International Cricket finally commenced for India with their Australian tour kicking off with the 3 match ODI series. The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) playing hosts to the game welcomed back fans to the venue albeit only at 50% capacity. The pitch wore a pretty flat look with lush outfields indicating that it will be a high scoring match.
Australia with it’s batting depth were expected to score big and they did just that by posting a mammoth 374 for 6.
Who won the toss and what were the team combinations like?
Australia won the toss and had no hesitations in batting first. The decision did make sense since the last 5 games at SCG have been won by the team batting first. Australia went in a pretty much same XI which last played an ODI abasing England with the only change being Steve Smith coming in for Mitchell Marsh. They have gone in with their settled bowling lineup consisting of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, and Adam Zampa. While the pair of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis will be filling up the fifth bowler’s quota.
India on the other side had no other option but to go with just 5 full-time bowlers. The only contention for the Indian team was in making a choice between Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya. And they chose to go in with Hardik Pandya for this game. Virat Kohli chose to go with Mayank Agarwal as an opener to partner Shikhar Dhawan.
How did the innings go about?
Australians started a tad bit slow but picked up momentum as the innings progressed. David Warner was the more aggressor of the two openers while Aaron Finch took time to settle down. While Warner eventually departed for a well made 69 of 76 balls. Finch carried on to register a century. He made 114 before being taken by Jasprit Bumrah.
Where did the innings find momentum?
The arrival of a certain Steve Smith changed the complexion of the innings completely. He went berserk after surviving an LBW appeal against Yuzvendra Chahal. To make matters worse, Glenn Maxwell played a whirlwind knock before getting out for 45 of 19 balls. The combined assault meant that Indians could never claw back into the game. Even post the dismissals of Finch and Maxwell, Smith kept going for the big hits. He registered a century in the process with his hundred coming off just 62 balls. It was a knock of supreme authority.
Were the Indians good in the field?
The Indian team didn’t help their matters as they were very sloppy in the field. There were plenty of misfielding in the outfield by the Indians. Even the likes of Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, and Shikhar Dhawan who are normally safe fielders dropped chances. Dhawan and Pandya gravely misjudged their catches and let both Smith and Maxwell off respectively. How much will these misses cost the team is something that will be interesting to see.
Can India chase down such a big score?
Even though the pitch isn’t exactly a flat track, there are no demons in it too. India will fancy their chances provided they get a good start. It is surely going to be an exciting chase for sure.