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Just like Lords for England and Melbourne for the Aussies, Wankhede happens to be the Cradle of Cricketing Excellence for Indian Cricket. The memories of 2011 World Cup Victory against Sri Lanka are just as fresh as the memories of yesterday’s closely fought battle. But this time, it had new challenges for India, as India had lost back to back ODI at wankhede, the last victory being the 2011 World Cup Victory against Sri Lanka.
The pitch predictions said something else but the match turned out to be way around. The seaming conditions and the Indian Pacers spared no mercy at the Aussies and restricted them to a meager total of 188. Though Mitchell Marsh looked to be a hard nut to crack, while he was smashing Kuldeep Yadav for shots, but the spin maestro, Jadeja got hold of him.
To everyone’s amuse, 188 wasn’t going to be easy for the Indians too, with the Australian bowling lined up with the Pace Master Mitchell Starc and the Medium Pacer Marcus Stonis.
1. KL Rahul’s fights back India to a Cut Throat Victory
It was just days ago, a happily married Rahul failed to Perform at the Nagpur and Delhi Test and people had started to talk about the end of his Cricketing Career. After continuous poor performances in the T20 World Cup and the upcoming Series, this all was bound to happen.
But Rahul has continued to prove himself whenever the team has found itself under tremendous pressure. An innings building knock of 75 off 91 balls, when India had lost its stars Shubhmann Gill, Surya kumar Yadav and Skipper Hardik Pandya, one after another, shaped the victory for India. Being an aggressive batsman, Rahul showed his ultimate grit and continued to stick to the crease until he got the hold of Starc who appeared to be in best of his form once again.
Some crackling Straight Drives and a smooth partnership of 108 runs of 124 deliveries beside Jadeja helped India reach their target in 1st ODI with 5 wickets in hand and 61 deliveries to spare.
2. Ravindra Jadeja – The Evershining Star
The Asia cup, 2022 was just not about losing a title that India had continued to own for the past 8 years, but also resulted in the injury of One of the World’s finest All-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja. Though India tried its best to find a perfect replacement for him throughout the ICC T20 World cup 2022, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin just didn’t prove to be enough.
But all of this didn’t seem to matter to Ravindra Jadeja. Be it the scalps of the dangerous Batsmen Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, or a knock of 45 runs of 69 balls when KL Rahul was searching for someone to stick on; both seemed to be a cakewalk for him.
Performance of such kind, from a player just recovering from Injury is unimaginable. Man of the Match at the Nagpur and Delhi Tests , Man of the Tournament in the prestigious “Border Gavaskar Trophy” and now the Man of the Match Award at the First ODI at Wankhede, Jadeja made it look so easy. The Indian fans can just pray and hope that, in the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World Cup, they get to witness not just the power-hitting and befitting bowling of Jadeja, but also his miraculous presence in the outfield that has always left the opponent stunned.
3. India’s Way Ahead In the Series
When we’re talking about India’s performance in yesterday’s match, let’s not forget the flabbergasting spells of the Pace Stunners Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj. Mohammad Siraj, who went on to be the best bowler for India in ODIs in 2022, continues to outshine the batsmen with his accurate line and length which helped him clean the Aussie Tail with 3 for 29 in 5.4 overs. With eye-catching and unplayable deliveries against Cameron Green and Josh Inglis, Mohd Shammi proved to be no less with 3 scalps for 17 runs with an economy of just 2.8.
The pace attack gets a stronger backup with the all rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur putting continuous pressure on the batsmen and restricting them to low totals.
The only point of concern for India would be the unstable form of Ishan Kishan. Though he happens to be the batsmen who hit the fastest Double Century in the ODIs recently against Bangladesh, since then, there has been no such performance that we can boast about. With Rohit Sharma’s return to the team in the 2nd ODI at Vizag, it would be a tough call for the selectors to book a slot for the Young And ferocious Batsmen.
In the 2nd ODI at Visakhapatnam, India would be looking forward to seal another series Victory at home before all the players step into a dense IPL Cricketing action for the next two months. It would be interesting to see how Indian Cricket Team approaches the next ODI and the fans would be looking forward to see some more experiments in the Indian Squad and plethora of such enthralling back to back performances by the flag bearers of the Nation.
MATCH: 2nd ODI India Vs Australia
WHEN: Sunday, 19th March, 1:30 PM IST at the DR.YSRR Stadium, Visakhapatnam