India won their first match of the ODI series against Australia by 28 runs (D/L method) courtesy of magical performances from Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
Fresh from the whitewash in their last series against Sri lanka, Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to have a bat first. The team had a few changes from the last series going in with a new opening combo of Rahane and Rohit Sharma. It was also interesting to see the young and talented Manish Pandey given a chance early on in the series. Kuldeep Yadav, who had been named in the 15 member squad replacing R.Ashwin formed the spin team along with Chahal. Team Australia on the other hand looked a formidable and unchanged side apart from the right handed opening batsman Cartwright making his debut.
India had a poor start courtesy of disciplined bowling spells from Nathan Counter-Nile and Pat Cummins. Counter Nile had Rahane, Kohli and Manish Pandey sent back in quick succession to leave India three down with just 11 runs on the board. A small partnership between Rohit Sharma (28) and Kedar Jadav (40) gave India a breather but Stonnis got rid of both batsmen.
The Pandya – Dhoni Show
India were reeling down at 87/5 when Hardik Pandya joined the crowd favourite MS Dhoni. While MSD was busy playing the anchor role for the team, Pandya went full throttle on the bowlers especially targeting the likes of Adam Zampa. Pandya became the first cricketer to hit three consecutive sixes in three consecutive ODIs – a feat he achieved against Australia. Pandya made 83 from 66 balls while MS Dhoni completed his 100th international 50 and went on to make 79 from 88 balls. With a little cameo from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar at the end, Team India posted a decent 281 with the loss of 7 wickets from their allotted 50 overs.
Rain Delay Results In One Sided T20
There was a light drizzle between innings that forced the curators to cover the pitch. The drizzle continued for well over an hour and as a result play was lost and Australia’s target was reduced to 164 from 21 overs according to the Duckworth-Lewis system.
The Australians got off to a poor start with debutant Cartwright falling to Bumrah’s disciplined line and length. They were in more trouble after Hardik Pandya struck with the ball to remove captain Steven Smith. Credit must be given to the Indian bowlers who made scoring difficult under trying conditions. No batsmen apart from David Warner (25 of 28), Glenn Maxwell (39 of 18) and James Faulkner (32 of 25) made it past single digits. In the end, the Aussies found themselves 28 runs short of the revised target and will be very disappointed as it was a match they should have won. Hardik Pandya rightfully won the man of the match for his performance with both bat and ball.
India will be looking to carry on their winning ways in Kolkata while Australia would like to start afresh and get a much needed win on Thursday.