Australia on Tuesday signalled their intent with a crushing 10-wicket victory over India in the first of three ODIs to take a 1-0 lead at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. This was Australia’s third ODI win in a row while India suffered its second defeat in the last six matches.
Chasing a below-par 256 for victory, the Aussies rode on a record opening partnership between David Warner and Aaron Finch to cruise to victory in 37.4 overs and record their first 10-wicket win over India and 5th overall in ODIs. India have only lost four matches by 10 wickets, and just once at home, against South Africa in Kolkata in 2005
Warner’s hundred was his 18th in the format while Finch hit his 16th, to draw level with Adam Gilchrist on the list of most centuries for Australia in 50-over cricket.
Their 258-run stand is now the highest ever for any wicket against India in ODIs and only the second 250-run opening partnership for the Aussies in the format. They now have 9 hundred-run opening stands which is the 2nd-most for Australia behind Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist’s record of 16.
The deadly duo also set the record for the highest opening partnership against India in an ODI run chase and the highest for any wicket at the Wankhede stadium.
Warner ended up top-scoring for the visitors with 128* runs off 112 balls with 17 boundaries and 3 sixes while Finch made 110* off 114 balls, hitting 13 boundaries and 2 maximums.
The Indian bowlers looked listless with Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and the spinners being taken to the cleaners by the Aussie openers. Shami was the most expensive of the lot, conceding 58 off his 7.4 overs followed by Kuldeep Yadav (0 for 55 in 10 overs), Bumrah (0 for 50 in 7 overs), Shardul (0 for 43 in 5 overs) and Jadeja (0 for 41 in 8 overs).
Earlier, India captain Virat Kohli lost the toss and was asked to bat first by Aaron Finch which turned out to be a crucial decision.
India suffered an early blow when Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 10 in the fifth over by Mitchell Starc.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, who was promoted to No. 3, steadied the innings with a partnership worth 121 runs for the second wicket.
Dhawan went on to score his 28th half-century in the format but Rahul missed out by 3 runs, getting out for 47 by Pat Cummins in the 28th over. Dhawan departed in the very next over after top-scoring for India with 74 off 91 balls.
Virat Kohli, who demoted himself to No. 4 to accommodate Rahul, suffered a rare failure to fire and fell to Adam Zampa for 16.
From there onwards, India kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Some useful lower-order contributions from Rishabh Pant (28), Ravindra Jadeja (25), Shardul Thakur (13) and Kuldeep Yadav (17) helped India go past the 250-run mark but the target was still not enough to challenge the Aussies.
Starc finished as the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 56 while while Cummins and Kane Richardson took a couple of wickets each. Spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar also got a wicket each.
The hosts have a lot to ponder over after this heavy defeat but will get very little time to iron out the flaws as the second ODI will be played in just three days time in Rajkot on January 17.
Source – India Today