Steve Smith and Aaron Finch struck a blazing and steady century respectively in Sydney against India followed by the bowlers keeping their nerve in crucial moments as Australia began their home summer in style. Despite half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya and reprieves at various stages, it was too much to do for India. It would be a do or die game for Virat Kohli’s men on Sunday in the ODI leg.
After electing to bat first, David Warner and Aaron Finch put on 156 for the first wicket. David Warner and Aron Finch played with an excellent combination of positivity, aggressiveness, and proactiveness. Even though there were quite a few risky singles, fortune favoured their bravado. Warner’s wicket did not slow things down and instead accelerated for Australia as Steve Smith went hammer and tongs against India’s bowling attack.
Aaron Finch, whose wicket fell shortly after the century, was a blessing in disguise. It brought Glenn Maxwell to the crease as he further piled the misery on the Indian bowlers, hammering 45 off 19 balls and no time putting them on track for a daunting total. Smith also unleashed lusty blows in the death as much as in the middle, making a 62-ball hundred and eventually ending the innings at 374.
Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal start rapidly for India:
Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal unsurprisingly came out all guns blazing, raising a half-century stand inside five overs as Mitchell Starc could not gain any rhythm. It was Josh Hazlewood who sent Mayank, captain Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer within the space of four overs. And five overs later, KL Rahul perished to Adam Zampa; however, the visitors raised their 100 within 15 overs.
Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan battled through Australia’s pace, slow and spin bowlers to stitch a 128-run stand. Zampa, who faced a tonking from Pandya earlier, turned the match in Australia’s favour, removing the all-rounder for 90 and Dhawan for 81. The leggie finished with figures of 10-0-54-4 while Josh Hazlewood bagged 10-0-55-3. Starc, who was well short of his rhythm, got a consolation wicket in the form of Mohammed Shami in the final over.