Australia's ten-wicket drubbing of the hosts in the first ODI on Tuesday came as a huge shocker for the Men in Blue - given their spectacular run in the last year, it was heartbreaking to see the side take a good beating from the visitors. Australian openers Finch and Warner stood their ground and ensured single-handedly that Australia got across the line, registering their biggest win against India in the limited-overs format of the game. One man's absence from the team once again returned to haunt the hosts and it was none other than MS Dhoni.
The Indian bowlers, who are considered to be one of the best bowling line-ups in the world, took a merciless beating from both Finch and Warner as they failed to find any potential breakthrough. To add to their misery, stand-in wicketkeeper KL Rahul missed some opportunities behind the stumps, forcing the crowd at Wankhede to chant 'Dhoni Dhoni' instinctively. Once again, the Captain Cool's absence from the side could be felt as fans felt there were multiple opportunities that could have been used to get rid of the unstoppable duo of Warner-Finch but failed to do so. To make matters worse for India, their first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant did not come out to keep in the 2nd innings after he suffered a concussion after being hit on the helmet in the 1st innings. Many fans took to share the video of the crowd chanting Dhoni's name on social media.
"We were totally outplayed in all departments. It's a strong Australian team, if you don't play well, they could hurt you. We saw that with the bat in hand. We didn't get enough runs. I thought we were too respectful at certain phases and it cost us. Can't do that against a team like Australia. This is a chance for the team to bounce back but as I said, credit to Australia today. International cricket is always priceless. The experience you get in any format does well for you when you play other formats. The game time you get is important. If you perform in any format, it gives you confidence for the other formats. Today was one of those days when we weren't allowed to get into the game at all. (On him at no.4) We've had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting. We've tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn't gone our way when I have batted at no.4, so we have to see how it goes. At the same time, it's about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit", said Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the post-match presentation.