Team India continued their exceptional run in international cricket as the Men in Blue began their 5 match bilateral series against Australia with a resounding win to take a 1-0 lead in the 5 match series. Despite a mediocre batting performance by the top order, it was an exceptional fightback by Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni which ensured India from a precarious position of 87/5 reached a challenging score of 281/7 at the end of 50 overs.
Following a long rain break, the target for the Aussies was reduced to 164 in 21 overs which definitely titled the scales in favour of Australia but the Indian bowlers were all over the Aussies and never allowed the visitors to put India under any sort of pressure. Yuzvendra Chahal was the wrecker-in-chief with 3 wickets while Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya also bagged a couple each. So following a 26 runs victory for India in the 1st ODI let us have a look at the India Player Ratings for the 1st match
Ajinkya Rahane – 1/5
Making a comeback in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane couldn’t quite make full use of his opportunity as he edged an away swinging delivery of Pat Cummins straight to the wicket-keeper Matthew Wade. It wasn’t a wicket-taking delivery under any stress of imagination but Rahane managed to edge straight to the keeper.
Rohit Sharma- 2/5
Rohit played himself in as wickets continued to tumble around him. The opener looked in good touch and played some lovely shots despite India losing 3 quick wickets. He was middling the ball well and struck 3 fours during his innings of 28 of 44 balls before all-rounder Marcus Stoinis bounced him out with a perfectly directed bouncer to bring his downfall.
Virat Kohli- 0.5/5
The Indian captain had a rare failure as he failed to bother the scorers. Nathan Coulter-Nile was charging in and bowled an overpitched delivery way outside the off stump. Kohli threw his hands at the delivery but couldn’t quite middle it. Glenn Maxwell who was stationed in the point region jumped in the correct time to pluck the catch from thin air. It was an exceptional catch, to say the least, but with Maxwell it gets repeated more often than not.
Manish Pandey- 0/5
The relatively inexperienced middle order batsman too failed to trouble the scoreboard. He managed to stay in the crease for just a couple of deliveries before he cramped himself for room and edged a fullish length delivery of Coulter-Nile straight to Wade as India were reduced to 11/3. It was a good piece of fast bowling by Cummins as he kept chipping away.
Kedar Jadhav- 3/5
The Pocket Sized Dynamite played a good knock of 40 of 54 deliveries and helped India come out of the corner and post a decent total. Jadhav began in his counter-attacking approach and struck some gorgeous shots to get his innings going. He shared a 53 runs partnership with Rohit Sharma and when he looked settled for much more, Jadhav was holed out in the Silly Mid on region by debutant Hilton Cartwright.
MS Dhoni- 4.5/5
He has been silencing his critics with the bat during the limited overs series in Sri Lanka and the former captain continued his tremendous run by playing yet another match-winning knock against the mighty Aussies at Chennai. He came at the crease when the chips were down. He allowed Pandya to take charge and following his dismissal, Dhoni took the onus on himself to play the big shots. When he was eventually dismissed in the final over by James Faulkner Dhoni had made 79 of 88 deliveries, an innings constructed with 4 fours and 2 gigantic hits over the fence. He also effected 3 dismissals behind the stumpings including a stumping.
Hardik Pandya- 5/5
You can’t help but give 5 out of 5 to Pandya for his efforts in the match. It was Pandya who changed the complexion of the match with his whirlwind display of batting. He came to the crease when the chips were down but never allowed the Aussies to dictate terms to him. He began aggressively with a couple of boundaries but changed his gear totally of an Adam Zampa over where he smashed the leggie for 3 consecutive sixes. He was eventually dismissed after making a sensational 83 of a mere 66 deliveries which were laced with 5 fours and 5 hits over the fence.
With the ball in hand, Pandya bagged 2 crucial wickets of captain Steve Smith and Travis Head to finish with impressive figures of 2/28 in 4 overs. For his exceptional all-round showing, Pandya was handed the Man of the Match Award.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar- 3.5/5 ‘
Bhuvi who scored a match-winning half-century during the 2nd ODI in Sri Lanka continued his good showing with the bat and along with Dhoni, the duo ensured India reached a challenging 281 at the end of 50 overs. He smashed 5 boundaries during his unbeaten knock of 32 of just 30 deliveries. He bowled in the right areas and eventually got his only reward after dismissing Nathan Coulter during the closing stages of the match.
Kuldeep Yadav- 3.5/5
The young Kuldeep Yadav continued to impress as the first chinaman bowler from India bagged a couple of match-turning wickets to help India win the opening ODI by 26 runs under D/L method. First, he dismissed the dangerous David Warner with a delivery which came on with the arm and then removed Marcus Stoinis with a well-flighted delivery outside the off stump.
Yuzvendra Chahal- 4.5/5
The young leg-spinner was the wrecker-in-chief as far as India was concerned and returned with impressive figures of 3/30 in 5 overs. He dismissed the hard-hitting Glenn Maxwell when he was going great guns and returned for his next spell to remove Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins with good deliveries.
Jasprit Bumrah- 4/5
The skitty and tall customer Bumrah removed Hilton Cartwright with a terrific inswinging delivery. Cartwright was in no position to play any shot and was beaten for pace. He had no clue of the delivery which breached his defence and struck the timber. Though he bagged a solitary wicket, Bumrah was economical and conceded a mere 20 runs in his 4 overs. Bumrah also completed a sensational catch running backwards to send back captain Steve Smith.
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