Friday 27th November 2020
Sydney: The Opening Stand of Finch and Warner, followed by a master class innings of Steven Smith and pandemonium innings of Maxwell propelled Australia to a mammoth 374 with a loss of 6 wickets with India falling short of 66 runs, taking Australia to a 1-0 lead in the Dettol ODI series. The toss was initially won by Aaron Finch who put India in a toiling task to the field in the massive heat.
India who was accustomed to playing the shorter format of the game did give a good start at the start of the innings, but could not convert it to a string of early wickets. Upon which the advantage was taken over by David Warner and Aaron finch and put up an opening stand of 156 before Warner edged to Shami’s wide Yorker to KL Rahul, giving India the first breakthrough, bringing in Steve Smith.
Finch slightly accelerated his innings with innovative shots like reverse sweeps, which he seldom uses that took him to his 17th ODI ton, the first for the summer and in the SCG for Aaron finch, before which Steve Smith reached his quick-firing half-century in just 38 balls. Steve Smith replicated the innings of the 2015 Semi-Final by playing shots all over the park and also smashed Chahal for six over covers.
After the dismissal of Finch, Stoinis got out in the very first ball of Chahal, edging to Rahul behind stumps. Glenn Maxwell came down to bat when Australia was cruising at 3 for 271 at the beginning of the 40th over and did not look an inch back to his IPL failures and played freely with back to back sweep shots for a four and a six, which was built-up to his well-constructed cameo of 45 of just 19 balls augmenting Smith’s well-paced century off just 62 balls that help Australia score 374 for 6.
India‘s opening stand came up to 20 runs of the first over where Shikhar Dhawan was not having trouble middling the Starc over long on for 4. Mayank on the other end steadied his innings smartly, not powering but just placing the ball in the right areas. It just seemed like the openers were still in character with their IPL franchises taking India for 46 runs of just 4 overs, before Mayank Mistimed Hazlewood‘s bouncer to the fielder on Mid- on for a catch, giving Australia the first breakthrough.
Kohli on the other end was also in a hurry to start his innings and almost lost his wicket before his IPL teammate Adam Zampa dropped his catch on the fine leg. Followed by this, Kohli played a couple of lofted shots over cover and leg side areas and wristed a six on the leg side before getting caught by Finch in the mid-wicket. Shreyas and Rahul, the respective captains of Delhi and Punjab could not set India to a flyer, putting the onus on Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan. Hardik and Shikhar paced the innings intelligently, where on one hand Shikhar was focusing on rotating the strike and running between wickets and on the other, Pandya targeted some ballers like Zampa and smashed sixes and fours at will, thereby steadily built up to the partnership of 128, before Shikhar chipped Zampa’s outside off delivery to mid-on.
Zampa finally had the last laugh against Pandya by adjusting his length slightly wider, inducing Pandya to play the glory shot which landed in the hands of Mitchell Starc situated in Long on, right next to the Boundary rope. Jadeja and the tailenders had a huge burden to hold on to that didn’t last long, keeping India to 308 with the loss of 8 wickets. The main concern for India was an absence of an extra baller like Pandya, who is unable to ball due to his back surgery, which makes him full-time batsmen for now. India is hoping to bounce back on Sunday.