Sydney: Rohit Sharma’s (133, 129b, 10×4, 6×6) individual brilliance was not enough to make up for a floundering top and middle-order as India suffered a 34-run defeat at the hands of a resilient Australia in the first ODI, here Saturday at the SCG. The hosts restricted India to 254 for nine in 50 overs after scoring 288 for five.
Three of India’s top four batsmen could not reach double-digit figures and lasted a mere 11 balls. Rohit reached his hundred off 110 balls, equalling Sourav Ganguly’s record of 22 ODI centuries and is now behind only Sachin Tendulkar (49) and Virat Kohli (38).
India were gasping after losing three batsmen at a single-digit score of four before Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51, 96b, 3×4, 1×6) combined to stitch together a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, Dhoni with a strike rate of 53.12 was again found wanting.
Debutant Jason Behrendorff (2/39) broke the partnership by having Dhoni leg before. Incidentally Dhoni became only the fifth Indian batsman to complete 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. Tendulkar, Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Kohli are the other batsmen to achieve the feat.
Jhye Anderson proudly possesses with the man of the match trophy
The hosts owe their 1-0 lead in the three-match series to a collective batting effort by their middle-order batsmen, specially Peter Handscomb (73, 61b, 6×4, 2×6), who switched gears in time to steer his side to 288 for five with his knock. Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis (47 n o, 43b, 2×4, 2×6) grabbed the momentum with their 68-run stand for the fifth wicket as Australia scored 93 runs in the last 10 overs.
Usman Khawaja (59, 81b, 6×4) and Shaun Marsh (54, 70b, 4×4) also scored half centuries for the hosts who lost skipper Aaron Finch (6) in a slow start after electing to bat.
Young paceman Jhye Richardson (4/26) rocked the Indian middle-order by dismissing India skipper Virat Kohli (3) and Ambati Rayudu (0) in space of three balls and later added wickets of Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja in a career-best performance.
First, Behrendorff trapped Shikhar Dhawan lbw for a first-ball duck before Richardson swung into action. Kohli was caught at short square-leg, and then two balls later Rayudu (0) was trapped plumb lbw, as the Indian top-order was destroyed.
Earlier, India spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2/54) and Jadeja (1/48) shared three wickets between them while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/66) accounted for two batsmen.
Australia were reduced to 41 for two within the first 10 overs before Khawaja and Marsh resurrected them with a stand of 92 runs for the third wicket.
Rohit Sharma raises his bat after making 100 runs against Australia during their one day international cricket match in Sydney
Scoreboard: Australia: Alex Carey c Rohit b Kuldeep 24, Aaron Finch b Kumar 6, Usman Khawaja lbw b Jadeja 59, Shaun Marsh c Shami b Kedar 54, Peter Handscomb c Dhawan b Kumar 73, Marcus Stoinis n o 47, Glenn Maxwell n o 11, Extras (B-4, LB-2, NB-2, WD-6) 14, Total (for 5 wickets in 50 overs) 288.
Fall: 1-8, 2-41, 3-133, 4-186, 5-254.
Bowling: Bhuvneswar Kumar 10-0-66-2, Khalil Ahmed 8-0-55-0, Mohammed Shami 10-0-46-0, Kedar Yadav 10-0-54-2, R Jadeja 10-0-48-1, A Rayudu 2-0-13-0.
India: Rohit Sharma c Maxwell b Stoinis 133, Shikhar Dhawan lbw b Behrendorff 0, Virat Kohli c Stoinis b Richardson 3, Ambati Rayudu lbw b Richardson 0, MS Dhoni lbw b Behrendorff 51, Dinesh Karthik b Richardson 12, Jadeja c Marsh b Richardson 8, Bhuvneshwar Kumar n o 29, Kuldeep Yadav c Khawaja b Siddle 3, Mohammed Shami c Maxwell b Stoinis 1, Extras: (lb-7, w-6, nb-1), Total: (for nine wickets in 50 overs) 254.
Fall: 1-1, 4-2, 4-3, 141-4, 176-5, 213-6, 221-7, 247-8, 254-9.
Bowling: Jason Behrendorff 10-2-39-2, Jhye Richardson 10-2-26-4, Peter Siddle 8-0-48-1, Nathan Lyon 10-1-50-0, Marcus Stoinis 10-0-66-2, Glenn Maxwell 2-0-18-0.