India displayed a commendable all-round performance to secure a comfortable five-wicket victory over Australia in the first match of the three-match ODI series. The heroics of Mohammed Shami, who claimed a stunning 5-wicket haul, set the tone for India’s dominance in both bowling and fielding. A collective batting effort in the chase ensured a successful pursuit of Australia’s target of 277.
Gill and Gaikwad’s Flourishing Opening Stand
India’s chase got off to a fantastic start with openers Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad forming a commanding partnership of 142 runs. Gill, in exceptional form, capitalized on any width offered by the Australian pacers during the powerplay, peppering the offside fence with boundaries. Gaikwad, initially slow off the mark, soon found his rhythm and matched Gill’s boundary-scoring prowess, achieving his maiden ODI fifty.
Australia’s Missed Chances
Despite the dominance of the Indian openers, Australia had a chance to break the partnership when Adam Zampa was introduced into the attack. Gaikwad survived an LBW attempt before Shreyas Iyer was run out in a mix-up with Gill. Zampa struck again by clean bowling Gill, momentarily tilting the game in Australia’s favor. India had lost three wickets for just nine runs, creating a tense situation.
Rahul and Suryakumar’s Steady Partnership
The nerves were steadied by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, who formed a crucial partnership for the fifth wicket. Suryakumar, known for his aggressive batting, displayed restraint by concentrating on playing straight and curbing his sweep shots. Rahul and Suryakumar’s partnership allowed India to regain control. Suryakumar reached his third ODI fifty, his first in 11 innings, further enhancing India’s World Cup preparations. Rahul, on the other hand, guided India to victory with clean lofted shots in the long-off area, securing his 14th ODI fifty.
India’s success in the match was significantly owed to the exceptional performance of Mohammed Shami with the ball. Opting to bowl first, Shami struck early by dismissing Mitchell Marsh, caught in the wide slip, in the very first over. He continued to trouble the Australian batsmen throughout the innings, ultimately claiming an impressive 5-wicket haul.
Despite the early setback, Australia found respite through a spirited 94-run partnership between David Warner and Steve Smith. Warner, who was dropped by Shreyas Iyer at mid-off when he was on 14, went on to register his 29th ODI fifty. However, Shami returned to remove Warner, while Jadeja accounted for Smith, bringing India back into the contest.
Australia displayed resilience through Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green’s steady partnership, but a brief rain interruption halted their progress. R Ashwin contributed by dismissing Labuschagne in a rather unfortunate manner, stumped off a ricochet from KL Rahul’s pad. Despite India’s mixed fielding efforts, a run-out of Cameron Green following a mix-up with Inglis added to Australia’s woes.
Josh Inglis and Marcus Stoinis counterattacked, forming a dynamic partnership of 62 runs in just 41 balls. Inglis, in particular, showcased his power-hitting prowess with a stunning six over extra cover against Bumrah. However, Mohammed Shami returned to the scene, dismissing Stoinis and Inglis in quick succession to complete his well-deserved second five-wicket haul in ODIs. Pat Cummins contributed a quickfire 21 runs towards the end to help Australia reach a total of 276.
With a stellar bowling performance by Mohammed Shami, followed by a well-executed chase led by the top order and anchored by KL Rahul, India secured a convincing five-wicket victory in the first ODI against Australia