Sydney: India suffered a 34-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the first ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 289 runs, India lost their mighty top three within the first four overs. Australia pacer Jason Behrendorff struck early to dent the visitors in the name of Shikhar Dhawan for a duck in the very first over of the match.
To break the Indian fort, pacer Jhye Richardson went on to take the crucial wicket of skipper Virat Kohli (3), who flicked the ball off his pads which went straight to Marcus Stoinis at the forward square. An on-fire-Richardson then dismissed Ambati Rayudu for a duck in the same over.
After a sluggish start, Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni came in the middle and gradually settled in. The wicket-keeper batsman became the fifth Indian player to reach the elusive 10,000 ODI run milestone.
With fine partnership for the third wicket, the duo slowly switched the gears and the Hitman reached his super half-century. Dhoni registered his 67th ODI fifty with a boundary before ending a 137-run stand and giving a much-needed breakthrough to the hosts. As Dhoni looked to flick the ball on the leg side, he missed it and departed for 51.
Sharing the crease with Sharma, Dinesh Karthik came out and kept the score ticking for India and took his side past 150-mark. However, on a short delivery produced by Richardson, Karthik looked to pull but the ball took his inside edge and he was bowled for 12.
The Hitman, who led his side cross the 200-mark, also registered his 22nd ODI century, which also marked 7th against Australia and 5th in Australia. However, Richardson struck again and picked up his fourth wicket of the day in the name of Ravindra Jadeja (8).
Sharma’s brave lone came to an end as he tried to heave a slow ball delivered by Marcus Stoinis, he got a top edge and at the deep midwicket, Glenn Maxwell took the catch. He walks off to a standing ovation from the SCG crowd having made 133 off 129 balls.
Following the Hitman’s departure, India stuttered at the end as Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami were dismissed for three and one respectively in quick succession. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar remained unbeaten on 29.
Richardson picked by four wickets, while Behrendorff and Stoinis took two each. Joining the party, Peter Siddle too took a piece.
With the victory in the first ODI, Australia are now leading the three-match series by 1-0 against India.