London: Team India conquered the reigning World Cup champions Australia by 36 runs through their batting strength that manifested to its full potential to post their highest total at this historic Oval ground.
All stands in the stadium were swathed in blue as nearly every Indian fan wore Team India's blue jersey. They created rhythmic waves as they cheered every boundary and six from the classy Indian batsmen. It seems Indian fans bought seventy-nine percent of the tickets, and they returned home happy getting their money’s worth.
Shikhar Dhawan, through his scintillating 117 and his opening partnership of 127 in 22.3 overs, set the stage for India’s huge total of 352 for 5 in 50 overs.
From the moment the opening pair posted a 100 runs partnership in 19 overs, Australian skipper Aaron Finch sensed that his day ahead would be tough.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli made it tougher through an elegant knock of 82 with partnerships of 93 in 14.3 overs with Dhawan, 81 runs in just 8.5 overs with Hardik Pandya (48), and 37 runs in 3.2 over Mahendra Singh Dhoni (27).
Kohli knew that the dry Oval pitch would be hard and will have runs in it and hence elected to bat first after the toss went in his favour.
Australia’s batting was made to bow before the disciplined bowling of the lndian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Australia threw away their wickets at crucial stages of the game and were bowled to 316 runs.
Opener and captain Finch blundered by going for a second run that wasn’t there and got run out. David Warner, who has played Yuzvendra Chahal in the IPL, fell to his trap.
Usman Khawaja paid the price for not respecting the world’s finest bowler Bumrah by attempting a paddle shot.
When Australia needed 115 runs in the last 10.2 overs, Smith got trapped leg before by Kumar for 69. When Kumar then clean bowled Marcus Stonis for a duck, and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell too perished for 28, Indian fans began their victory celebrations.
Through the first six of the day from Sharma off Nathan Coulter Nile to deep square leg in the 17th over, India announced that they are in full control over the reputed Australian attack.
Sharma reached his 50 in 62 balls but perished edging Coulter-Nile to wicketkeeper Alex Carey. His 70-ball knock did frustrate the Australians.
Dhawan sailed past many landmarks during his knock. He completed 1000 runs in the UK breaking Viv Richards’s record of 1000 runs, which took 21 innings.
Speaking during the break, Dhawan mentioned that he enjoys playing on this ground. Without trying to be modest, he added that he played it very smartly and calmly, and also that his record in ICC tournaments has been pretty good.
Dhawan’s century got the Indian fans so excited that when he hit Mitchell Starc high to be caught by substitute Nathan Lyon at deep wicket, he was given a standing ovation on his way out.
Hardik played the role of a pinch-hitter with elegance from the 37th over. He was lucky to survive a missed chance before opening his account when wicketkeeper Carey did not hold on to the thick edge from him off Coulter-Nile.
From 236 for 2 in 40 overs, India accelerated their run rate. Hardik’s first six off Maxwell was hit with his brute power over deep mid-wicket.
His second one was a slog shot off Zampa over deep square leg, while the third was a straight one over the non-striker, off Pat Cummins.
When Kohli hit his first six through a short-arm jab off Starc, it flew over the long on like a rocket. Pandya’s 27 run knock ended when he mistimed a lofted drive of Cummins.
Dhoni and Kohli further speeded up the scoreboard before a Dhoni drive was clutched by bowler Marcus Stoinis on his follow through.
David Warner c Bhuvneshwar b Chahal 56
Aaron Finch (c) run out 36
Steven Smith batting 68
Usman Khawaja b Bumrah 42
Glenn Maxwell c (sub)Ravindra Jadeja b Chahal 28
Marcus Stoinis b Bhuvneshwar 0
Alex Carey (wk)
Nathan Coulter-Nile c Kohli b Bumrah 4
Pat Cummins c Dhoni b Bumrah 8
Mitchell Starc run out ((sub)Vijay Shankar/Bhuvneshwar) 3
Fall of wickets: 1- 61, 2-133, 3-202, 4- 238, 5- 238, 6-244, 7-283, 8-300, 9-313
Extras 14 (b 3, lb 3, w 7, nb 1, p 0)
Total 316 (10 wkts, 50 Ov)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10-0-50-3
Jasprit Bumrah 10-1-61-3
Hardik Pandya 10-0-68-0
Kuldeep Yadav 9-0-55-0
Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-62-2
Kedar Jadhav 1-0-14-0