x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

MS Dhoni blames poor bowling for ODI defeat to Australia

The India captain also rues rain interruption after 65-run defeat in first game of Tri-Series.

Clint McKay took four India wickets on Sunday.
Clint McKay took four India wickets on Sunday.

MELBOURNE // Australia opened the Tri-Series with an emphatic 65-run win over India in a rain-shortened limited-overs international on Sunday.

Matthew Wade scored 67 runs on his one-day international (ODI) debut, while the Hussey brothers contributed 106 runs as Australia reached 216 for five in a 32-over innings which included a three-hour rain interruption.

India was all out for 151 in reply, with left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc (2-33) removing openers Sachin Tendulkar (2) and Gautam Gambhir (5) in a torrid opening spell. Clint McKay (4-20) picked up four wickets, including two in his first over to end a productive, 51-run third-wicket partnership by removing Virat Kohli (31) and Rohit Sharma (21).

It was yet another lopsided defeat for India, which lost all four tests and the opening Twenty20 international before scoring its first win on the Australian tour last Friday in a T20 match at Melbourne.

"It's a really good start for us," said Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, who skipped the two Twenty20 internationals last week. "I thought Matthew Wade was outstanding. It was a very good team performance."

After breaking its drought in Australia on Friday, India should have started the Tri-Series on a high.

Instead, after winning the toss and having Australia in trouble at 19 for two, the Indian team lost momentum after the rain delay.

"We were expecting rain, but not to that extent," said MS Dhoni, the captain. "It did affect our game plan, but we bowled too many loose deliveries."

Dhoni's line-up will have to recover quickly to take on Sri Lanka in Perth on Wednesday in a rematch of last year's World Cup final. The top-ranked Australians have a break until a Friday match against Sri Lanka.

That will be the second of the three ODIs Wade was guaranteed after regular wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin was rested from national duties. Wade won a man-of-the-match award in his T20 debut last week, and earned another in his ODI debut on Sunday.

His 67 from 69 ball and 73-run stand with Mike Hussey, who scored 45 from 32 balls, was instrumental in giving Australia the ascendancy after the break.

Australia was 35 for two when rain forced players off the field after 11 overs, forcing the match to be reduced to 32-overs each.

He hit four boundaries and two sixes and was finally bowled by Rahul Sharma. Mike Hussey continued with his brother, David (61 not out), until he pulled a long hop from Vinay Kumar to Virat Kohli at deep square leg.

The shambolic last over - delivered by two bowlers - cost India 19 runs. David Hussey raised his 50 with a six and then belted the last delivery - a free hit after a no-ball - for six.

With restrictions in place due to the reduced overs, limiting two bowlers to seven overs and all others to a maximum of six, Rahul Sharma delivered the first two balls of the 32nd over before umpires intervened. Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar (3-21) had already bowled seven overs each, meaning Rahul Sharma had already exceeded his limit.

Dhoni gave the ball to Ravindra Jadeja to bowl the last four deliveries and the Australians took full advantage with 17 runs, including a wide and a no-ball.