jhye richardson dismisses virat kohli
Jhye Richardson celebrates after dismissing Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)

Playing in just his 5th ODI, young pacer Jhye Richardson put up a match-winning show to finish with career-best figures of 4/26 as Australia beat India by 34 runs in the first ODI of a three-match series on Saturday.

Australia had posted a challenging 288/5 after opting to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Thanks to a destructive opening spell from Richardson, the hosts reduced India to 4/3 inside four overs.

After picking up opener Shikhar Dhawan for a golden duck, Australia landed two body blows through Richardson that included the scalps of captain Virat Kohli (3) and Ambati Rayudu (0).

Richardson’s returned excellent figures in his opening spell: 4-2-6-2.

However, he enjoyed the dismissal of Kohli who flicked one to be caught at square leg. “I was actually disappointed when the ball came out, Richardson said of Kohli’s dismissal. “I probably bowled a bit too straight. I had a fielder there who hung on to it, so it is a wicket I will remember for a very long time.”

For his display, the 22-year-old was declared as the player of the match. “I am ecstatic and really excited for the team. It’s good to put a personal performance on the board but I am really excited in the way Australian cricket is heading. The way we prepared for this game and the research we did on Indian players. Everything leading up to this game, I felt was absolutely perfect and the result was ideal tonight,” he said.

For India, Rohit was the top performer, hitting 133 off 129 even as they finished at 254/9, 35 runs short of the target. Richardson credited the India opener for assessing the conditions and pacing his innings accordingly.

“Rohit batted really well. Credit to him and he summed up the conditions just as well as we did. He batted very patiently and knew the balls he could put away. He picked the gaps really well tonight. Rohit was very dangerous and we understood that. So our plan sort of changed to getting him off strike and just bowling at the batsman down the other end.”