On Tuesday night, at the Adelaide Oval, India thrashed minnows Afghanistan by 153 runs in a ICC World Cup warm-up match (no official ODI status) as they wrapped up preparations for the big tournament, starting on Saturday (February 14).
After the batsmen had dominated to post a huge total of 364/5 in 50 overs, the much-criticised bowling unit came to the party to restrict Afghanistan to 211/8 in 50 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was the stand out bowler with 2/38 in 10 overs. R Ashwin too was impressive with 1/37 in 10 overs along with others. (List of commentators)
Mohit Sharma (2/40 in 9 overs), Suresh Raina (1/9 in 3 overs) and Umesh Yadav (1/35) were also among the wickets. The only bowler without success was Mohammed Shami (0/39 in 9 overs). Nawroz Mangal was Afghanistan's top scorer with 60 (85 balls, 2x4, 2x6) followed by opener Usman Ghani (44, 72 balls, 4x4, 1x6).
India have been in Australia since November, 2014. After losing the 4-Test series to the home team 0-2 and remaining winless in the ODI tri-series that followed and also losing warm-up game against the hosts on Sunday (February 8), India and their fans have something to cheer.
Now, the Men in Blue head into the World Cup with a win. They launch title defence against Pakistan on February 15 at the same venue.
India 364/5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 150 (122 balls, 12x4, 7x6), Suresh Raina 75 (71, 5x4, 3x6), Ajinkya Rahane 88* (61b, 12x4, 2x6), MS Dhoni 10 (20b), Ravindra Jadeja 11*, Hamid Hassan 1/49, Shapoor Zadran 1/58, Dawlat Zadran 1/66, Mohammad Nabi 1/62) beat Afghanistan 211/8 in 50 overs (Nawroz Mangal 60 (85b, 2x4, 2x6), Usman Ghani 44 (72b, 4x4, 1x6), Mohit Sharma 2/40, Jadeja 2/38, Suresh Raina 1/9, Umesh Yadav 1/35, R Ashwin 1/37)
India post 364/5; Rohit 150
Earlier, there was a scare at the start. But Rohit Sharma (150), Raina (75) and Ajinkya Rahane (88*) showed Afghanistan who the big boys were as they catapulted India to a mammoth 364/5 in 50 overs.
After winning the toss and choosing to take first strike, India were jolted inside the opening 4 overs. Both Shikhar Dhawan (4) and Virat Kohli (5) were sent back by new ball bowlers Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran respectively.
India were in trouble at 16/2 in 4 overs. At this stage, opener Rohit was joined by Suresh Raina and they started the rebuilding process. The pair put on 158 runs for the third wicket. The good work was carried forward by Rahane.
After a quiet beginning, Rohit-Raina duo accelerated from the 9th over. Rohit was the aggressor initially, bringing up his 50 off 49 balls.
The right-hander from Mumbai continued and reached the three-figure mark off 94 deliveries. He got to the milestone with a six.
Rohit began to attack more after his 100 and raced to next 50 in just 26 balls, going to 150 with a six. He was lucky on 103 when Zadran dropped a catch off Javed Ahmadi.
With more than 10 overs left and Rohit batting on 150, another 200 could have been on his mind. But, in trying to push the run rate further up, he perished, caught in the deep for a magnificent 122-ball 150 (12x4, 7x4).
Afghanistan bowlers failed to contain the Indian batsmen. The only time they enjoyed was the initial 8-over period. Later, it was all about India's batting domination. Raina was run out for 75 while Rahane matched Rohit's aggression with an unbeaten 88 off 61 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes.
Dhoni struggled with his timing and fell for 20-ball 10. He is yet to register a half century on this tour of Australia.