Steve Smith and Aaron Finch scored centuries to ease Australia register a tremendous win over India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia has set a target of 375 runs, after wrapping up at 374 for six after 50 overs. Aaron Finch and Steve Smith grabbed centuries for Australia, while, David Warner scored a half-century. Smith and Aaron Finch, before making early inroads with the ball against India in the series opener at the SCG.
Australian cricket’s remembrance of Hughes is deliberately quiet and reserved out of respect to the family, but to the players like Finch, Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell the inspiration remains as powerful as ever.
Smith, Man of the Match: Have been searching for something for a couple of months now. About three days ago something just clicked. My rhythm came back, everything came back. Finchy and Davey played very well early on. We could come in and be aggressive. Wasn’t thinking too much out there, just seeing the ball and hitting it. Was seeing the ball well. It was a good surface. I took a few more risks than I would normally. I targeted some bowlers and fortunately it came off. Nice to contribute to a good win. Need a bit of luck in this game sometimes, nice to ride it today (getting his LBW overturned).
It was no different on day one of the international summers, with all four producing big knocks on the way to a mega 6-374 – Australia’s highest ever ODI score against India.
Mohammed Shami registered three wickets for India, with Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal notching a dismissal each.
Finch and Warner set a 100-run stand to give Australia a solid start. Warner fell to Shami, and Smith walked in and drove 105 runs from 66 balls. Finch was sent back to the pavilion by Bumrah. Also, Glenn Maxwell scored a quickfire 45 off 19 deliveries. Smith was later dismissed by Shami in the last over.
Australia post a formidable total of 374/6 on the board, courtesy fine centuries from Smith and Finch.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2020
Walking out with a colossal target in front of them, the Indian openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal – took India off to a quickfire start. Receiving some help from Mitchell Starc whose wayward first over produced 20 runs, the pair brought up their 50-run stand in just 4.1 overs. Their stand consisted of five fours and one six, laying the perfect platform for a steep run-chase.
However, Mayank went for to shots many. In a valiant attempt to keep up with asking and take the maximum advantage of the first Powerplay, he lost his shape while going for a big heave. Mayank moved on to make room in the sixth over but Josh Hazlewood pitched it short and into the batsman’s body. Mayank only managed to sky the ball up to Glenn Maxwell.
The Virat Kohli show ended untimely, much to the relief of the Aussies after the Indian superstar was dropped by Adam Zampa.
Chasing a monstrous 375 for victory, Kohli walked to the crease in the sixth over with India 1-53. And drama immediately followed.
Pat Cummins delivered a splendid bouncer that rushed Kohli and the world’s No.1-ranked batsman top-edged his pull sending the ball sailing to Zampa at fine leg.
But the leggie, who has an outstanding record with the ball against Kohli, spilt the chance in front of one large pocket of deliriously happy Indian fans.
But after following the dropped catch with brutal back-to-back fours, Kohli failed to cash in and was dismissed for 21 after picking out Aaron Finch at short midwicket off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
It’s been Hazlewood’s evening so far with all 3 Indian wickets to fall, the big fella turning on a bouncer barrage which India had no answers for.
He immediately followed Kohli’s dismissal with the wicket Shreyas Iyer with another short ball.
The youngster dodged it high into the air – and eventually into the gloves of Alex Carey behind the stumps, with India now struggling at 3-84. India also lost KL Rahul cheaply off a weak full toss from Adam Zampa.
However Adam Zampa, coming in for his second spell removed both Dhawan 74 runs off 86 deliveries and Pandya 90 runs off 76 deliveries to wane India’s hopes. Adam Zampa Takes Four Wickets is his spell. Australia beat India by 66 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya complete a century partnership.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2020
Kohli, India captain: Got enough time to prepare. Don’t think there can be any excuses. Probably the first long game we’ve played in a while, been playing T20 cricket. Probably that’s something that can have an effect. Body language wasn’t great after around 25 overs. If you don’t take your chances against a top-quality opposition they’ll make you pay. Unfortunately Hardik is not fit enough to bowl, and we don’t have other allround options to pick from either, someone like Stoinis or Maxwell. From the batting point of view, we had a chat briefly now. All the batsmen committed to it which is why you saw us playing with intent. I think we gave ourselves the best chance. Hardik’s innings was the best example of that. As a batting unit we committed nicely to positive cricket and we are going to do that in the future as well.
Finch, Australia captain: Found it reasonably hard to get my timing. Took a couple of chances, got lucky. We’ve barely been together as a team. Each guy has different strengths and weaknesses. You embrace that. Davey, he’s moving beautifully. His rhythm looked outstanding. Smudge was different class altogether. Maxi, the rare ability he’s got to just click his fingers and put pressure on the opposition.