Australia vs India, 1st ODI: 3 Australian players who impressed the most
Australia beat India by 34 runs in the first ODI of the 3-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. Australia made 288/5 after winning the toss, and batting first in the 50 overs match. Peter Handscomb top scored with 73 and Usman Khawaja made 59. Shaun Marsh also batted well to score 54 runs and Marcus Stoinis made a whirlwind 47. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja took 2 wickets apiece for India.
India lost 3 quick wickets in their run chase and never really recovered from that. However, Rohit Sharma played a superb innings of 133 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 51 as they could post a respectable total in chase.
For Australia, Jhye Richardson was the pick of the bowlers and took 4 wickets for 26 runs while Jason Behrendorff took 2 wickets. Richardson was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant bowling performance. We would now look at the 3 Australian players who impressed the most in the match:
#3 Usman Khawaja
Australia had lost a couple of quick wickets as skipper Aaron Finch again failed with the bat. However, Khawaja and Marsh combined to pull Australia out of troubled waters. Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav gave very little room to the Australian batsmen. The Australian batsmen used their feet well to play the spinners and took a lot of ones and twos to keep the scoreboard moving.
The Australian batsmen mostly fell back on their back foot to play some cuts and pulls against the spinners, as the latter did not give the ball much flight. Khawaja played some superb reverse sweeps off the bowling of Jadeja to make some quick runs. He had to do so because the Indian spinners hardly gave any room to the batsmen.
He made his 5th half-century in ODIs before falling to Jadeja. Khawaja also hit 6 boundaries in his useful knock.
However, he could not last long after reaching his half-century and was trapped in front of the wicket while trying to play a slog sweep off Jadeja. Still, his partnership of 92 with Marsh laid the foundation for a big score for the Australians. It was always going to be difficult to chase 289 runs on that wicket and India could not get very close to their target.