David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch annihilated India with centuries as Australia outsmarted India by 10 wickets in the first ODI and took the lead 1-0 in the short three match series. India were strangled by Australia’s street-smart bowling as Virat and Co. surrendered on 255 before Warner (128*) and Finch (110*) bullied them in the chase. Both the openers put on the highest partnership for any wicket against India to take Australia home by 10 wickets with 12.2 overs to spare.
It was a day to forget for Men in Blue as they were outshined by Australia with both bat and ball. Putting into bat, India were jolted with an early blow as they lost their in-form opener Rohit Sharma in the fourth over of the innings. But Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul steadied the ship with a 121 runs stand. But a loose shot from Rahul gave Australia an opening that they were looking for. Shikhar Dhawan (74), who was rusty at the start, was going good before Cummins got Dhawan's leading edge as he looked to flick. The Australian bowlers denied India any acceleration after that. From 134-2, India scrambled to 164-5 in the space of 5 overs. A good hand from Pant, Jadeja and Kuldeep at the end saw India go past 250 but at Wankhede, it was not enough.
India's bowlers found swing from both ends, but it soon faded under lights as the deliveries started sliding on sweetly off the deck. Both Finch and Warner took the advantage of that and started piling on runs.
Finch, in particular, was more confident at the start and drove beautifully through the covers of both front and back foot. Warner, who was more tentative to start off soon, picked up the pace and started to hit down the pitch. Warner especially punished Shardul Thakur, whose lower pace suited the Australian opener.
Virat introduced Kuldeep Yadav in the 11th over and it looked like he might end the Australian onslaught. In his first over, he found Finch's leading edge twice, but the luck was on Australian skipper’s side. Finch broke the shackles in Yadav’s next over and smoked him straight for six. Soon enough, the spinners also started dropping them short, and the openers cruised to their fifties and set themselves up for hundreds that were reached without sweating after the 200 partnership was brought up in the 31st over.
Men in Blue will look to forget this one-sided affair quickly as possible and will look to bounce back in Rajkot to save the series. The all-important second ODI will be played on 17th January.