Australia draw first blood

The home team humbled India by 65 runs in the opening tri-series international at MCG . The tourists were bowled out for 151 chasing 217 runs.

Scorecard | Action in Images | Impact Index

Australia overwhelmed India by 65 runs in the opening tri-series international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The tourists were bowled out for 151 - another unimpressive batting performance - chasing 217 under Duckworth-Lewis method.

The contest was reduced to 32-over-per-side following the loss of more than three hours of play due to rain.

Clint McKay celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.India got off to a horrific start with both their openers - Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir - back in the pavilion for just 13 runs. Mitchell Starc did the cleaning work for Australia in his first two overs.

However, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma dealt positively with the best of the Australian attack before being undone in a spectacular fashion by Clint McKay - who took two wickets in three balls. The pitch suddenly came to life, runs dried up and boundaries almost disappeared after the twin blow in the 12th over.

Suresh Raina came and left as if he had some unfinished business left in the dressing room. Needless I say - it was that short ball again.

It was now left on the responsible shoulders of MS Dhoni and million dollar man Ravindra Jadeja but the Indian duo had no answer to the swing variations of Australia's four-pronged pace attack, backed by the subtle tweaking of Xavier Doherty. Together they managed 37 runs for the sixth wicket in 49 balls. The required run-rate had climbed to 10.98 and it was only a matter of time before they folded like they have for a long time now.

McKay was Australia's chief destroyer taking four for 20 off 4.4 overs.

Earlier, Australia were 35 for two after 11 overs when rain came down. But the home team came out blazing after the weather interruption adding 181 runs in 21 overs.

India, after recording their first victory of a miserable tour at the same venue on Friday, started on a positive note. Vinay Kumar rocked the home side early with two quick wickets - David Warner (6) and Ricky Ponting (2) - with the scoreboard reading 19/2 in 7.5 overs. Vinay, who fetched $1.0 million from Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2012 IPL auction yesterday, dismissed Warner and then accounted for Ponting in his hostile five-over first spell.

Left-handed Warner fell to an irresponsible shot, trying to force a good length delivery from Kumar and missing it completely. Soon after, the young paceman produced a sharp rising delivery that caught Ponting in two minds as the right-hander played it straight to Suresh Raina, who had no trouble in gathering it in the cover region. Vinay's figures read 5-0-8-2 before the rain interval.


However, the break was all the home side needed. They came back with vengeance and gathered runs at will. Matthew Wade and Hussey brothers flicked the switch, ran quick doubles and scored boundaries as often as possible. The Australians specially targeted Gautam Gambhir in the outfield - who doesn't have the strongest of arms.

The visitors took only 21 deliveries to get rid of in-form Michael Clarke (10) but Wade - making his debut - and senior Hussey put together 73 runs for the fourth wicket with aggressive strokeplay. Wade followed up his big-hitting in the Twenty20 series with a belligerent 67 off 69 balls with two sixes and four fours before edging one on to the stumps.

Michael then joined by David continued to pile misery on Indians with impressive running between the wickets and scored boundaries at will before falling to Vinay at deep square leg. David followed the suit in the run-gathering stakes and blasted a quickfire unbeaten 61 off just 30 balls, including two sixes in the final over off Ravindra Jadeja to have the Australians scoring at 6.75 runs an over.

The home team brought up their second, third and fourth fifty came is 30, 33 and 35 balls respectively. The first fifty runs came in 14.6 overs.

As many as eight bowlers were used by Dhoni - with spinners going for plenty in damp conditions. Only Vinay returned with impressive figures of 3 for 21 in seven overs.

India made one change to Friday's eight-wicket Twenty20 win over Australia, resting opener Virender Sehwag and including Sachin Tendulkar in the line-up - who is still searching for his elusive 100th international century. Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and all-rounder Dan Christian made their ODI debuts for Australia. The second match of the tri-series between India and Sri Lanka will be played in Perth on February 8.

Question: How can India go into a 50-over match (at MCG) with just two pace bowlers?