5 Reasons why India lost the first ODI against Australia
India took on Australia in the first ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground looking to continue their winning run from the recently concluded Test series. Australia fielded a new look side as they tried to zero in on a solid batting line up. Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to bat first.
With the bat, Australia lost the wickets of Aaron Finch and Alex Carey quickly. But some solid contributions from Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja got their innings back on track. The star with the bat was Peter Handscomb who used his feet to good effect and scored a brilliant fifty. Some big hits at the end by Marcus Stoinis got Australia to a respectable score of 288.
In reply, India got off to a disastrous start as it lost the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu with just 4 runs on the board. M.S Dhoni and Rohit Sharma tried to repair the damage but the required run rate kept on climbing. Rohit played a fabulous knock of 133 runs but did not receive adequate support from the other end. In the end, India lost the contest by 34 runs as the Aussies took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Let us take a look at the 5 reasons why India lost the match.
#1 Handscomb’s attractive knock
Peter Handscomb had a torrid time in the Test series and could only score 105 runs from the three Test matches that he played in. He was drafted into the one day side in place of Chris Lynn because of his ability to play spin well.
The move paid off for the Australian selectors as Handscomb did a great job in the middle and death overs and got the Aussies to a respectable score of 288 runs. Coming in to bat at no. 5, Handscomb made great use of his feet to put off the Indian bowlers.
His ability to use the crease helped him in scoring runs of even the good length balls. He had a particular liking for Bhuvneshwar Kumar whom he smashed for four fours and a six. His brilliant knock of 73 runs from just 61 balls provided the much-needed impetus to Australia’s innings.
#2 Death over woes
Indian bowlers started on a great note as the Australian batsmen struggled to get them away. Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav were very impressive with the ball and did not give many loose deliveries to the opposition.
The Aussies were 195/4 after 40 overs and looked destined to score in the range of 270. However, Indian bowlers especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar lost the plot in the final overs and gave some freebies to the Australian batsmen.
Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb made full use of the gifts that were offered and scored a massive 93 runs from the last 10 overs. 18 runs came from the last over bowled by Bhuvneshwar who just could not execute his yorkers.
Bhuvi has struggled for control ever since returning from injury and is a cause of concern to Team India’s World Cup plans. India dearly missed the services of Jasprit Bumrah in this game.
#3 Top order collapse
Chasing a competitive score of 289 runs on a slowish Sydney wicket, India needed a solid start at the top. But all such plans were put to rest by the Aussie new ball attack. Shikhar Dhawan who was prolific in white ball cricket last year went for a golden duck as he played across the line and was caught plumb in front.
Jhye Richardson then struck twice in the fourth over to remove Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu. Kohli played an uppish flick and was caught brilliantly at square leg by Stoinis. Rayudu was then trapped in front by Richardson with a sharp in-ducker.
India were left tottering at 4/3 after 4 overs. These procession of wickets forced Rohit Sharma and M.S Dhoni to play the waiting game which eventually pushed the required run rate too high. Indian fans would be hoping that it was just an off day for Virat and co with the bat and they would bounce back in the next ODI.
#4 Australia’s lethal fast bowlers
Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson got the nod as the Australian selectors rested Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood after a strenuous Test series for the trio.
Both the newcomers grabbed the opportunity with both hands and won Australia the game. Behnrendorff bowled a brilliant length throughout the match and did not give Indian batsmen any looseners to hit.
He got the important wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and the well set M.S Dhoni. But the star of the match was Jhye Richardson who rattled the Indian top order with two quick wickets. Richardson got the ball to move in both ways after pitching and the Indian batsmen struggled to get a hold of him.
He then came back to remove Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja and put away any hopes of an Indian comeback. Richardson finished with match-winning figures of 4/26 from his quota of 10 overs.
#5 Dhoni’s struggles to get going
With India in a spot of bother at 4/3, in came former Indian captain M.S Dhoni at the crease, looking to repair the damage. Dhoni saw the new ball through along with Rohit Sharma and prevented any further fall of wickets.
However, Dhoni struggled to get the ball away and was not able to rotate the strike. At one moment, he was batting at a score of 6 of 36 balls. Dhoni struggled with his timing during the whole innings and could only score four boundaries of the 96 balls he faced. His lethargic innings got India in a hole as the required run rate kept on going up.
Although, he did get a fifty to his name but it was way too slow for the team’s liking. He failed to finish the match and got out when the required run rate was close to 9.5 runs per over. Even though Rohit got some big shots away, it wasn’t quite enough as India lost the contest by 34 runs.