Indian fans were excited to see their team back on the field for what seemed like an eternity. Things weren’t ideal for the visitors as the confusion over Rohit Sharma’s availability even seemed to have flustered captain Virat Kohli. Nevertheless, the team was kicked up about the tour down under. The captain believed that the youngsters in the team will be presented with ample opportunities to showcase their skills. There was plenty to expect heading into the first game of the ODI series against Australia.
How did the match pan out for India?
Australia opted to bat first after winning the toss and put up a humungous score on board. Australian openers David Warner and Aaron Finch laid a strong base with an opening partnership of 156 runs. India’s inability to pick pickets with the new ball came back to bite them badly later in the innings. With the likes of Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell teeing off almost immediately they entered the crease. Smith’s knock of 105 from just 66 balls took the total beyond India’s reach. Maxwell coming off rather a poor IPL set the stage on fire with a rapid 45 from just 19 balls.
Were Australia that good or India that bad?
It was largely a combination of both. Australia though sedate at the start went about accumulating reasons consistently and went berserk in the second half of their innings. They managed to notch up 240 runs in their second lot of 25 overs. (Their score was 134-0 in 25 overs).
Indian bowlers looked way too rusty and for the good part of the innings looked completely flat. They did manage to induce false stroke from the Aussie batsmen but their fielders dropped dollies, misjudged catches. India’s fielding looked in a pretty sorry shape and that was the main reason why the Aussies amassed such a tall score.
How did India go about the chase?
India started off in a crazy fashion knocking 20 runs off Mitchell Starc’s first over. Both Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan looked positive. India notched up 50 runs within the first 5 overs but Agarwal fell to a short ball trying to play one shot too many. This brought captain Kohli to the crease. He surprisingly looked in a bit of a hurry and his dismissal coupled with Shreyas Iyer in a matter of 3 balls pretty much sealed India’s fate in the game. One alarming aspect about the 3 dismissals for India which happened inside the first powerplay was losing wickets to the short ball.
So how did they manage to reach 308?
It was all thanks to one man called Hardik Pandya. He came to the crease when India were down and out having lost 4 wickets for 101 runs inside 14 overs. But Pandya and his immense self-belief kept India in the game. He smashed 7 boundaries and 4 sixes in his knock of 90 in just 76 balls. Till the moment Pandya was at the crease, India’s hopes were alive, such was the impact of the big man on the game. He played as a proper batsman today and showed why he is such a big X-factor.
Can India bounce back in this ODI series?
Much like the first match which they lost in Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) back in 2019, India lost today’s game too by a margin of 66 runs. They can draw inspiration from the fact that they went on to win that series 2-1 from there. An ODI series win still looks a possibility if the intent matches the skillset heading onto the next 2 games.