A 10-wicket victory at Mumbai was definitely not on expected lines as Australia romped home in style to take a breezy 1-0 lead over India and the series now moves to Rajkot on Friday.
India will be under considerable pressure to improve on all counts or risk losing the three-match series on home soil.
It was only the fifth time that India have lost by a margin of 10 wicket, their first against Australia and only their second at home. It was a well-deserved hiding too, highlighted by their batting collapse after being 134/1 in 27 overs. Shikhar Dhawan (74 off 91 balls) did well to underline his experience, while KL Rahul (47 off 61) continued to make the most of his form.
However, pushing captain Virat Kohli to number 4 backfired and so did the poor efforts of the middle-order batsmen. With no intent against the pace of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, the writing was on the wall. Strangely, their bowling which was considered to be the strong suit didn’t step up either.
The visitors did everything almost perfect at Mumbai – the bowling was spot on, led by Starc (3/56) and Cummins (2/44). The batting was flawless, with Aaron Finch (110* off 114 balls) and David Warner (128* off 112) looking imperious. The icing on the cake was the way Finch marshalled his troops and made his choices as captain.
Expecting a repeat of the performance will be a tad too much, but the Aussies have got a lot left in the tank to do the same. Warner and Finch should relish their chances once again, while the bowlers look fresh and raring to go making them a formidable unit.
India looked way off the mark and like captain Kohli put – it was ‘one bad day at the office’. Kohli and co. must be smarting from the loss and itching to make a comeback. How quickly they can forget the loss could determine their chances. Australia, on the other hand, looked every bit confident of their game. They didn’t put a foot wrong in the entirety of the match and that is a serious threat to India. Australia start as favourites and rightly so too – unless there is a drastic change in the performances from Mumbai, a repeat win is surely on the cards.
History & Statistics
- India have lost their last four home matches to Australia – the last time they have lost more was between 2003-07 when they lost six in a row.
- India have lost both their matches played at this venue, both coming while bowling first.
- Australia have won 16 of their last 18 ODIs away from home, including neutral venues.
- Aaron Finch and David Warner average 106 against India in ODIs in 10 matches (954 runs, 3×100, 4×50).
Expected to be back at the spot where he scores a lot of runs, Kohli will hope that he can turn the tables back on Australia.
That will depend on how well he fares against Adam Zampa. The Aussie leg-spinner has Kohli’s number in ODIs with the face-off reading: 97 balls, 126 runs, four dismissals.