India vs Australia, 1st ODI: David Warner and Aaron Finch slam unbeaten tons as Australia crush India by 10 wickets | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: “Australia will be full of confidence after an excellent World Cup and a great summer of Test cricket. Series prediction: 2-1 Australia,” Ricky Ponting tweeted during a Q&A session with fans while predicting the winner of the ODI series in India a few days ago.

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Opposition teams and their fans are used to bold, even outrageous predictions from the Aussies as they leave no stone unturned to get a mental edge over rivals.

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But the way the Aussies played in the first ODI at the Wankhede to win by 10 wickets and 12.2 overs to spare on Tuesday, Ponting’s prediction may just come true. It seemed as if it was Ponting’s team playing in yellow all over again as Aaron Finch and his boys displayed the same ruthlessness that his great team did in the 2000s.

Chasing 255, openers David Warner (128*, 112 balls, 17×4, 3×6) and Finch (110*, 114 balls, 13×4, 2×6) sent the Indian bowlers on a leather hunt and raced to 258 for no loss in 37.4 overs. It was their fourth 150-plus stand in ODIs with three of them coming against India, and India’s first 10-wicket pounding at home since losing to South Africa in Kolkata in 2005.

Hailed as the best new-ball attack in the world, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami looked toothless. In the hope of a breakthrough, Kohli threw the ball to his spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. But the Aussie openers did not allow them to settle down. It seemed as if the Aussies did not just want to win. They wanted to make a statement.

The foundation for the victory, though, was set up by the bowlers. When he stroked exquisite cover drives off Mitchell Starc for fours off the first and fifth ball of India’s innings, it seemed as if the start of 2020 would be just as productive as all of 2019 was for Rohit Sharma. But this was a new year. On the field were hungry opponents. Their pacers were quicker and classier. They bowled a harder length and induced errors. The spinners were craftier too as the hosts were bowled out for 255 in 49.1 overs after being sent in to bat.

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Rohit fell to Starc for 10 when the left-arm seamer’s widish delivery stopped on the ODI vice-captain causing him to hit it to David Warner at mid-off. Skipper Virat Kohli, on match eve, had suggested that he was game to playing all three openers Rohit, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, and he would drop down to No.4. Indeed, it was Rahul who batted at No.3.

Pat Cummins had India on a leash in his first spell of 3-1-5-0. But Shikhar Dhawan, the only man to come out of this match with his head held high, after making 74 (91 balls, 9×4, 1×6) took a liking to Starc and Kane Richardson cutting, driving and pulling them for fours.

The left-hander likes playing against Australia as his previous sequence of scores of 143, 12 and 117 suggest.

As Rahul too got into the groove and put on a 100-plus stand with Dhawan, Australia turned to leg-spinner Adam Zampa. Bowling in tandem with left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, they dried up the boundaries bowling 57 dots between them.

In trying to break free, Rahul lofted Agar but found Steve Smith at cover. As Kohli walked out to bat at No.4, a position in which he has averaged 56.48 with seven hundreds and eight 50s, Wankhede anticipated.

Realising that the game was on the line, Finch brought back his best bowler, Cummins. He responded immediately, dismissing Dhawan who was early into his flick and was caught by Agar at mid-off. Kohli then fell caught and bowled to Zampa and India’s soft underbelly was exposed. Ponting probably would now revise his prediction and make it 3-0.



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