Australia v India 21 Sep 2021
Series: India in Australia Sep/Oct 2021
Result: Australia by 9 wickets
Australia’s world record run of consecutive ODI victories now stands at 25 after an emphatic nine wicket victory over the visiting Indian team in the first match of the multi-format series to herald the start of the Australian summer.
The Australians last played international cricket in March against New Zealand and are coming off their winter break. Very few participated in England’s domestic tournament, the Hundred. India on the other hand were coming off a tough series against England while many of their leading players displayed good form in the Hundred. One might have expected the Aussies to be bit rusty.
Meg Lanning won the toss for Australia and sent India in to bat. Mithali Raj would have made the same decision had she won the toss. Both these captains prefer to chase, both as leaders and as batters.
That delicious opening combination of explosion and elegance, right and left hand, Shafali Verma (8) and Smriti Mandhana (16) showed early signs of racing away with it, particularly when Ellyse Perry‘s radar was still in winter recess. However the raw pace of Darcie Brown quickly brought a halt to proceedings, first removing Shafali and then Smriti. Both batters surprised by pace and deceived by bounce.
On debut for India, Yastika Bhatia (35), an elegant left hander who gave the impression that Mandhana was still at the crease, such was the stroke play coming from her blade. At the other end, Mithali Raj (63), quietly going about accumulating runs, but the pace was far too slow. For India to build a competitive total they needed to score quickly. When Brown returned to dismiss Yastika in exactly the same manner as Mandhana – caught by Rachael Haynes at point, the scoring slowed even further.Embed from Getty Images
Deepti Sharma (9) came and went, as did Pooja Vastrakar (17) before an entertaining unbeaten knock by Richa Ghosh (32*) with good support from Jhulan Goswami took India past the 200 mark to leave them 225/8 at the finish. It was never going to be enough. Best with the ball for the home team, Darcie Brown (4-33) in only her second ODI and Hannah Darlington (2-29) on debut.
Rachael Haynes (93*) and Alyssa Healy (77) shook off any cobwebs with an outstanding opening partnership of 126 runs before Healy became the only wicket to fall, to Poonam Yadav. Meg Lanning (53*) did the mopping up. It was a businesslike victory to the Australians with Darcie Brown named as Player of the Match.
Player of the Match: Darcie BrownEmbed from Getty Images