1st ODI: How India beat Australia in series opener to claim historic feat

NEW DELHI: An all-round India eased past a formidable Australia by five wickets in the series opener in Mohali to script a rare rankings history on Friday.
With the comfortable win, not only India took a 1-0 series lead, the team also became the no.1 ODI side in the latest ICC rankings.
Already at the numero uno spot in the Test and T20I formats, India achieved a rare feat, becoming the top-ranked side across all three formats.
Before the start of the series, India were tied with arch-rivals Pakistan at 115 points in ODIs but a win today has taken India a point clear in the 50-over format.
The architects of India’s win were pacer Mohammed Shami and the young openers Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who played impactful knocks to set up the win. After a Shami fifer restricted a batting-heavy Australia to 276 all out, new opening pair of Gill and Ruturaj shared a massive 142-run opening stand. Stand-in skipper KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav too hit crucial half-centuries as India chased down the total with 8 balls to spare.
Here’s a look at the key moments of the series opener at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
Early Marsh blow and a 94-run stand
As India won the toss and opted to bowl, Shami got the hosts off to a perfect start, dismissing dangerous Mitchell Marsh four balls into the contest. As a Shami’s jaffa took the outside edge of Marsh’s bat, Gill completed an easy catch to give Australia an early blow. With a wicket down in the first over itself, Australia’s most experienced batters David Warner and Steve Smith joined hands to stitch a terrific second-wicket partnership. The duo added 94 runs, stabilised the innings and laid a solid platform for their side. Scoring at the quick rate as well, the Warner-Smith partnership came off just 106 balls with Warner (52) getting to his 29th ODI fifty amid a solid stand. However, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja eventually broke the threatening stand, removing Warner soon after his fifty in the 19th over.
Quick wickets peg back Australia but middle-order fights back
With Jadeja managing to break the solid second wicket stand, it opened the door for India to make a comeback. India grabbed the chance with both hands as Smith soon joined Warner back to the pavilion. Shami came back into the attack and knocked over Smith for 41, India now had two wickets in quick succession. The bowlers then bowled tight lines in the middle overs to restrict Australia’s scoring. Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green did manage a 45-run stand but looked a bit jittery in the middle. While the India fielders were a bit sloppy, luck did go their way when Labuschagne suffered an unfortunate stumping in the 33rd over. Labuschagne tried to reverse sweep Ashwin, but the ball hit keeper KL Rahul’s pad and went on to hit the stumps with the batter’s backfoot over the line. After the fall of Labuschagne, there was another brief stand but a really bad mix-up between Green and Josh Inglis cost the former his wicket for 31. With loss of wickets at regular intervals, Australia were 186 for 5 in the 40th over and were in desperate need of a partnership when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis arrived in the middle. With his counterattacking strokeplay, Stoinis alongside with Inglis tried to put pressure back on India. As boundaries came thick and fast, both quickly raised a 62-run stand but Shami came back and got rid of a dangerous-looking Stoinis for 29 in the 47th over. In the very next over, Jasprit Bumrah deceived Inglis and the Aussie keeper departed for a well-made run-a-ball 45.
Shami fifer and Cummins cameo
Looking to up the scoring rate, as Australia lost set Stoinis and Inglis, Shami then ran through the lower order with two quick wickets. Dismissing Matthew Short and Sean Abbott for 2 and 2 respectively, Shami registered his best ever figures of 5/51 in the format. With the fifer, Shami (37) also became the second most successful bowler after legendary Kapil Dev (45) against Australia in ODIs. With Australia staring at an all out situation, skipper Pat Cummins got in a few boundaries taking Australia to a competitive total. His 9-ball 21 cameo provided the finishing touches before the last man Adam Zampa got run out off the final ball of the innings.
The perfect start
Chasing a competitive total, India’s new opening pair of Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad got off to a perfect start. In the form of his life, Gill began aggressively in the chase while Ruturaj, who will be leading the Indian team in the Asian Games, too made a confident start. As the duo got going, boundaries flew thick and fast for the hosts inside the first Powerplay. The duo added 66 runs in the first 10 overs, setting the tone for the chase. Taking on the Australian bowlers, both continued with their aggressive approach, helping India cross the 100-run park in the 16th over. In the process, Gill got to his 9th ODI fifty off just 37 balls, Ruturaj too followed him soon, raising his bat for the first time in ODIs — a fifty off 61 balls. As the duo kept on going, Australians looked absolutely clueless. But then Adam Zampa provided the much-needed breakthrough, trapping Ruturaj with a slider in the 22nd over. By the time Ruturaj fell, India had 142 runs on the board.
The wobble
With the openers adding 142 runs at the top, the chase looked like a cakewalk for India. But the relentless Aussies, soon after Ruturaj fell, pounced onto the opportunity and struck multiple times in a very short span of time. One over after Ruturaj’s dismissal, comeback man Shreyas Iyer (3) threw away his wicket, calling out for an impossible run. Set Shubman too made the long walk back for 74 an over after Iyer’s dismissal as he missed a slider from Zampa. From 142 for 0, India were now 151 for 3 in the 26th over. With a partnership needed to steady the wobble, skipper KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan joined hands and moved forward cautiously. Ishan did try to hit occasional boundaries but Rahul was focussed more on rotating the strike. However, after a brief recovery, Cummins returned to remove Ishan for 28 in the 33rd over with India under 100 runs away from the target.
Rahul, Surya take India home
When Ishan fell, India were still 92 runs away from target and the Australians had their tails up but experienced batters KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav understood the situation perfectly and just didn’t take any risks. With the asking rate below 6 RPO, both focussed on rotation of strike along with putting away the occasional bad balls. With the two batters not taking any risks, they kept the Australian bowlers at bay. Wickets were the only solution for Australia to make a comeback but Rahul and Surya ensured there were no further hiccups. Under-pressure Surya, who was under the pump for his below-par batting performances in the ODIs, stepped up to the occasion, playing a mature knock. As the duo added 80 runs for the fifth wicket, Surya notched up his 3rd ODI fifty off 47 balls. But soon after his fifty, Surya played a rash shot and got out. But by the time Surya departed India were close to the finish line. Rahul ensured he took India home safely from there. Raising his 14th fifty, Rahul (58 not out) along with Ravindra Jadeja (3 not out) took India home with 8 balls to spare.

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