Australia looked cruising towards a strong position and a big score in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday when India pulled the game back from the brink for a memorable five-wicket win in a low-scoring affair.
With Mitchell Marsh going great guns and hitting boundaries at will, the visitors were in an excellent position. Marsh had scored 10 boundaries and five sixes before he got out and from 129/3, Australia slumped to 188 all out. India was in trouble too, at 83/5 in 19.2 overs. But KL Rahul (75 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (45 not out) came together for an unbroken 108-run partnership for the sixth wicket and helped India escape to victory.
Pacer Mohammed Shami was at the forefront of India’s brilliant fightback with the ball as he produced a brilliant second spell to claim three wickets — bowling two maiden overs during this period.
Shami said he did nothing different in his second spell and just concentrated on keeping the ball in good areas. He said he was confident as the ball was coming off nicely from the release and there was help from the deck.
“It felt alright, right from the first ball of the second spell. The ball was coming off nicely from the release. We talk about the seam position or off the deck, but the focus was to keep the ball in good areas because they were playing on the back foot. My mindset was to keep the ball a little up with a slip in place, as I had done in the first spell,” he said during the post-match press conference.
Shami, who claimed 3-17 in his six overs at a miserly economy rate of 2.8, was not surprised that the game was a low-score affair as the Wankhede usually produces high-scoring matches. He also pointed out the bowlers are always in the game at the Wankhede as the pitch offers good bounce.
“If you see overall, then there have been high-scoring matches as well here. The pitches here have good bounce, the ball comes nicely on the bat too, and (big) runs are also scored here at this venue. But if you would have noticed whenever someone bowls in the right areas (the course) of matches changes if someone is bowling at good lengths.
“It is all about when you are able to shift the momentum – early or late. That is what we pulled off today, once we got the momentum on our side after the 20th over, we capitalised on it and we were able to stop them at 188,” he said.
Shali also stated their focus from the start was on pitching the ball in suitable areas and stopping Australia to a score as little as possible.
He was also not surprised at the pitch in Mumbai providing so much support to the bowlers.
“Not surprised, overall if you see in Mumbai, the fast bowlers get help with good bounce and carry. I think pitches have been high-scoring as well, but like today, once we got the momentum, we were able to come back in the game. But as a fast bowler it felt good because in both innings the pacers raised their hand,” he said.