Australia started 2019 on a promising note, beating the formidable India by 34 runs in the first ODI to go one nil up in the three-match series. It is a stunning start by the reigning World Cup champions considering their horrific performance last year where they won just 2 of the 13 ODIs. But it mattered little as a new-look Australian side gave India a reality check in Sydney.
Batting first, Fifties from Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb and an unbeaten 47 from Marcus Stoinis helped Australia post a competitive 288 for 5. Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff then ran riot, dismissing Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu to reduce India to 4 for 3. Rohit Sharma kept India in hunt with a stunning knock of 133 but Australia won the match quite comfortably in the end.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 12, 2019
The hosts have now received another boost ahead of the penultimate match of the series. Their allrounder Mitch Marsh has recovered from illness and is in Australia’s selection frame for Tuesday’s game in Adelaide. Marsh was hospitalised with gastritis and missed the series-opener.
Vice-captain Alex Carey said Marsh is raring to play the second game.
“Mitch is good … he’s back fully fit and ready to go,” Carey said before Marsh bowled in the Adelaide Oval nets at training.
“He is going to have a bowl today and he will have a hit, so we will see how he pulls up,” he added.
The hostile weather, meanwhile, might prompt the selectors to not recall Marsh in the playing eleven. Marsh, on the other hand, will be desperate to get going on the field after some poor outings in Test cricket. He had a forgettable tour of Pakistan where he scored 30 runs and picked up two wickets in two matches. He had fared poorly in Sheffield Shield too, recording just one score above 50 in seven Sheffield Shield innings since being dropped after the Pakistan tour.
He returned to the side for the Boxing Day Test but could not make much impact. While he went wicketless with the ball, he managed to score just 9 and 10 before being dropped again for the last Test.