India got a reality check at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Australia defeated them by 10 wickets courtesy Aaron Finch and David Warner’s unbeaten 258-run stand. The visitors chased 256 with as many as 74 balls to spare. It goes without saying that Virat Kohli’s men have to go back to the drawing boards big time before the second ODI on January 17 at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.
India stumble after Dhawan shines
Bearing in mind the dew factor, it didn’t spring a surprise that Finch field first. Mitchell Starc removed Rohit Sharma to strike first blood. But Shikhar Dhawan (74) and KL Rahul (47) got the innings back on track. The duo put on 121 off 22.4 overs to lay the platform. Once Ashton Agar got rid of Rahul, the Indian innings lost momentum and the hosts were eventually shot out for 255 in 49.1 overs.
In the last 23 overs, India managed 121 runs and lost nine wickets. Kohli had another low score at number four as Adam Zampa got him. Rishabh Pant (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (25) got starts, but couldn’t capitalise. In the end, cameos from Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav took India to respectability. For Australia, Starc got three wickets with Pat Cummins and Zampa getting a couple each.
Finch and Warner pulverize India
The second-half of the game turned out to be alike a nightmare for the hosts. Aaron Finch and David Warner looked near flawless and kept piling on agony for the Men in Blue. The skipper churned out some glorious strokes after which Warner joined the party. In the powerplay, they managed 84 runs to put the skids under India. The openers countered pacers Shami and Jasprit Bumrah with ease.
Warner was the first to notch his century off 88 balls, stamping his authorities. Then it was Finch’s turn to reach the milestone off 108 deliveries. Warner also had the rub of the green going in his favour. The same was because a couple of dismissals were overturned as he made judicious use of the DRS. Even as Finch stayed unbeaten on 110, Warner ended on 128 with 17 fours and three sixes.
Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, said
We were totally outplayed in all departments. It’s a strong Australian team, if you don’t play well, they could hurt you. We saw that with the bat in hand. We didn’t get enough runs. I thought we were too respectful at certain phases and it cost us. Can’t do that against a team like Australia. This is a chance for the team to bounce back but as I said, credit to Australia today.
International cricket is always priceless. The experience you get in any format does well for you when you play other formats. The game time you get is important. If you perform in any format, it gives you confidence for the other formats. Today was one of those days when we weren’t allowed to get into the game at all. (On him at no.4) We’ve had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting.
We’ve tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn’t gone our way when I have batted at no.4, so we have to see how it goes. At the same time, it’s about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit.
Aaron Finch, the Australian skipper, said
I thought the way we fought back during the middle overs was impressive. Shikhar and KL were batting really well, looking to accelerate. So, I’m proud of the way the boys fought back. We could still brush up in the field a bit but that happens sometimes when the outfield is slightly damp. Overall, a good performance. Always tough to beat India in India.
(On Warner’s red-hot ODI form) He’s been fantastic, especially in this format of the game. He’s been unstoppable for quite sometime now. Quite special. Once he gets in, he has so many options to score. Always great to bat with him. Of course, India are a quality team and we expect them to bounce back.
David Warner, the Player of the Match, said
I think I have always had the hunger to score runs and put the team off to a good start. Was a great effort from our bowlers in the afternoon. To put India down to just 254 on their home soil was incredible and to then close the game down like we did was brilliant.
Finchy started really well, allowed me to take my time. For us, it was about rotating strike during the middle overs. Wanted to hit the odd boundary, hang in there and take the game deep. We knew that if we were there till the end, we could do it with ease.