After what seemed like a cracker of a Test series, the ODIs started with a banger too at the Wankhede as India and Australia played out a thrilling encounter to raise the curtains of a 3-match series. Both the sides started on pretty bumpy notes and while one faltered at the mere mention of an alien track, the other managed to arrest the decline and turn it into what was a theatrical flourish and a grandstand finish.
Winning the toss for the series opener, India opted to bowl first and Mohammed Siraj led the charge for the Men in Blue with an absolute screamer that razed through the defenses of Travis Head. Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith did manage to steer the Aussie ship away from an immediate ordeal but once Hardik Pandya got the better of the Australian captain, the road became slightly smoother for the Indian bowlers.
How the Aussies turned the tide around with an early charge from Mitchell Marsh
Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Inglis did try and help Mitchell Marsh out as much as they could in getting him to his desired destination of trying to keep the Australian ship afloat but at the end of it all, it seemed inconsequential barring the fact that it helped the visitors post a warring total on the scorecard.
The fast-bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj bagged 6 crucial wickets between them while Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja claim the other 4. What seemed like a modest fight till the middle overs fizzed away into a meek submission from Australia as India skittled them out for 188.
However, India’s start was all over the place as they lost three quick wickets featuring the likes of Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, leaving them hamstrung at 16 for the loss of 3. Shubman Gill did get a start but couldn’t really capitalize on it as Mitchell Starc left India reeling in agony.
India returns to the tie with KL Rahul leading the charge
It was KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya who eventually put their foot down and threw everything in their arsenal at a marauding Australian bowling unit as India started clawing their way out of decadence. The partnership of KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya added 44 runs for the 5th wicket to try and chart a decent course for India to the finish line.
Eventually, it was Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul who would help India navigate the treacherous shores plagued by the Australian bowlers with their weapons bared and get them through to the promised land. The duo would knit together a crucial partnership of 108 runs for that 6th wicket that would see India home with more than 10 overs to spare. India will have their task cut out considering the kind of tantamount brilliance that has been shown by Australia in the fixture. At the moment the contest seems pretty evenly poised out despite the absence of three significant Indian names that feature the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer who are at the moment out with personal pretexts and injuries and will be making a comeback soon.