On Friday (March 17), Indian stand–in captain Hardik Pandya got into a tense confrontation with the umpire during the first ODI between India and Australia at Mumbai‘s Wankhede Stadium. This heated altercation occurred in the seventh over of Australia‘s innings when Mitchell Marsh pulled out of his stance while Hardik was already halfway through his run–up. The allrounder could not conceal his displeasure, making it known to umpire Nitin Menon that he was quite frustrated by this sudden interruption. After expressing himself, Hardik asked Menon to sort out the situation as quickly as possible so that play could resume without any further delays.
Steve Smith, the star all–rounder, was clearly agitated when he had to step away from the pitch during Mohammed Siraj‘s bowling for a second time in the same innings. Just two overs prior to this incident, Smith had been forced off due to an issue concerning the side screen being disrupted. This caused considerable annoyance on his part as it meant that his concentration and performance were adversely affected.
At the start of the match, India won the toss and chose to bowl first. David Marsh got Australia off to a great start with an impressive knock of 81 runs in just 65 balls. The Indian bowling attack was led by Mohammed Siraj who made an early breakthrough for his team after dismissing Travis Head for 5 runs in only the second over.
Hardik Pandya then broke a 72–run partnership between Steve Smith and Marsh with a wicket of Smith for 22 runs. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav each added one more wicket as Australia‘s batting line–up failed to accelerate their innings, with Marnus Labuschagne unable to make any major contribution. India‘s selection committee opted to leave out the in–form Axar Patel from their playing XI and kept Shardul Thakur, while Umran Malik continued to sit out. Yuzvendra Chahal was also not selected for the match.