Steve Smith has been credited for having martialed 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 fight put up in defending 189 in the first ODI and now in having led a collapse of the Indian batting order in Vishakhapatnam. The hosts all out for 117 and Smith probably featured in the shot of the innings. A full stretch dive to his left from first slip to dismiss Hardik Pandya off Sean Abbott.
With India four down in the powerplay, Abbott pitched one in on good length to Pandya that straightened up after pitching and the batter could only edge it. The following deflection took the ball behind in almost the third slip position but Smith was quick and acrobatic to latch onto it and send back the Indian all-rounder ti make it five for Australia in the batting powerplay.
Steve Smith takes a blinder to dismiss Hardik Pandya! pic.twitter.com/nbtq9lz19Q
— Cricket Junkie (@JunkieCricket) March 19, 2023
Earlier, Mitchell Starc gave Australia the perfect start as he spearheaded India’s early collapse, picking four wickets in the powerplay as he sent back Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul back to the pavilion. The veteran bowler eventually finished with a 5-wicket haul, his first in India and ninth overall in ODI cricket.
Adding to India’s misery, Sean Abbott (3/23) and Nathan Ellis (2/13) gave the lower middle and lower order no chance to settle down with the ball seaming and swinging prodigiously at the Vizag turf.
Virat Kohli (31) and Axar Patel (29 not out) were the only batters to cross the 20-run mark as the hosts could only bat for 26 overs off their 50 overs quota.