Australia beats India by 34 runs in first ODI in Sydney

India vs Australia,Virat Kohli,MS Dhoni

India's build-up to the game was marred by the news that Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul had been sent home after making controversial comments about women on an India-based television show.

Rahul and Pandya have been widely criticised for a series of remarks, which Kohli has branded inappropriate, and will answer charges of misconduct and indiscipline levelled by the BCCI.

Desperate to shore up a World Cup defence that looked in bad shape after three wins from Australia's past 21 completed ODIs, selectors made six changes to the incumbent XI and reshuffled the batting order.

Richardson blasted out Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja but Sharma's six sixes and continued presence at the crease gave India's fans, well represented in the 37,556-strong crowd, some hope.

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Pandya's absence could mean that India might have to rejig their bowling attack. Jasprit Bumrah has already been rested for this series, as well as the tour of New Zealand, and this allows the think-tank to conduct one final experimentation with their bowling attack. "That's how we are looking at it, the combinations will have to be looked at when the decision comes out and from there on we'll see what needs to be done about the whole situation".

It's an opportunity for Mohammed Shami to have a say and enhance his reputation.

They played a total of 13 ODI matches. While India has been on the lookout to sort their middle order for sometime now, Dhoni's lack of power hitting lower down has only increased their need to find the right personnel in the middle.

Kohli was the top run-scorer in ODIs in 2018 and here is a chance for him to start 2019 with a bang. While this is a meagre return for a batsman of his stature, the worrying aspect is Dhoni's strike-rate of 71.42, which is remarkably lower than his ODI career strike-rate of 87.89.

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Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. The episode has been removed from all the online platforms. The episode is no longer available for public viewing.


Since the last World Cup, Dhoni has batted at number four in only 9 ODIs, scoring 245 runs at 27.22. In this interim, Rayudu scored 392 runs in 11 ODIs in the Asia Cup and against West Indies at average 56 including a hundred and three half-centuries.

The reaction and backlash in India has been staggering, and Harbhajan believed their comments implicated he and other former Indian players.

Their 50-stand came off 82 balls, while they took India past 100 in the 26th over even as Australia started to feel the pressure.

How do I watch the match online?

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Dhoni was given out leg before wicket when the Australian team appealed after the second ball of the 33rd over, bowled by debutant Jason Behrendorff, but TV replays showed the ball had pitched outside the leg-stump.

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