An unbeaten 258 run opening stand- a record partnership for any wicket against India saw Australia annihilate the hosts by 10 wickets in the first one day international at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The visitors gave Marnus Labuschagne his debut, but the South African born batting sensation had very little to do as Aaron Finch and David Warner flattened the hosts and finished the chase with 74 balls to spare.
Here are our talking points from yesterday’s fixture.
1. Kohli’s decision to demote himself to No 4 backfires
As he had hinted in the pre-match press conference, Indian skipper Virat Kohli dropped himself to No 4 to accommodate Lokesh Rahul in the playing XI. The move didn’t quite come off- Kohli, arguably the team’s best batsman, only arrived at the crease in the 28th over and made only 16. It also seemed to mess with the heads of the batsmen below him in the order- Shreyas Iyer made only 4, while Rishabh Pant had to cover his natural attacking instincts in order to ensure that India got to a respectable total. The home side slipped from 134/1 to 164 for 5 and lost their way in the middle stages.
2. Finch again demonstrates batting prowess against India
Since October 2013, there have only been five opening stands of 100 or greater from a visiting team against India in India- Aaron Finch has been involved in everyone of them. It was almost a perfect day for him at the office- he won the toss, the much vaunted Indian batting line up failed to fire, his bowling changes were spot on and Australia romped home with 10 wickets to spare.
3. Records galore for Warner and Finch
As mentioned above, this partnership was the highest by any pair in ODI cricket against India. It was also the first time since 2005 that the hosts had suffered a 10 wicket defeat- the first in Kohli’s tenure as captain. Warner also reached the 5000 run milestone- the fastest Australian to the landmark, and fourth fastest to it after Hashim Amla, Viv Richards and Kohli.
4. Rusty Bumrah struggles on return
Ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah had a forgettable return to ODI cricket as he went for 0/50 in his 7 overs. Even the best take time to get going after returning from injury and it appeared to be no different in the MI star’s case.
5. Twin DRS reprieves for David Warner
The Australian opener made full use of DRS en route to his unbeaten 128- he was given out by the umpire in both the 6th and the 29th overs of the game, but successfully appealed against both decisions. The first had seen him caught behind off the bowling of Shardul Thakur, while the second had seen him adjudged LBW by umpire Shamshuddin.
6. Rishabh Pant unable to keep due to concussion
There might have been much debate over KL Rahul’s inclusion in the starting line up, but his presence allowed India the luxury of fielding a replacement keeper after Pant had been struck on the head during his innings, rendering the latter incapable of keeping.
India (255 all out in 49.1 overs) lost to Australia (258/0 in 37.4 overs)
The second ODI will be played in Rajkot on Friday.