The first One-Day International between India and Australia turned out to be a one-sided affair as the hosts comprehensively beat the Kangaroos by a margin of 26 runs as per the Duckworth-Lewis method. The win ensured that India opened their account and took a lead of 1-0 in the series.
Under overcast conditions, Virat Kohli absolutely had no hesitation in batting first. After a flurry of wickets in the first-half of their innings, Virat Kohli’s men showed resilience and set Australia a target of 282 runs.
However, rain threatened to play spoilsport and halted play for quite a while after the completion of India’s innings. Nevertheless, the rain stopped in the nick of time and Australia were given a revised target of 164 runs.During their run-chase, apart from Glenn Maxwell, no other batsmen got the measure of the Indian bowling.
Consequently, the visitors stumbled to the hefty defeat. As we move ahead, we take a look at five reasons why India won the first ODI at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium.
After rain halted play for the most part of Australia’s innings, the Kangaroos were set a target of 164 runs in 21 overs at a required run-rate which started at 7.81. In a generation of slam-bang cricket, a required run-rate of eight in around twenty overs isn’t a hefty task for an established limited-overs side.
However, Australia made a meal of the target and were never in contention to chase the runs down. They got off to a slow start and also lost wickets at regular intervals, which hardly allowed them to inject momentum into their innings.
For a short while, Maxwell threatened to take the game away from India with a breezy knock of 39 runs off 18 balls. However, after he lost his wicket, Australia never got back into the contest and finished with 137 runs for the loss of 9.
On sub-continent wickets, spinners play a vital role in the bowling line-up. Not only are they assigned with the responsibility of choking the opposition, but also picking up wickets during crunch moments of a game.
Indian spinners were simply outstanding on the day as they got a stranglehold on the Aussie batsmen and never allowed them to get a foothold into the game. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm-chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav ripped the heart out of Australia’s batting line-up with some accurate bowling.
Yadav found the outside-edge of David Warner’s willow when the Australian was itching to cut loose. After a few overs, Chahal got the better of Maxwell to further diminish Australia’s chances of a victory. Chahal and Kuldeep, eventually, finished with 3 and 2 wickets respectively with as many as 28 dot-balls in 9 overs.
Ever since he made his debut in international cricket, Jasprit Bumrah has turned out to be a revelation in world cricket. He was scintillating with the ball during India’s limited-overs games against Sri Lanka and he carried forward the same form in the first One Day International at the Chepauk.
Albeit he couldn’t pick up a whole lot of wickets, he was accurate enough to set the cat among the pigeons in the Australian batting order. In the powerplay, Australia only managed 15 runs and a fair share of the credit went to Bumrah for his impeccable line and lengths.
He also accounted for the wicket of Hilton Cartwright as he knocked back the debutant’s off-stump with a back-of-a-length delivery. He also pouched a brilliant catch, running backwards at the short-fine leg region, to get rid of Steve Smith.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, over the years, has carved out a reputation for himself as a calm and composed cricketer. At the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the former Indian skipper brought all those skills as well his experience into play to guide India to a competitive total.
After losing 4 wickets inside the first sixteen overs, India were looking right down the barrel. They required someone to play a matured knock and take them to safer shores. M.S Dhoni came in after the loss of Rohit Sharma’s wicket.
He not only pulled India out of the precarious position but also ensured that he remained at the crease till the very last over. In the meantime, he also accomplished his 100th half-century in International cricket.
Hardik Pandya’s brand of cricket has earned him accolades from across the cricketing fraternity. While he has the ability to play the big shots, the Baroda-born batsman also possesses the skills to bowl effectively.
Against Australia, he bagged the Man of the Match award on the back of a superlative all-round show. He played cautiously when India were on the back-foot, but switched gears when his and Dhoni’s stand gained momentum.