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A sold-out crowd at the Wankhede were treated to a hard-fought contest between India and Australia in the first ODI, with the home side eventually getting over the line thanks to a match-winning stand between KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. India won the game with five wickets in the hut and more than ten overs to spare.
Steve Smith’s Australian team got off to a strong start, thanks to a swashbuckling half-century from Mitchell Marsh, but lost their way in the middle overs to post a below-par total on board. Despite a masterclass in fast bowling from Mitchell Starc in the second innings, Australia came short in the series opener.
Here are the talking points from the 1st ODI:
Pacers rejoice on a seam-friendly surface
A full house crowd at the Wankhede Stadium were expecting a run-fest on a usually flat surface at the venue. But they won’t be complaining after the top-ranked ODI sides tussled in a hard-fought contest. The fast bowlers from both sides enjoyed their outing thanks to the lateral movement on offer, which troubled the batters throughout the game. Out of the 15 wickets that fell in the match, 12 were scalped by the pacers.
Form is temporary, but class is permanent
Underfire Indian batting ace KL Rahul once again proved his doubters wrong, guiding India to victory with a chanceless half-century in tough batting conditions. Rahul, who usually opens the innings in the other formats of the game, not only aced his wicketkeeping role but also compiled a gritty half-century to take his side home from a precarious position.
Indian middle order to the rescue
While KL Rahul continued his good run of form at the no.5 position in ODIs, he received valiant support from the all-rounder duo of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Even though Pandya’s dismissal came at the wrong time for the home side, Jadeja stitched a decisive unbroken 108-run stand with Rahul to take India home, in addition to his two wickets with the ball and a brilliant catch in the field.
Losing skipper Steve Smith said –
We weren’t expecting this at the Wankhede, usually pretty good scores. India bowled really well. We left a few out there. If we had got over 250, it would have been interesting the way the ball was swinging and seaming. KL and Jaddu’s partnership was really good when they were under pressure. We started pretty well. Mitch played really nicely and took the game on early and got a few away and kept going. We lost too many wickets in the middle. We were always one partnership from them beating us – Jadeja and Rahul showed how to do it. It was offering a fair bit for the seamers at times. The ball swung. We needed a few more runs. Credit to India.
Winning skipper Hardik Pandya said –
We were under pressure both the times. We kept our composure and found ways to come out of those situations. Once we got the momentum, we were quite on top of the game. I am really proud of the way we caught today. We had to take our chances. Talking about Jaddu, he did what he’s capable of. Coming after a break in ODI cricket, the way he finished as well, we needed a partnership. I was enjoying my game. Overall, a very good victory.
Player of the match Ravindra Jadeja said –
I’m playing ODI after eight months so was just looking to adjust as soon as possible. Luckily did well with the ball, got three wickets and was looking to build a partnership with the bat. Having played Test cricket, line and length was there but you have to alter you lengths and pace. I was looking to build a partnership today of about 70-80 runs, and that happened.
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