India’s pace bowlers were excellent as Mohammed Shami (3/17) and Mohammed Siraj (3/29) claimed three wickets each. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with two wickets, while skipper Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav picked up one scalp each.
Siraj began by cleaning up Travis Head for 5. Pandya sent back Steve Smith for 22, while Jadeja dealt Australia with a massive blow, getting the scalp of Mitchell Marsh for 81 off 65 balls. Marsh looked extremely dangerous during his stay at the crease, striking 10 fours and five sixes.
In his second spell, Shami sent back Josh Inglis (26), Cameron Green (12) and Marcus Stoinis (5) in quick succession. Siraj then claimed the last two wickets to ensure there was no resistance from the Australian tail.
Chasing 189, Stoinis had Ishan Kishan (3) plumb in front with an accurate delivery. Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc then claimed three big wickets to put India under pressure. He trapped Virat Kohli (4) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) leg before off consecutive balls.
KL Rahul (75 not out off 91 balls) and Jadeja (45 not out off 69 balls), however, added an unbroken 108 runs for the sixth wicket. While Rahul hit seven fours and a six, Jadeja struck five fours, including the winning boundary as India got home with 61 balls to spare.
Speaking after being named Player of the Match, Jadeja said that he was playing ODI cricket after 8 months, so he was just looking to adapt to the format as soon as possible. Speaking about his overall performance, he commented, “Luckily with the ball, I got a few wickets. When I went to bat, I was looking to build a partnership with KL. I knew that the total was small but still we had to chase it down.”
On switching from red-ball cricket to the white-ball format, he added, “We've been playing Test cricket. Line and length is different to Test cricket. You have to alter you lengths and pace. I was looking to bowl in good areas and I was also getting a bit of turn. I was looking to build a partnership today of about 70-80 runs, and that's what happened. It was not easy to play the big shots because the ball was swinging.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent