Mohammed Shami shines in India’s 5-wicket win over Australia in the first ODI
It was a fine opening for India to the three-match ODI series as they comfortably coasted to the finish line against the formidable Australians with five wickets to spare. A collective display from the batters coupled with a resounding spell from Mohammed Shami was enough to allow India to walk away with the bragging rights.
On winning the toss, India opted to bowl first and there was a reward straight away as Mohammed Shami produced an edge from Mitchell Marsh to send him packing for 4. However, Steve Smith (41) and David Warner (52) came together in steadying the Aussie ship and started steering it to safety.
The duo looked in cruise control until Ravindra Jadeja threw a spanner in the works that saw the spinner removing Warner, and moments later, Shami knocked back Smith’s timber to help India claw their way back.
Marnus Labuschagne (39) and Cameron Green (31) once again put their heads down and started dragging the Aussie vehicle to a position that could have seemed like a threat for the Men in Blue but it was Ravichandran Ashwin who provided the breakthrough this time, picking the big wicket of Marnus.
With shards of resistance coming in patches, Australia look well poised to get in a decent score as they had help coming from the likes of Josh Inglis (45), Marcus Stoinis (29) and their captain, Pat Cummins (21*), before finally getting skittled out for 276. Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowling lot as he registered figures of 5/51 from his allotment of 10 overs, his best-ever figures in ODI cricket.
The Indian opening pair got off to an absolute flyer as the duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill played as if they knew no bounds. The two posted a staggering 142 runs for the opening stand from 130 balls that almost took half the game away from the visitors.
As things looked pretty smooth for the Indian unit, that is when a sudden wobble started in the center which witnessed Gaikwad (71), Gill (74) and an incoming Shreyas Iyer (3) falling in quick succession. Ishan Kishan (18) did try and showcase his confidence but it wasn't enough for the Men in Blue as Pat Cummins proved to be too good for him.
Just when it felt that India may be caught in a rut and Australian eyed a potential comeback is when KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav started battering up the Indian hatches and their partnership ensured that India got over the line comfortably. Yadav knitted a brilliant fifty while Rahul stayed unbeaten for 58 as India seized control of the game and eventually picked up an important win. Shami was awarded the Player of the Match for his extraordinary spell, clinching 5/51.
The two teams will next square off at the Holkar Indoor Stadium in Indore for the second ODI of the three-match series, on Sunday.