India take the lead in the India vs Australia ODI series after a commanding and comfortable 5-wicket victory at Mohali. The Men in Blues hunt down the target of 277 after a complete performance from the players. Kl Rahul sent Australia to bat first but they couldn't capitalize on the advantage and only scored 276. Mohammed Shami came back to the squad and completed a five-wicket haul to dismantle the batting lineup. he struck in every phase of Australia's inning which caused huge damage.
Fans saw Gaikwad opening with the Prince himself, Shubman Gill and they didn't disappoint for sure. Both got off to the mark early and completed respective half-centuries by adding 141 runs to the scoreboard for the first wicket. Adam Zampa showed some positive signs and gave the Aussies the slightest hope to still make a comeback. Skipper Kl Rahul & Sky's impressive 80-run partnership buried it completely. Read the Match Report and share your thoughts in the comments.
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India skipper Kl Rahul won the toss and decided to bowl first. Mitchell Marsh opened the inning alongside David Warner after Travis Head was ruled out with injury. India got off to a brilliant start as Mohammed Shami showed Marsh the exit gate in the fourth delivery of Australia's inning. David Warner and Smith then stood up and built a strong partnership of 94 runs before Sir Jadeja sent Warner home. David Warner scored 52 runs and he was looking quite dangerous. Jadeja came up with the much-needed wicket and the pressure brought another huge wicket of Steve Smith. Shami returned to continue his spell and sent Smith to the dressing room for 41 runs. Australia lost their third wicket under 112 runs.
Despite knowing Australia's batting depth, the Men in Blues annoyed them with sudden switches between spin and seam attack. Labuschagne (39) who was set to continue his brilliant form, returned to the dugout just when he started to take risks. Ashwin took a huge wicket on his return to the squad after 20 months or so. India had to go on and keep taking wickets in front of a depth like this. Just when Australia thought they were building another unbreakable partnership, The Indian players came up with something new. Shami this time went on and dismissed Green not with his bowling but brilliant fielding. Green ran out for 31 after playing a slow inning.
Josh Inglis took responsibility for providing some fireworks but it didn't continue for too long either. Shardul Thakur (10-78-0) didn't have a great day but the other bowlers were there to fill the space in. Bumrah returned with the bowl in the death overs and dismissed Josh for 45. It was the only wicket he could take after a brilliant (10-43-1) spell. Shami took his third wicket with a beautiful delivery which outplayed Stoinis completely. He then went on to complete his fifer while Pat Cummins (21*) played an unbeaten small cameo at the end. Australia could only reach 276 runs on a strong batting pitch like Mohali. The credit must go to the Indian bowlers especially Shami who completed a brilliant five-wicket haul.
Just like during the bowling, India started well during the chase too. The fans got to see Gaikwad-Gill as openers after waiting for lightyears. But it was worth waiting as both batters complimented each other very well. Shubman Gill started off pretty fast just like they are on a mission to chase the score as soon as possible. He kept on pushing himself and completed his 9th One Day International half-century in just 37 deliveries. Unlike Gill, Gaikwad started a little bit slow but it was also important to take the guard from the other end to add as much as they could to the scoreboard. Gaikwad brought up his first ODI half-century in 60 deliveries while playing only the third match for India.
Both openers were punishing the Aussie bowlers and the target soon became very close. Zampa came up with the first breakthrough as he trapped Gaikwad LBW for 71. He did his job by building a huge 142-run partnership. India soon lost another wicket as Iyer got run out by Cameron Green. Under just 9 runs, India lost another one and it was none other than Gill. After playing an impressive knock of 74 runs, Zampa sent him home. It was now the Aussies who gained the momentum.
Skipper Kl Rahul and the wicket-keeper, Ishan Kishan took the responsibility to carry the inning from here. They started slowly but soon got used to the situation. But Pat Cummins didn't let the Men in Blues regain control and sent Ishan to the dressing room. Well, it is Kl Rahul's comeback arc and every other player is just a side character. He showed his domination by standing tall. He didn't expose himself and built a solid match-winning partnership with Suryakumar Yadav. Sky started slowly just like Gaikwas but soon started his thing. He went on to smash every bowler and completed his half-century before gifting his wicket to Sean Abbott.
It didn't worry Kl for a second as both completed their job by adding 80 runs for the fifth wicket. Kl Rahul then finished the match in style with a six and also completed his 13th half-century on the way. India are in the lead in this three-match India vs Australia ODI series. It was a huge win for the team, especially before the World Cup.