Steve Smith has been credited with marshalling Australia back into their tour of India after losing the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi. A win in Indore, a draw in Ahmedabad, a struggle to defend 189 in the first ODI and now to have led a collapse of the Indian batting order in Vishakhapatnam. The hosts were bowled out for 117 and Smith probably appeared in the innings firing. A full dive to his left from first slip to dismiss Hardik Pandya off Sean Abbott.
With India four down in the powerplay, Abbott bowled one at a good length to Pandya who straightened up after pitching and the batsman could only edge it. The next deflection brought the ball back almost to third slip, but Smith was quick and acrobatic to latch onto it and send back the Indian all-rounder to get five for Australia in the batting powerplay.
Watch the video:
Steve Smith takes a parasol to dismiss Hardik Pandya! pic.twitter.com/nbtq9lz19Q
— Cricket Junkie (@JunkieCricket) March 19, 2023
Earlier, Mitchell Starc gave Australia the perfect start as he led India’s early collapse, picking four wickets in the powerplay as he sent Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul back to the crease. The veteran bowler eventually finished with a 5-wicket haul, his first for India and ninth overall in ODI cricket.
Adding to India’s misery, Sean Abbott (3/23) and Nathan Ellis (2/13) gave the middle and lower order no chance to settle with the seaming and swinging ball prodigiously on the turf of Vizag.
Virat Kohli (31) and Axar Patel (29 not out) were the only batsmen to cross the 20-run mark as the hosts could only bat for 26 overs of their quota of 50 overs.