India was expected to dominate an in-experienced Australian ODI side that have had a poor ODI record during the last 18 months. However, Australia showed up with both the bat and the ball and to register a convincing 34 run win in the first ODI and take a 1-0 series lead.
Australian Middle-Order Fire
Australia won the toss, elected to bat and was immediately in trouble losing their captain A Finch in the third over. They lost A Carey in the 10th over but U Khawaja (59) and S Marsh (54) put together a nice partnership to stabilize the innings. Their middle-order has posed them concerns in the past but at the SCG, it was the middle-order that took Australia to a respectable score with P Handscomb being the top scorer with 73 of just 61 balls and M Stoinis maxing an unbeaten 47 of 43 balls.
Australia were brutal during the last 10 overs off the game and scored more than 85 runs to set India a challenging total of 288. B Kumar and K Ahmed were the most expensive of the Indian bowlers.
Indian Middle-Order Collapse
While India had an experienced battling line-up, only Virat Kohli played the last test match in Australia. The batsmen found it difficult to cope with the pace and swing at the SCG and India struggled from the start losing S Dhawan (0), V Kohli (3) and A Rayudu (0).
MS Dhoni and R Sharma tried to do with the Australians did earlier and put together a partnership. They did that but at a very poor strike rate as MS Dhoni in particular found it difficult to rotate the strike and pinch easy singles. Dhoni went on to score 51 of 96 balls at a strike rate of 53.12.
D Karthik (12) and R Jadeja (8) were under pressure to score quickly from the moment they walked in and they failed. It was only R Sharma who continued to take the fight to the Aussies as he hit yet another century before being dismissed for 133 at a strike rate of 103. The Indians could only get to 254 in their allotted 50 overs and will be disappointed at the way they batted.
The second ODI is scheduled to take place at the Adelaide Oval on 15th Jan and India will have to win to keep the ODI series alive.