India on Saturday lost their first One Day International match against Australia by 34 runs despite Rohit Sharma’s courageous century in adverse circumstances.
Batting first Australia had scored 288 for 5 in their 50 overs quota. For Australia, Peter Handscomb was the top scorer after he played a knock of 73. Other two batsmen scoring half centuries were Usman Khwaja and Shaun Marsh, whom scored 59 and 54 respectively.
In response, India could only score 254 for 9 in 50 overs. Rohit Sharma played a superb knock of 133 before he got out off Marcus Stoinis. Only other batsman scoring 50 for India was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who scored 51 before he was adjudged lbw off Jason Behrendorff’s bowling.
Reacting to the victory, Australian captain Aaron Finch said that he was very pleased with his side’s performance. He said, “We knew that they’d try and take it deep and luckily we were able to take wickets and stem the flow. I thought we were around par. I thought with the earlier start dew wouldn’t come in. We felt the wicket would slow up a bit so I thought it was par. I thought the partnership between Khawaja and Marsh set us up and Pete Handscomb payed a gem. Jhye and Jason are full of confidence, they both have a good future ahead of them. We can always improve, it will be a good series.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that he was disappointed with his side’s performance. He said, “We were not very pleased with the way we played and obviously we did well with the ball in the middle overs. Rohit batted really well and I believe we fell a bit short. Rohit and Sharma took the game deep and when MS went out it put Rohit under pressure.”
“Losing wickets early also didn’t do us any favours and it was hard to kick on from there. One more good partnership and we would have got close. But losing three wickets up front was the problem and Australia were professional enough not to let us back in. I think we have to take it as a day when Australia played better than us. We’re not too stressed about results. I think days like these make you aware of things you have to work on as a team,” he added.
Sharma, however, became a hero on for former cricketers and commentaors despite India’s defeat. Noted commentator Harsha Bhogle said, “Really classy century from Rohit Sharma. You can say that about most of his batting but it has been a treat to watch this.” Former India cricketer VVS Laxman tweeted, “This has been a top innings from Rohit.” Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar tweeted, “Another classy knock from @ImRo45. He rotated the strike rather well and hit the ball as cleanly as anyone in world cricket today.”
The next ODI of the three-match series is scheduled for 15 January at the Adelaide Oval.