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Australia v India: first one-day international – live! | Sport


3rd over: Australia 8-0 (Warner 6, Finch 2) Shami continues from the Randwick End, with the Clive Churchill Stand behind him. Ties up Finch for three balls in a row, right on the off stump. Four balls. At the fifth, Finch marches at Shami and tries to clout through the off side, but Shami has bowled wider this time and it beats the shot. “It’s the control of length,” says Ed Cowan on ABC radio. Shami has been back of a length throughout, making it impossible to drive. Finch has the same movement from the final ball, but walks wider of his off stump, counters the wide line, and stabs a run out to the covers.

2nd over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 6, Finch 1) Jasprit Bumrah to bowl the second, who was so, so good on his last visit to these shores. Warner gets another drop-and-run single, but this time he didn’t want it – he was standing there holding his bat up saying no, but Finch had already committed and was running to the danger end with the ball rolling back near the bowler in Bumrah’s follow-through. Warner eventually takes off for the run, and Finch does a huge slip-n-slide dive all the way down the side of the house to the end of the yard. Finch gets off the mark with his own nudge and sprint, then Warner finds the first boundary of the match, his trademark back-foot punch square of the wicket on the off side.

“Great to have you back to interrupt my Excel nightmares!” writes Rohan O’Farrell. It’s not all bad, spreadsheets are where my best stats live.

1st over: Australia 1-0 (Warner 1, Finch 0) Here we go! India take the field with the new dark-blue retro uniforms. Mohammed Shami will start us off, and he’s right on the money immediately, bowling with pace and lift for a ball that bounces away from Warner’s outside edge. Warner shuffles forward the next ball and drops a single softly into the off-side. He’s so good at that. Finch now is the batsman being troubled outside his off stump. Left-hander, right-hander, doesn’t matter for Shami.

Australians, don’t fret about the score, even for Australia games we write it in the style used by… the entire rest of the world.

Iain Bannantyne has emailed in, very excited to see things underway. “Can you explain how many fans are allowed in and is booze unrestricted?!”

The capacity today is 23,000, which is about half the usual capacity. I’m not currently in a position to be eyeing off any drinks, but the bars downstairs did seem to be ready for trading as I made my way through the ground earlier. There is probably a consumption-in-seats rule as with a lot of venues.

Things of note on those teams are: Australia with a very conventional XI, but it’s interesting that Labuschagne is listed as low as No5 when he’s done all his good work for Australia thus far at No3. Smith up at first drop has necessitated that. Labuschagne’s ability to go up through the gears will be one thing to keep an eye on. Carey and Maxwell have swapped spots from the configuration that produced their epic match-winning stand in the most recent Australian match, at Old Trafford in September when they won the series 2-1.

For India, Agarwal over Shubman Gill is one talking point, Shreyas Iyer in the middle is interesting, and Navdeep Saini will play despite some recent troubles with his back.


Aaron Finch *
David Warner
Steven Smith
Marcus Stoinis
Marnus Labuschagne
Glenn Maxwell
Alex Carey +
Pat Cummins
Mitchell Starc
Adam Zampa
Josh Hazlewood

Shikhar Dhawan
Mayank Agarwal
Virat Kohli *
Shreyas Iyer
KL Rahul +
Hardik Pandya
Ravindra Jadeja
Mohammed Shami
Yuzvendra Chahal
Jasprit Bumrah
Navdeep Saini

Updated at 10.44pm EST

Australia wins the toss and will bat

Interesting choice given India’s prowess while chasing in ODIs, but Australian coach Justin Langer subscribes to the scoreboard-pressure school of thought more often than not.

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It’s been a long time coming, but the Australian men’s team is back in action on home soil. The most recent occasion was the first one-dayer against New Zealand back in March, in a series that was abruptly called off when the Land of the Long White Cloud announced imminent border closures and the team had to jet home to avoid cancelled flights and weeks of quarantine. That one match was played behind closed doors in an empty stadium, but this match today will be able to have some semblance of a crowd in, under virus restrictions naturally.

The press box here at the Sydney Cricket Ground is also sparsely populated with attendees who are spaced out (in the physical sense rather than the mental). The pitch has some green tinges on it but I suspect those will be illusory in terms of any effect on the ball, and that the pitch will be hard and true. The outfield here looks pretty parched, a fair bit of white showing through the grass.

India is the opponent today, and what a match-up that will be. Virat Kohli with a limited time to have an impact before he heads home from the tour early just before Christmas. India’s players primed after a long IPL season, though they’ll have to adjust that approach a bit for 50-over cricket. We’ll have teams and the toss for you as they happen.

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