Ind vs Aus, 1st ODI | Rahul, Jadeja turn it around for India
A gritty and resilient half-century by KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja’s crucial knock of unbeaten 45 guided India to 5 wickets victory with 61 balls remaining against Australia in the first ODI of three-match series here at Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
From rank turners and a docile pitch during the Test series, the pacers finally had their eyes lit up with a typical Wankhede Stadium track here offering them plenty of assistance.
Despite the speedsters from both sides ruling the roost, K.L. Rahul’s standout knock turned out to be decisive as India took the lead in the three-match ODI series versus Australia.
Rahul’s unbeaten 75 (91b, 7×4, 1×6) — ably aided first by stand-in captain Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja with the willow — meant India overhauled the target of 189 with five wickets and 61 balls to spare.
Rahul was the second-highest individual scorer of the night behind Mitchell Marsh who notched a marvellous 81. Rahul came in to bat with India tottering at 16 for three and when he took guard an over later, his first target was to save Mitchell Starc’s hat-trick with the pacer having accounted for Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav with inswingers off the last two balls of his previous over.
The hat-trick ball — Rahul’s first — was crunched through covers for a four. From then on, until Jadeja whipped Starc for a four through mid-wicket to complete the formalities, Rahul was in his element in the format that he finds most comfortable with the willow.
It wasn’t easy though. While he saw off Starc’s opening burst, Shubman Gill’s scratchy knock ended in the left-armer’s sixth over, with an uppish cut to backward-point.
Just when Rahul and Hardik — who had taken India to safety in a similar low-scoring affair versus Sri Lanka in Kolkata in January — appeared to shut the door on Australia, Marcus Stoinis brought Australia back in the game.
Stoinis, who had got rid of Ishan Kishan with the new ball, returned to trap Hardik with a short-ball ploy. However, once Jadeja and Rahul staved off Starc’s two-over burst, the writing was on the wall as Rahul went after leggie Adam Zampa.
Similarly, India’s wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav bore the brunt of Marsh’s wrath. The burly all-rounder — playing as a specialist batter in the series having recovered from an ankle surgery — opened the innings along with Travis Head.
Despite Head playing Mohammed Siraj on to his stumps in the second over, with captain Steve Smith holding on to the other end, Marsh drove Mohammed Shami and Siraj with finesse.
Even Hardik and the magical arm of Shardul Thakur couldn’t stop his onslaught as he tonked the duo for three sixes on the on-side.
Once spin was introduced, Marsh freed his arms further. Kuldeep suffered the most, as he was clobbered for 21 runs off the 11 balls he bowled to Marsh.
Eventually, Marsh’s attempted hoick off a tossed-up delivery by Jadeja was top-edged to short third-man. Jadeja was soon back in action, taking a lunging catch to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne.
Shami and Siraj wiped off the lower middle-order as Australia lost the last six wickets for just 19 runs, which meant the 27,000-odd spectators could return home well in time after an early finish.
Australia innings: Travis Head b Mohammed Siraj 5 Mitchell Marsh c Mohammed Siraj b Ravindra Jadeja 81 Steven Smith c Lokesh Rahul b Hardik Pandya 22 Marnus Labuschagne c Ravindra Jadeja b Kuldeep Yadav 15 Josh Inglis b Mohammed Shami 26 Cameron Green b Mohammed Shami 12 Glenn Maxwell c Hardik Pandya b Ravindra Jadeja 8 Marcus Stoinis c Shubman Gill b Mohammed Shami 5 Sean Abbott c Shubman Gill b Mohammed Siraj 0 Mitchell Starc Not Out 4 Adam Zampa c Lokesh Rahul b Mohammed Siraj 0
Extras: 0b 7lb 0nb 3w 10
Total: (35.4 overs) 188 all out
Fall of Wickets: 1-5 Head, 2-77 Smith, 3-129 Marsh, 4-139 Labuschagne, 5-169 Inglis, 6-174 Green, 7-184 Stoinis, 8-184 Maxwell, 9-188 Abbott, 10-188 Zampa
India bowling: (Overs Miaden Runs Wickets Econnomy Extras) Mohammed Shami 6-2-17-3 Mohammed Siraj 5.4-1-29-3 Hardik Pandya 5-0-29- 1 Shardul Thakur 2-0-12-0 Ravindra Jadeja 9-0-46-2 Kuldeep Yadav 8-1-48-1
India innings: Ishan Kishan lbw Marcus Stoinis 3 Shubman Gill c Marnus Labuschagne b Mitchell Starc 20 Virat Kohli lbw Mitchell Starc 4 Suryakumar Yadav lbw Mitchell Starc 0 Lokesh Rahul Not Out 75 Hardik Pandya c Cameron Green b Marcus Stoinis 25 Ravindra Jadeja Not Out 45
Extras: 0b 5lb 1nb 0pen 13w 19
Total: (39.5 overs) 191-5
Fall of Wickets: 1-5 Kishan, 2-16 Kohli, 3-16 Yadav, 4-39 Gill, 5-83 Pandya Did Not Bat : Thakur, Yadav, Siraj, Shami
Australia Bowling: Mitchell Starc 9.5-0-49-3 Marcus Stoinis 7-1-27-2 Sean Abbott 9-0-31-0 Cameron Green 6-0-35-0 Adam Zampa 6-0-37-0 Glenn Maxwell 2-0-7-0
India: Hardik Pandya (capt), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami.
Australia: Steven Smith (capt), Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, , Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis(wk), Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa.