Twitter Reactions: Centuries from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith trump undercooked India in Sydney

Twitter Reactions: Centuries from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith trump undercooked India in Sydney

India were extremely sloppy in the field and the drop catches cost them badly.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Australia have started their 2020-21 home season with a resounding win over India in the first of the three-match ODI series in Sydney. They batted superbly first up thanks to centuries from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith and then the bowlers did their job perfectly despite Hardik Pandya threatening for a while. They have now taken a 1-0 lead in the series and India will be keen on making a comeback in the next game.

Earlier, Australia opted to bat first after winning the toss and what followed was absolute carnage. Aaron Finch and David Warner started cautiously but made sure that the scoreboard was ticking. They tapped and ran a lot of singles which India didn’t expect. Once they were settled, the duo began to open up. They played the new ball bowlers and took on Navdeep Saini, the least experienced of the lot.

Slowly but steadily, the partnership built and lack of wickets meant the run-rate kept on increasing. Both the batsmen got to their respective half-centuries with Warner being the aggressor. Finch, at the other end, played his usual ODI knock taking his time and churning out boundaries whenever required. It took 27.5 overs for the visitors to pick their first wicket and it came via a DRS.

Mohammed Shami struck to send back Warner on 69 and then Steve Smith came out to leave absolutely stunned. The former Australia skipper ripped apart the Indian bowling attack as he and Finch added 108 runs in just around 12 overs. The Australia captain, in the process, got to his 17th ODI ton and scored 114 runs before getting out. Marcus Stoinis then bagged a golden duck with India trying to sneak back into the game.

However, Glenn Maxwell and Smith had other plans as they toyed with the visitors like anything. Maxwell who couldn’t even a single six in the IPL for KXIP, looked in great touch for Australia and dished out some amazing strokes. He smashed 45 off 19 balls with five fours and three sixes while Smith reached his well-deserved century off just 62 balls to power the hosts to a mammoth total of 374/6 after 50 overs.

India bowled well in the last 3-4 overs to pull things back but the damage was already done earlier in the innings. Mohammed Shami was the best bowler with the figures of 3/59 while the rest of the bowlers were too expensive.

Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan fight but India go down

India got off to a blistering start thanks to their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal. Rather Mitchell Starc was also responsible due to his lengthy first over. The opening duo carried on the momentum playing some wonderful strokes as the team crossed the 50-run mark in the fifth over itself. This is where things started to go wrong.

Agarwal played a rash shot in a bid to clear the in-field off Josh Hazlewood after which Virat Kohli came out to stun the viewers with some crisp strokes. The shot from him walking down to Pat Cummins and flicking with nonchalance with a six was the best of the day. But Hazlewood got the better of him as well and Shreyas Iyer was once again exposed off the short ball.

KL Rahul also got out soon to leave the team reeling at 101/4 in the 14th over. Dhawan, at the other end, didn’t get much of a strike but was looking good. Hardik Pandya joined him and the duo played some matured cricket. The former played good counter-attacking without taking much of a risk while Dhawan played second-fiddle.

Hardik took on Adam Zampa superbly forcing him out of the attack. Both of them got to their half-centuries as they added 128 runs to keep India in the hunt. The Men in Retro jerseys still had more than an outside chance with both the batsmen, especially Hardik looking extremely dangerous. But Zampa came back into the attack nip out Dhawan (74 off 86) and once again, India fell back in the chase.

With the wicket falling, Hardik Pandya who was ready to launch his big hits, had to curb himself and when he tried one off the leg-spinner, he couldn’t get the distance. He was holed out in the deep for 90 off 76 balls, the knock which was laced with seven fours and four sixes and was a pretty matured one as well. Once he was dismissed, India didn’t even try to get to the target as both the teams just went through the motions.

India could reach only 308 runs in their 50 overs as they lost the game by 66 runs to concede an early lead in the series. Adam Zampa was the star bowler for the home side with four wickets while Josh Hazlewood plucked three to rock India early in the chase.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: