Australia decimated India in the first ODI at Wankhede, Mumbai by 10 wickets and 74 balls to spare. It was one-way traffic in the match as Australia ticked the right boxes. In fact, at one stage India was going well when Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul forged a 121-run partnership. However, as soon as KL Rahul was dismissed, the floodgates open and there was coming back for the hosts.
India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan, who top-scored for the hosts with a fine knock of 74 runs accepted the fact that they had a bad day in office. Dhawan was struggling to find his groove in the initial phase but was able to get going after getting his eye in. But it was a disappointing day for the Indian team who were outplayed by the potent Australian side.
The middle-order collapse led to the loss of impetus.
“When KL got out, that time we planned to accelerate and those four wickets we lost, that’s where we lost the momentum. We were targeting 300 runs and with the loss of wickets, we ended up scoring less runs on that sort of a wicket. In bowling too, we could not take early wickets. They outplayed us,” the opening batsman said.
“There was a bit of moisture on the pitch when we started batting. Their bowlers — Pat Cummins — bowled really well. He bowled really good length to me, there was extra bounce and pace. We handled the first 10-15 overs very nicely. Where we lost four wickets in a row, changed the game for us.”
Meanwhile, India has been a dominant side and it was an off-day for the team. Dhawan is confident that the team will make a roaring comeback in the remaining two matches of the series, which are must-win for them.
“It’s a new day, so get ourselves back and get the positivity going. We guys have been playing very good cricket the whole year, so one bad day in the office is fine. We know we are a strong team and we will get back stronger.”
On the other hand, Dhawan posted 121 runs with KL Rahul, who was promoted to number three in the batting order with Virat Kohli demoting himself. Rahul has been in prime form and the think tank asked him to go up in the batting order.
“Good on KL that he came at No. 3, he’s been batting as an opener in the last one or two series and the support staff asked him to bat at No.3 and he scored runs. He’s a brilliant player and he has been performing consistently, doing really well so I’m sure that he will keep doing well,” he said.
The second ODI will take place at Rajkot on 17th January.