Steven Smith    AFP
Steven Smith AFP

First One-Day International (ODI) between India and Australia turned out be quite an affair at Chennai. A match that started as a 50-over game ended up being a T20 tie. India batting first made 281 for 7 after Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni revived a faltering innings. With rain around, Australia were set a revised target of 164 to win from 21 overs. Skipper Steven Smith felt that it was tough changing the sides mindset to a shorter format. He further added that India had an undue advantage of having two new balls with them that went against his team. India went on to win the first ODI by 21 runs (DLS method).

“It was never going to be easy chasing 160 with two new balls. I think 160 with one new ball would have made things a lot easier. When you have two new balls from both ends, as you saw the whole game, we took three wickets with the new ball and they found it quite hard. It was the same for us. When you are playing 20 overs, you don’t have a great deal of time to make things up. You need eight an over basically from ball one. It was difficult in that aspect. Perhaps we could have been a little bit more defensive at the start, keep wickets in hand and went harder later,” Smith was quoted by cricbuzz.

Smith added that Australia rued their chance of skittling out India under 120 after Nathan Coutler-Nile rocked the hosts’ top-order.”I think we probably we went away from our plans a little bit. We were hitting such a good length and certainly persisted with that for a while with the good bouncers we were bowling. We were trying too many things, too many slower balls, just not hitting that good hard length we were hitting early on,” Smith explained.

He also talked about Dhoni and Pandya’s 118-run stand.“That partnership changed the game. They put 120 odd (118) and took them from 87 to 206 (205). In the end that proved to be a match-winning partnership,” he said.

“I had in my plan to begin with that Coulter-Nile and finish with Cummins. But when we got the wicket of Hardik, I thought it was an opportunity to bring Coulter-Nile back on and go for the throat. Another wicket or two there, we could have bowled India out. So that was my decision at that point in time. Obviously MS hit Jimmy (James Faulkner) pretty well in the end. It wasn’t ideal but that’s cricket,” Smith concluded.