New Delhi: India climbed to the top spot in all three ICC rankings after beating Australia by five wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series in Mohali on Friday. India chased down the target of 277 with 1.2 overs to spare, thanks to the brilliant knocks by Shubman Gill (74), Ruturaj Gaikwad (71), Lokesh Rahul (58 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (50).
Gill and Gaikwad gave India a solid start with a 142-run stand for the first wicket, while Rahul and Suryakumar added 80 runs for the fifth wicket to seal the victory. Gill smashed six fours and two sixes in his 63-ball innings, while Gaikwad hit 10 fours in his 77-ball innings. Suryakumar hit five fours and one six in 49 balls, while Rahul hit one six and four fours in his 63-ball innings, including the winning six.
Adam Zampa was the most successful bowler for Australia with two wickets, but he also dropped two catches of Kishan and Rahul. India’s middle-order batting still remains a concern for the World Cup, as Shreyas Iyer failed to impress on his comeback from injury and was run out for three runs. However, Suryakumar’s impressive innings eased the pressure on the selectors and the team management.
Earlier, Australia was bowled out for 276 in 49.4 overs, with Mohammad Shami taking five wickets for 48 runs. It was the second time that Shami took a five-wicket haul in his ODI career. He dismissed David Warner (52), Jose Inglis (45), Steve Smith (41), Marnus Labuschagne (39) and Pat Cummins (10). Warner, Inglis, Smith, and Labuschagne got good starts but could not convert them into big scores.
Shardul Thakur had a forgettable day with the ball, as he conceded 78 runs in 10 overs without taking any wickets. He also missed an easy catch of Warner off his own bowling at the beginning of the Australian innings. India’s World Cup plans do not seem to include Shami, who is likely to be replaced by Shardul for his batting skills.
The second ODI of the series will be played in Kolkata on Sunday. India will look to seal the series with another win, while Australia will try to bounce back and level the series.