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Australia’s spotless summer of cricket continued on Tuesday night as David Warner and Aaron Finch carried the tourists to a 10-wicket win over India after a blistering display from the attack.
Here’s what we learnt from Australia’s series-opening win over India.
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DAVID WARNER ENTERS THE RECORD BOOKS…AGAIN
David Warner’s golden summer continued as he became the fastest Australian and fourth fastest batsman from anywhere to reach 5000 runs in ODI cricket.
Warner reached the milestone in his 115th ODI innings on Tuesday night. That’s one innings slower than India’s Virat Kohli and the West Indies’ Viv Richards, and incredibly 14 slower than record holder Hashim Amla. Dean Jones (128) was the previous record holder for Australia.
Warner could have had to wait one more innings if he had dallied any longer when considering a review on five. The opener was gunned off for a catch down the legside off the bowling of Shardul Thakur and sent it upstairs at the very last second.
It was a good thing he did, with the left-hander going on to make 128.
It continues an incredible run for Warner in one-day cricket. The opener has made 775 runs at 86.11 since returning to ODI cricket.
Warner went onto make his 18th ODI century. That’s the equal second most by an Australian, level with Mark Waugh and 11 behind Ricky Ponting.
FINCH DRAWS LEVEL WITH GILLY
Perhaps it is because of the man he has spent most of his international career opening with, but Aaron Finch has never really got the credit he deserves as an Australian one-day cricketer.
With his ton on Tuesday, Finch drew level with Adam Gilchrist as Australia’s fourth greatest century maker. He has made 16 from just 116 innings. To put that in perspective, Gilchrist’s came from 278 innings.
Finch blitzed India’s bowlers on Tuesday. Set a target of 256, he took the game out of India’s hands in the first 10 overs of the chase. He hit the third ball of the innings for four and by the end of the first powerplay he was on 41 off 30. Australia only took another three overs to reach 100.
The run rate dipped from there but by that stage it didn’t matter. Australia could do it at a canter.
Finch eventually finished not out on 110 off 114 balls. It is his fifth century since becoming captain in only his 29th match in the role. Only Ricky Ponting (21) has scored more as Australia captain, and while Michael Clarke and Steve Smith both made five as well they captained 74 and 51 times respectively.
Remarkably, Finch’s average of 50.66 is the best of any captain to have made more than 300 runs for Australia, and second most of any Australian captain behind Mike Hussey (269 at 89.66).
AUSTRALIA’S ATTACK RELENTLESS
Throughout the home Test summer, the thing that set Australia’s attack apart from the touring teams’ was the relentlessness with which it went after the batsmen.
The likes of Azhar Ali and Tom Latham could dig in as stubbornly as they liked but things never got any easier. Get through Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood or James Pattinson? Well here comes Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon. Get past them? Well here come Starc and Hazlewood/Pattinson again.
It wasn’t always so neat in reality but Australia was never giving up an end with the ball. There was always pressure on and a wicket was never far away. Invariably, one wicket meant a handful of wickets too.
That same relentlessness was on show in Mumbai. Even as Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul put on their 121-run stand, Australia’s attack never took the foot off the gas. The quicks bowled straight, attacking the stumps without going too full after a loose first over from Mitchell Starc. The spinners strangled the boundaries through the middle overs, and eventually Ashton Agar had Rahul caught at short cover for 47.
It was a small crack that the Australians turned into a fracture and then a break, as they did all summer. Dhawan fell for 74 an over later, then Virat Kohli for 16 shortly after. In less than six overs India lost four wickets and a total that looked set to go well past 300 limped past 250.
DRS NOT JUST AN AUSTRALIAN PROBLEM
It was a case of different format, same problems for Australia when it came to the decision review system.
Aaron Finch burnt Australia’s lone review on an optimistic lbw appeal against Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Pat Cummins in the sixth over. It looked to have pitched outside leg to the naked eye and ball tracking quickly confirmed that was the case.
However, a desperate Virat Kohli had a DRS clanger of his own as India looked to end a match deciding partnership between Finch and Warner. Convinced by bowler Ravindra Jadeja to go upstairs on an lbw shout against Finch, Kohli was left frustrated when replays confirmed a clear inside edge.
The Indian skipper could barely contain himself, chuckling in the next over when umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin turned down another lbw appeal against Finch off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav. For what it’s worth, if India had been able to review the decision it would have remained umpire’s call anyway.
Both sides also showed that they can use the system well at times, with Warner (twice) and Mohammed Shami both successfully overturning their dismissals.