Pandya, Dhoni, spinners crumble Australia | India wins
Chennai: Both Australia and India justified their number two and three rankings in ODIs as the game was loaded withe every spice any Cricket lover would hope for. India thumped Australia by 26 runs in the first ODI of the five-match series at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
The first Ind vs Aus One Day International belonged to all-rounder Hardik Pandya who shined both with the bat and bowl.
After playing scintillating 66-ball 83-run knock, he picked crucial Australian wickets of Steven Smith and Travis Head. Pandya was given man of the Match for his clinical performance both with the bat and the bowl.
Yuzvendra Chahal also played an important role in damaging Kangaroos batting. He ended his five-over spell with bowling figures of 3//30.
Credits should be given to MS Dhoni for yet again calming India's nerves after regular strikes early in the Indian innings.
Australia’s chase to India’s 281/7 was delayed by incessant rain owing to which revised target was 164 from 21 ovr
Chasing a revised target of 164 from 21 overs after a spell of heavy showers truncated play, Australia were reduced to 29/3 with debutant opener Hilton Cartwright (1), Smith and Head back in the pavilion.
Such was India's domination in the second innings of the match that only three of the visiting batsmen could manage to reach double-figures and Australia were restricted to 137/9.
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah drew first blood by cleaning up Cartwright's off-stump before Pandya joined the party.
After surviving a leg before scare, Smith mistimed the next delivery and ended up top-edging it high in the air which Bumrah brilliantly pouched at short fine. In no time, Head, too, was back after feathering a nick to stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Seasoned opener David Warner (25 from 28 balls; 4*2) offered some resistance but the introduction of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav brought his downfall, comfortably caught behind by Dhoni.
Reduced to 35/4, the visitors were left high and dry until the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell (39 from 18; 4*3, 6*4) arrived and milked 22 runs from Kuldeep's third over, including three consecutive maximums.
Maxwell managed to bring the mounting required run-rate down but leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's flighted delivery did the trick for India, as the Australian holed one to Manish Pandey at long on.
Kuldeep immediately got rid of the next man, Marcus Stionis (3) with a floater which substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja comfortably latched on at deep mid-wicket.
Tottering at 76/6, all-rounder James Faulkner (32 from 25; 4*1, 6*1) played a lone hand but kept losing his partners as stumper Matthew Wade (9), Pat Cummins (9) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (2) failed to rise to the occasion.
For the hosts, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/30, while Kuldeep and Pandya contributed with a couple of scalps. The pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah also picked one wicket apiece.