Team India achieved their first win in the 21st century in ODI cricket in Mohali against Australia as the Men in Blue were triumphant in the series opener of the three-match assignment on Friday, September 22. After Mohammed Shami's five-wicket haul restricted Australia to 276, four Indian batters including the two young openers Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad, stand-in captain KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, who played probably his most mature innings in the format smashed fifties to take the hosts home and helped them take a 1-0 lead.
Chasing 277, Team India got off to a flier with Shubman Gill continuing from where he left off in the Asia Cup and Ruturaj Gaikwad slowly getting into his innings with every ball he faced. India were 66/0 after the first 10 overs and the duo only got better and better after the powerplay. They rotated the strike beautifully and got a boundary when they needed to. Gill got his fifty, Gaikwad brought up his half-century and the duo stitched a 100-run stand as they were bossing the chase.
Just when it felt like both Gill and Gaikwad were threatening to take the game away from Australia, the visitors came back taking three wickets in a span of just nine runs. Adam Zampa accounted for both Gill and Gaikwad while Shreyas Iyer got run out cheaply. Ishan Kishan did his bit but only till a certain point before stand-in skipper KL Rahul and Surya, who was looking for his redemption in the format, still after 25 games.
The duo stitched an 80-run partnership with Surya playing the lead role while Rahul took a backseat. Surya was patient because the required run rate wasn't too high and the hosts had the match in control despite losing a few wickets in quick succession.
After playing 20 balls, Surya found his feet as he played a couple of good straight drives and Rahul played the ball on its merit as the duo kept India on course of a good win. Surya brought up his third fifty in the format but immediately got out. However, the innings was important for his confidence in this format and the team management's faith put into him.
Rahul finished the game off with a six as India chased down the target with eight balls to spare. With this win, India became the No. 1 team in the format.
Earlier, it was the returning Mohammed Shami, who was right on the money from the get-go. He dismissed Mitchell Marsh in the very first over before coming back again to get the big scalp of Steve Smith, the set batter. Shami took three more wickets as, despite a sloppy effort in the field, the Men in Blue managed to bowl out Australia for just 276 with some luck going their way. The total wasn't eventually enough but as captain Pat Cummins said this series is more to get most of the boxes ticked before the big one on Sunday, October 8 against the same opposition.