Indian bowlers all around the ground. The duo went on to register a partnership of 87-runs, which tilted the game in Australia’s favour.
However, the Indian bowlers came strong and dented Australia’s middle order. Though Glenn Maxwell played a little cameo of 40-runs the likes of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav were the star for India with the ball as the troika picked up two apiece to dismantle the Aussie batting lineup.
Australia managed to put up a total of 236 runs in their quota of fifty overs, which was exactly 50 runs less than the par total at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
In reply, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started off the proceedings for India. However, Dhawan emulated Aaron Finch to walk back to the hut for a duck. Virat came next to the crease, who took nine deliveries to open his account, but once he was in, it was difficult to stop him. Fortunately for Australia, Adam Zampa bowled a quicker one through the air and sent the skipper back.
Once Virat was out, suddenly India was under pressure as Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu followed their skipper as scoreboard suddenly looked 99/4 and middle-order was exposed earlier to one can expect.
However, what followed was nothing short of sensational as Kedar Jadhav along with India’s chase-master MS Dhoni scripted a beautiful run-chase. The duo registered a partnership of 141 runs, as India go one up in the series.
The next game is scheduled to happen on March 5 in Nagpur. This remains to be seen if Australia can come back strongly and give India a fight.
AUS: 236/7 in 50 overs (Khawaja 50; Shami 2/44)
IND: 240/4 in 48.2 overs (K Jadhav 81; Coulter-Nile 2/46)