Sydney: Australia posted 288/5 against India in the opening ODI of the three-match series here at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
The change of colours didn’t usher in a change of fortune for Australia as the hosts lost both their openers Aaron Finch (6) and Alex Carey (24) within the first 15 overs. Finch left the gap between the bat and the pad, the ball delivered by Bhuvneshwar Kumar sneaked in to hit the off stump. The Indian pacer picked up his 100th ODI wicket in style.
India had their upper hand as Kuldeep Yadav struck in his very first over. Carey, who had cut the spinner for a boundary off the previous ball, tried to repeat but got an outside edge, which Rohit Sharma caught at the first slip.
As Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh were in the middle, the hosts reconstructed their innings well. The duo held the Australian fort to put more than 50 runs for the third wicket and brought up the 100-mark for the hosts.
Khawaja registered his fifth ODI fifty off 70 balls before ending a 92-run stand and giving a much-needed breakthrough to the visitors. The Ravindra Jadeja delivery hit Khawaja (59) on the knee as he brought the front forward trying to sweep it, but the left-hander reviewed it. However, the umpire slowly lifted the finger of death for Australia.
Sharing the crease with Marsh, Peter Handscomb came out and kept the score ticking for Australia. To retain their control, Kuldeep struck again and Marsh (54) gave a low tumbling catch to Mohammed Shami.
Australia crossed the 250-mark with the help of Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis. Soon after, the visitors denied the hosts as Bhuvneshwar dismissed Handscomb (73).
As the hosts stuttered at the end, they posted 288 for the loss of five wickets. Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell remained unbeaten on 47 and 11.
Bhuvneshwar and Kuldeep picked up two wickets each, while Jadeja got a piece.