Australia beat India by 66 runs in the 1st ODI at Sydney. Captain Aaron Finch and fellow opening partner David Warner had a 166 run partnership for the 1st wicket that set the tone for the rest of the batting lineup. Steve Smith has probably never middled the ball better than he did on Friday. Everything he touched turned to goal. At a strike rate of 159.09, Smith scored 105 off 66 deliveries that included 11 fours and 4 marvelous sixes. Glenn Maxwell answered all the criticism he faced during the IPL by scoring a 19 ball 45 (5 fours, 3 sixes). Australia put up 374 runs on the board that proved to be more than a decent target to defend.
Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli both got good starts but could not manage to score big runs. Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan put up a fight in the middle overs – scoring 90(76) and 74(86) respectively. Ultimately, as the run rate kept on increasing, the pressure also got to the Indians.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh explained why and where India lost the match.
He said, “Things didn’t go India’s way. I would say India played some good cricket (in Sydney) but in patches. But, yeah, the fielding was a bit sloppy, lot of misfield, lot of missed catches. In the international arena, you would want to take each (and every catch) that comes your way but unfortunately that didn’t happen today. If the fielders are not supporting the bowler, the bowler is going to get hurt. That’s what happened today,”
Speaking about the Indian bowlers, the 40 year old added, “I think apart from (Mohammad) Shami everyone had an off day. This was the first game and playing in Australia you got to adjust to the bounce and the conditions. What all lengths you need to bowl. So the Indian bowling line, to start with, they bowled the initial overs a bit short with the new ball,”
He also added, “Could’ve looked to bowl a little fuller for an early breakthrough, which didn’t happen, and that’s one of the reasons Australia got a lot of runs on the board which weakened India’s chances while chasing.”
India have a chance to bounce back and get a win on Sunday, November 29 in the 2nd ODI in Sydney.