Australia India ODI Series
1st Match Played at SCG on 27 November 2020
Australia 374/6 (Aaron Flinch 114, Steve Smith 105, David Warner 69, Glen Maxwell 45, Mohammad Sami 3/59, Bumrah 1/73, Saini 1/83, Chahal 1/89 ) beat India 308/8 ( HH Pandya 90, S Dhawan 74, M Agarwall 22 , R Jadeja 25 Zampa 4/54 , Hazzlewood 3/ 55) by 68 runs.
Player Of The Match: Steve Smith.
All guns blazing well-prepared Australia batting aggressively from the outset posted a sky-high total of 374/6. Without Rohit Sharma at the top and someone like Dhoni or Punt at late middle order it was a tall order for India to chase such a huge score. Moreover, Virat showing unnecessary Impatience lost his wicket too early. The best of Dhawan, Pandya could take them to 308/8. Australia won by 66 runs.
Winning the toss Australia chose to bat. Throughout IPL Flinch, Smith and Maxwell did very little with the bat . Warner had mixed success. But they had a good feel of Indian bowling and planned extremely well. Flinch and Warner started a little carefully saw off the early overs of Sami and Bumrah. Indian third pacer Saini was not the ideal for Australian wicket. Smartly executed plan set Australian innings on the target as Warner and Flinch matching strokes for strokes produced 156 runs in the first wicket partnership in 27.5 overs. They could very comfortably manage Indian X-Factor Bumrah. Jadeja and Chahal looked innocuous. The third umpire gave out warner caught behind off Sami after scoring 69. Smith joined Flinch and another fluent partnership commenced. The second wicket partnership producing 108 quick runs almost batted India out of the match. Flinch finally fell to Bumrah after scoring 114. Only Stonis failed to do much. Smith was in his peak form. Maxwell was a shadow of his past in IPL 2020. But on the day he savagely attacked Indian bowling plundering 45 in only 19 deliveries. Smith went on scoring 105 in only 66 balls striking 11 fours and 4 sixes. Indian fielding looked ragged as towards the end of the Australian innings the shoulders were dropping. The target of 375 was well beyond their reach. Only bowler who could make some impression was Mohammad Sami taking 3/59.
Yet on a easy paced wicket with ball coming to the bat India should have chased with a plan. They never realized that without their top limited over batsman Rohit Sharma staying back in India for reasons best known to Indian cricket think tank the only chance to chase the score was a long innings from Virat Kohli apart from Dhawan. The others like Agarwal, Rahul or even Pandya are not yet that quality playing matured long innings against quality Australian bowling and usual sharp fielding. Dhawan tried to anchor the innings after Agarwall fell for 21. Kohli was looking good. But losing patience he threw his wicket without considering the consequences. Iyer and Rahul are not that great chasing a huge score batting consistently well. The only real resistance of Indian Innings came from Dhawan Pandya 5th wicket partnership of 118. Hazllewood bowled accurately and Zampa attacked with run cushion behind him. After the fall of Dhawan (74) and Pandya (90) both to Zampa wind ran out of Indian sail. They could crawl to 308/8 still 68 runs in deficit. Zampa (4/54) and Hazzlewood (3/55) were the peak of Australian bowling.
With no longer version cricket and even ODI in recent times, India did not look like the team to challenge well prepared smart Australia. If nothing change India on this tour may be embarrassed in all formats. Australia appeared to have good measure of them.
BDST: 1933 HRS, NOV 27, 2020