IND vs AUS – 1st ODI – Report

Hardik Pandya the all-rounder shines to give India a 1-0 lead

The MA Chidambaram Stadium Chepauk in Chennai witnessed the growing presence of Hardik Pandya as a capable all-rounder for India. Hardik Pandya playing his 22nd ODI, scored a career best of 83 runs and then picked up 2 wickets which included the big wicket of Steve Smith. His all round performance earned him his second Man of the Match award in ODI. Australia chasing a target of 164 runs in 21 overs due to rain interruption ended up scoring 137 for 9 and fell short by 26 runs short.

Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first. Coulter- Nile’s off-stump line reduced India to 11 for 3 inside 6 overs. Rahane nicked early to Wade in the 4th over. Kohli and Pandey fell for ducks in the bowler’s next over. Maxwell stunned Kohli by plucking a one handed catch to send the Indian captain to a four ball duck. Two balls later Pandey nicked a wide fuller ball swinging away to Wade. India had the arsenal to recover from 11 for 3 to post a matching total of 281 for 7. The next four wickets added 270 runs. Rohit Sharma and Kedar Jadhav added 53 runs for the fourth wicket. Rohit played a scratchy innings of 28 runs and Jadhav batted more freely to score 40 runs. Both fell victims to Marcus Stoinis. At 87 for 5 Australia had plans of bowling out India early. But the combination of Pandya and Dhoni thwarted the visitors’ plan. The pair added 118 runs in 116 balls which gave India a launch pad to post a big total. The experience of Dhoni and the adventurous stroke play of Hardik kept the score board ticking. Dhoni concentrated on picking the gaps in the ground and calling for quick singles. Pandya showed great application in his innings. He scored an innovative four over the keeper’s head and scored the odd boundaries to make sure the runs were not dried. His 83 runs came from 66 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes. After spotting whom to target Pandya went on to score a four and a hat-trick of sixes against Adam Zampa in a single over. Pandya dispatched a toss towards mid-on for a four. The next ball was a flighted delivery, he took the advantage of the flight given and sent the ball sailing over long off. The next two sixes cleared the long on ropes. The second six fetched Pandya his 3rdODI 50. Two overs later Pandya swung Stoinis slower ball once again into the long on stands for his fourth six. Smith’s gamble to bowl Zampa was rewarded with wicket of Pandya but only after the batsman had hit the bowler for another six. After the fall of Pandya, Dhoni demonstrated his finishing skill. He along with Bhuvneswhar Kumar added their second meaningful stand in two inning and scored 72 runs for the 7th wicket. Dhoni who had scored 50 runs from 75 balls with a single four went after Faulkner. Dhoni scored 14 runs from the last 3 balls 48th over against the bowler which included 2 fours and six over extra cover. In the final over, Dhoni scored a four and six against Fualkner. Dhoni’s last 29 runs came from 13 balls. Bhuvneshwar played a vital innings scoring 32 runs from 30 balls. He finished the innings with cheeky four over the fine leg.

The Australian innings was punctured by early wickets which put them on the back foot. Cartwright debut innings lasted just 8 balls. He lost his off-stump for 1 run to Bumrah in the 4th over. Twin strikes from Pandya put greater pressure on the other batsmen to follow. Smith tried to flick Pandya, but got a top edge which went high in the air. Bumrah chased the ball and took an excellent catch running backwards. Head perished to Pandya’s knuckle ball giving a straight catch to Dhoni. Australia needed Warner and Maxwell to build a partnership. The Indian leg spinners Kuldeep and Chahal made 5 inroads in the middle overs which nullified the Australian reply. Warner looked out of sorts against Kuldeep and fell to Kuldeep after scoring 25 runs. Maxwell sped to 39 runs in no time from 18 runs. He hit 3 fours and four sixes punishing Kuldeep for 3 sixes in the 11th over of the innings. The first six was lifted over mid-wicket, and followed with a straight six. The third was the most powerful, Maxwell went on one knee and clubbed over the square leg. He repeated the same shot against Chahal to score his fourth six. Maxwell’s threatening innings ended when he chased down Chahal’s wide outside off-stump delivery and slogged it straight to the hands of Pandey in the deep. Stoinis and Wade fell cheaply to Kuldeep and Chahal as Australia sunk to 93 for 7. Faulkner scored 32 runs but he had no support from the other end. Chahal picked up the wicket of Cummins, his third to finish with 3 for 30 in 5 over. Bhuvneshwar also came to the party to dismiss Coulter-Nile as all the Indian bowlers added at least a wicket to their tally.

Teams travel to Kolkata to play the second ODI on 21st. India will look to have a better batting display from their top order. On the other side, Australia will need a better plan to tackle the Indian wrist spinners.