It was a match of a stark contrast as an off-beat India were ruthlessly thrashed by Australia in the one-sided series opener, here at the Wankhede stadium.
The 10-wicket loss was the first by an Indian team in 15 years. Last time they suffered such humiliation was against South Africa in 2005, when Graeme Smith hammered 134* in chase of 189 at Eden Gardens.
Incidentally, South Africa also hold the record for the highest target chased without losing a wicket when they gunned down 279 against Bangladesh in 2017.
This defeat opens up a new debate on India’s approach, as captain Virat Kohli’s bid to play three openers at the expense of a bowler produced more problems than solutions.
Defending below-par 255, it was imperative for Indian pacers to deliver quick blows on a belter. But visitors’ onslaught from the onset, courtesy of centurion openers David Warner (128* off 112) and captain Aaron Finch (110* off 114), quickly neautralised any threat posed by Indian pacers. The partnership of 258 is now the highest partnership for any wicket against India.
But the smooth ride for Australian openers wasn’t without hiccups, Warner was given out for caught behind in the sixth over when he tried to pull the ball down on the leg side but after a lengthy chat with Finch, the left-hander reviewed the decision and the partnership survived.
Australia then raced to 115/0 in 16 overs with Warner crossing his fifty after a cautious start. Finch followed suit and brought up his half century in the same over. With as the pair now settled into the chase, they seemingly played risk-free shots with sloppy India helping their case.
Warner was given out again, this time LBW off Ravindra Jadeja (0/41). However, the 33-year-old reviewed this decision straight away and snico showed a spike as ball passed the bat before hitting on the pads. Warner scored his 18th ODI hundred two overs later and the four that he hit to get there also helped Australia cross the 200-run mark.
Finch also reached his 16th ODI century in the 35th over with a four and in the next over, they set the record for highest opening stand for Australia against India. The previous record also belonged to the pair, which they had set in Bengaluru in 2017. In the 38th over, Warner hit Mohammed Shami for a four past mid-off which were the winning runs for the visitors.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan (74) and KL Raul stabilised the Indian innings with 121-run partnership after local-lad Rohit Sharma was dismissed cheaply on 10 by Mitchell Starc (3/56). Rahul eventually fell three runs short of his half century in the 28th over. Virat Kohli (16), coming in number 4 instead of usual three, played few shots in an attempt to up the ante but was dismissed caught and bowled by Adam Zampa.
Rishabh Pant (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (25) temporarily steadied the ship but India's slow start eventually played the part as both succumbed to the scorecard pressure.
The 49-run partnership for the fifth wicket was broken when Jadeja was caught behind off Kane Richardson. Pant also fell in the next over to Pat Cummins, ending India’s hopes for posting a challenging target.
He ended up suffering a concussion because of which Rahul kept wickets in his place during the Australian innings.
Kuldeep Yadav (17) and Mohammed Shami (10) struck some useful boundaries to push India over 250-mark.