1st ODI: Jadeja’s all-round show sinks Aussies

The roar of the crowd echoed through the Wankhede Stadium as India took the first step on their journey towards the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Hardik Pandya’s men were on fire, beating Australia by five wickets in a nail-biting match that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

The hosts have now taken a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.

Thus, India extended their winning streak in ODIs to eight games and ended Australia’s run on six matches.

From the very beginning, it was clear that both teams were not going to give an inch.

Australia lost their opener, Travis Head, in the second over of the innings, thanks to a fiery delivery from Mohammed Siraj that had him playing on. The Australian side fought back, however, with Mitchell Marsh’s resilient 81 giving them some hope.

India’s bowlers were relentless, with Mohammed Shami leading the charge. He triggered a startling collapse, taking three wickets in just 11 deliveries and conceding only eight runs during a three-over spell with a slightly old ball. Despite Marsh’s impressive performance, Australia crashed from 129 for 2 in the 20th over to 188 all out in the 36th.

But if anyone thought India’s chase of 189 would be a walk in the park, they were sorely mistaken.

Stoinis struck the first blow in the second over, trapping Kishan lbw to prolong his run of poor scores.

Then Starc took center stage, using his unrivaled skill and pace to slice through India’s top order.

Kohli misjudged the inswinger and was dismissed LBW, while Suryakumar Yadav fell victim to Starc’s sheer pace, getting trapped in front on his very first ball.

But Gill seemed to be immune to Starc’s wrath, despite a few nervy moments. Inglis dropped him on just 2, and a couple of outside edges failed to find the hands of second slip.

Gill continued to take risks, playing some exquisite on-the-up shots. However, his luck eventually ran out when he mistimed one of Starc’s deliveries, and Labuschagne took a brilliant catch at backward point.

India was in dire straits, reduced to 39/4 in just 10.2 overs.

The home crowd was starting to lose faith, but skipper Hardik Pandya did his best to stem the rot. However, when he was dismissed with the scoreboard reading 83 for 5, it seemed like India was doomed.

That’s when KL Rahul stepped up.

The gritty player showed his mettle with a stunning unbeaten 75, finding a willing ally in Ravindra Jadeja, who also remained unbeaten on 45.

Their partnership of 108 runs helped India avoid a scare and take the win.

The crowd erupted in cheers as India crossed the finish line without any hiccups.

Ravindra Jadeja was the Player of the Match for his all-round contribution (2/46 and 45 not out and an incredible catch to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne)

Jadeja said,I’m playing ODI after 8 months so was just looking to adjust as soon as possible. Luckily did well with the ball, got three wickets and was looking to build a partnership with the bat.”

“Having played Test cricket, line and length was there but you have to alter you lengths and pace. I was looking to build a partnership today of about 70-80 runs, and that happened.”

Despite the win, India will have concerns regarding their top order heading into the remaining games at Visakhapatnam and Chennai.

Thankfully, the way their middle order fought back today along with their all-round bowling performance will certainly give them a lot of confidence.

India 191 for 5 in 39.5 overs (Rahul 75*, Jadeja 45*, Starc 3-49) beat Australia188 (Marsh 81, Shami 3-17, Siraj 3-29) by five wickets


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