2JH24XR Shreyas Iyer of India throws at the stumps
The pieces are finally starting to come
together for team India ahead of the ODI World Cup, as the Men in Blue followed
up their emphatic Asia Cup victory with another impressive win against
Australia in the first ODI at Mohali.
Mohammed Shami picked up career-best
figures of 5 for 51 to set up the win for the hosts, restricting Australia to a
below-par score of 276 before the batters produced a collective performance in
the chase. Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill laid the platform with a
pair of 70s while half-centuries from KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav sealed the
deal for the Men in Blue with five wickets and eight balls to spare.
Chasing 277, Gill and Gaikwad put on a
142-run stand filled with eye-catching stroke play to set the tone for the Indian
innings. The former dazzled on his home ground early on, going after Marcus
Stoinis with the new ball to race away to a 37-ball half-century, getting to
the landmark with a six down the ground. Gaikwad, meanwhile, took 60 deliveries
to get to his maiden ODI fifty, with the pair setting the stage for a
However, Australia hit back with three
quick wickets to even the scales. Adam Zampa dismissed both openers, while
Shreyas Iyer was run out after a mix-up with Gill, leaving India in a nervy
position. Ishan Kishan’s dismissal for 18 compounded the hosts’ jittery
situation, but KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav eased the tension with a pair of
half-centuries to take India home.
The skipper remained unbeaten on 58 to
guide India till the end, while Yadav added his first ODI half-century in 11
innings to find some much-needed form ahead of the World Cup.
Earlier, Mohammed Shami sparked throughout
the innings for the Men in Blue to restrict a power-packed Australian batting
unit to 276. The seamer removed Mitchell Marsh with a peach in the first over
and also ended Steve Smith’s innings on 41, who added 94 alongside David Warner
for the second wicket.
Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Josh
Inglis and Marcus Stoinis all got starts for Australia, but none managed to
kick on and convert it into a big score to take the visitors to a menacing
total. India benefited from some fortune with the wickets of Labuschagne and
Green through the middle, but there was no luck involved in Mohammed Shami’s
death overs spell, who skittled the tail to pick up his second ODI five-fer and
keep Australia’s total down to 276.