To say that India snatched a victory against Sri Lanka would be an understatement. They humiliated them, and the wounds of complete annihiliation (9-0) must be running deep in the Lankan camp even now.
But, players of Team India are up and running. They have welcomed the mighty Aussies in their backyard, and by how things have panned out in the first ODI, it seems that the men in yellow will suffer just as badly. After all, key players like Shikhar Dhawan and R Ashwin are yet to play a part.
On top of that, MS Dhoni who was considered as a weak batting link in the side, has struck form against a top, top bowling attack. Yes, the men from down under do have players who can turn the game on their head on their day. It just takes one magical innings from Glenn Maxwell or David Warner, and suddenly the hosts will have no answers. But, it might happen in one game. It will not happen every time. (Don’t kill us, if it does.)
A lot rests on the form of Steven Smith. He had an exceptionally poor start to the tournament, and if the Indian bowlers can find a way to keep him quiet, then it will affect his captaincy too. Plus, Australia don’t have too much in their spin arsenal – Adam Zampa is easy pickings for Indian batsman on most occasions. “To be honest, when Mahi bhai was batting with me, we knew what Zampa was going to bowl,” man of the match Hardik Pandya said at the end of the match.
“We had them at 5 for 87 and let things off a bit. MS and Hardik had a great, match-winning partnership. The new ball was stopping and some skidded on. We lost too many wickets in the middle. You can’t control the weather. No complaints, we weren’t good enough and we were outplayed by India. I thought Cummins and Coulter-Nile bowled very well in the new ball and hopefully they can back it up in a couple of days’ time. It was a tough wicket with the new ball, and then we went away from our plans too early,” Steven Smith said at the end of the first ODI.
Truly, if he manages to build momentum, India can lose a game. But the Virat Kohli led side are too mentally strong (especially at home) to allow that too happen everytime.
But then, sports has a funny way of biting predictors like us. We didn’t see Kevin Anderson reaching the finals of US Open, nor did we see Leicester City winning the English Premier League. It’s quite possible that Australia can win all the remaining four ODIs. But, we’re not putting our money on that.