During the first ODI against Australia, in the 18th over, when Hardik Pandya failed to take advantage of a free hit and scored only one run, Virat Kohli didn’t conceal his emotions. Despite a few minor setbacks, Team India secured a comfortable victory over Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series held in Mumbai.
India bowled Australia out for a paltry score of 188 runs and then chased the target down with over 10.1 overs and five wickets to spare, thanks to KL Rahul’s unbeaten knock of 75. After winning the toss, stand-in captain Hardik Pandya, who was filling in for Rohit Sharma, chose to bowl first.
India’s pacer Mohammad Siraj struck early by dismissing Travis Head in the second over of the match. However, Mitchell Marsh, along with stand-in captain Steve Smith, soon turned the tide in favor of Australia with some aggressive hitting.
The key breakthrough in the Australian innings came when Hardik Pandya dismissed Steve Smith, who was building a partnership with opener Mitchell Marsh. However, Marsh continued to play aggressively until Ravindra Jadeja dismissed him for a well-made 81 off 65 balls.
After that, India’s bowlers took control and applied the brakes on the Australian innings. Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami picked up three wickets each and ran through the middle order of the visitors. India encountered a few initial setbacks as Mitchell Starc dealt early blows, with Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav being dismissed inexpensively, while Ishan Kishan was sent back in the first over by Marcus Stoinis.
However, KL Rahul (75*) and Hardik Pandya (25) steadied the Indian innings with a 44-run partnership before Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja (45*) put on an unbeaten 108-run stand for the sixth wicket, steering India to a comfortable victory.
Looking back, India did eventually win the match comfortably, but it was not without its share of drama, even after Mitchell Starc’s initial breakthroughs. The 18th over of the match proved to be a turning point, as Marcus Stoinis attempted to unsettle Hardik Pandya with some aggressive bowling. However, he overstepped the crease on his fourth ball, resulting in a no-ball being called.
Despite the opportunity, Pandya failed to capitalize on the free hit, only managing a single run. Virat Kohli was visibly unhappy with this missed opportunity and displayed his frustration with an annoyed expression on his face.