India started their first ODI series of 2020 against Australia on a losing note. The Aussies completely outplayed India in the first ODI to secure a 1-0 series lead and put pressure on the men in blue as they had to win back-to-back cricket games to secure a series win. They won the second ODI comfortably to set up an exciting final on Jan 19 in Bengaluru.
Great Bowling, Good Fielding Limit Australia
Australia won the toss and decided to take advantage of the conditions first by batting. Warner and Finch who pummelled India in the first ODI got out cheaply again to give India the upper hand. However, Steve Smith who loves batting against India steadied the innings with the impressive Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne (54) fell to Jadeja and the Aussies tried to use Mitchell Starc as a pinch hitter up the order but it did not work well for them. Alex Carey (36) played freely as Smith played the anchor role and it looked like Australia were going to get past 300 easily.
India were good in the field, showing a lot of energy and did not give away any free runs. Smith went on to get a brilliant 100 and started to play his shots as Australia entered their final 10 overs. However, some brilliant bowling by Md Shami in the end saw Australia lose wickets in quick succession which automatically reduced their scoring rate.
Shreyas Iyer took a great catch in the deep to dismiss Smith for 131 and Shami sent down some great yorkers to finish with 4 wickets. Jasprit Bumrah did not take any wickets but he was miserly and sent down his quota of overs and conceded just 38 to restrict Australia to 286.
Sharma, Kohli Deliver
India started their innings with one wicket down by S Dhawan had injured his shoulder when Australia was batting and went off the field. KL Rahul was pushed up the order but he struggled to find his timing and was dismissed for 19. That brought Virat Kohli to the crease who also struggled at the start of his innings.
Rohit Sharma looked in good touch and decided to take the pressure of Kohli as he found the boundary at will. The Indian vice-captain is a big match player and he delivered yet again for India in a crucial match. He made 119 of 128 balls to give India a great chance of winning. Kohli slowly got into his stride and took command of the innings.
When Sharma got out, India needed just 81 runs to win and Iyer made sure that India got their comfortably by playing some amazing shots. The young man played a cameo hitting 1 six and 6 fours as India motored along to the finish. Kohli knew that he had to go for the big shots if he wanted to get to a century and perished in the process of doing so. Kohli got out for 89 and India needed just 13 runs to win. Manish Pandey hit two boundaries to take India across the finish line and give them their first ODI series win of 2020.
Sharma was given the man of the match award as his century helped India secure a win while captain Kohli was given the man of the series award for his consistent batting performance.
India Fly To New Zealand
India don’t get any time off as they will fly to New Zealand right away to play five T20 games, three ODIs and two test matches. The first match of the series will be a T20 game that starts on Jan 24.