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India go 1-0 up with a comprehensive performance

India go 1-0 up with a comprehensive performance

India go 1-0 up with a comprehensive performance

Australia have already landed in India for the ICC Men's World Cup, and they will be playing a 3 match ODI series against India ahead of the big event.

India went up 1-0 in the three-match ODI series with a comfortable 5-wicket win riding on the heroics of Mohammed Shami (5/51) before a collective batting performance rounded off the chase.

Set a target of 277, India were well on course for a big win with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill putting on a fluent 142-run opening stand. The latter continued his good form and set the tone early by cashing in on any width offered by the Australian pacers in the powerplay by peppering the offside fence.

Gaikwad started off on a relatively slower note but soon caught on, matching Gill's offside boundaries at will en route his maiden ODI fifty. The partnership was so commanding that Australia barely produced a chance with the ball, barring one when Gaikwad was put down by Josh Inglis behind the stumps on 17.

When the chances finally came though with the introduction of Adam Zampa, India had a solid foundation already but it threatened to be shaken albeit briefly. Gaikwad was out LBW trying to sweep Zampa before Shreyas Iyer was run out after a big mix-up with Gill. Zampa brought Australia firmly back into the game when he rattled the stumps by going past Gill's cut with a flipper. Losing three wickets for nine runs left India in a jittery position, and was amplified when Ishan Kishan was out caught behind on 18. But the nerves were put to rest by an assured partnership between KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav for the fifth wicket.

Soon after the break, R Ashwin got another ODI wicket against his name when Labuschagne was a trifle unlucky to be out stumped off a ricochet from Rahul's pad. India's largely lacklustre fielding efforts did not prevent the run out of Cameron Green after a big mix-up with Inglis.

Suryakumar, after three golden ducks in previous ODI outings against Australia, found his tempo by tempering his sweep shots and concentrating on playing straight right through. Resultantly, a couple of crisp straight drives put his innings on course alongside a solid Rahul. Suryakumar brought up his third ODI fifty, and first in 11 innings, that ticked another box in India's preparation for the World Cup. Even as he departed, with India a couple of hits away from the win, the chase was finished off in style by Rahul who got to his 14th ODI fifty with a couple of clean lofts in the long off area.

That the chase was completed without breaking much sweat was thanks to the bowling performance earlier in the day, with Shami starring right through. Shami kickstarted the innings on a good note after India opted to bowl, having Mitchell Marsh caught in the lone wide slip in just the first over. However, Australia fought back through a sprightly 94-run stand between David Warner and Steve Smith. The former was put down on 14 by Shreyas Iyer at mid off, and made India pay for it with his 29th ODI fifty. Along with Smith, who kept one end busy, Warner was threatening to up the ante in the middle overs with not much assistance on offer for the bowlers.

But Warner fell, holing out to long on against Jadeja while Shami came back for another spell and got the better of Smith with a sharp incoming delivery. Australia recovered from the double blow with a steady stand between Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green before a brief rain interruption halted play.

Inglis made amends though with Marcus Stoinis as Australia hit back with a counterattacking partnership worth 62 runs in 41 balls. The duo were lethal with their power-hitting with Inglis' slashed six over extra cover against Bumrah being the pick of the innings.

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