India vs. Australia
The first ODI in the series had kicked off India vs. Australia was always going to be a cracker of a game and that is what it turned out to be. India were batting first in Chennai and they had lost a lot of early wickets, and they found themselves in trouble as the Australian bowling line-up were getting wickets at regular intervals. Australia had India in huge trouble as they stood at 5 for 87 runs. Dhoni and Pandya built a partnership, and really turned everything in India’s favour Pandya is definitely blossoming into an all-rounder and he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Dhoni and Pandya definitely steered the ship well for India as it was there partnership which was definitely the saving grace for India. Otherwise they would have been in heaps more trouble Dhoni and Pandya played the Australian bowlers well. They manoeuvred there shots beautifully to create the big partnership which India required, in order to post a decent total and make sure that Australia are under some pressure. India made a score of 281/7 and rain did play spoil sport so Australia had a revised total of 164 runs to chase in this rain affected game.
Australia from the get go were in trouble as they were losing early wickets, and no-one really got going in terms of building a partnership which would have really helped them. The spinners Kuldeep and Chahal had a tight rein on the Australian batting line-up, and were making sure the wickets were continually falling. Chahal and Kuldeep definitely showed a bowling masterclass, this was definitely a bowlers day as the Australian bowlers had really troubled the Indian batsman as well.
Maxwell and Faulkner got a starts but did not convert them into the big score, which would have gotten Australia over the line as they are some of the biggest hitters in the Australian team. Alas Australia lost this game and they stumbled to 137/9 and India won the first ODI via the D/L method by 26 runs.
Post Match Commentary (Credit Cricinfo.com)
0.15pm After Hardik Pandya and thala MS Dhoni thrilled the Chennai crowd and revived India to 281 for 7, rain cut Australia’s chase to 164 in 21 overs. Bumrah sent Cartwright’s off stump cartwheeling in his second over, then took an excellent catch to dismiss Smith. Warner flickered briefly as did Maxwell and Faulkner, but Australia were all at sea against India’s wristspinners. Kuldeep and Chahal claimed combined figures of 9-0-63-5. Pandya, meanwhile, followed his career-best 83 with the wickets of Smith and Head, and also introduced his knuckle ball to the world. What a day for him!
“The cricket action may be done for the day, but jump right into espn.in for more interesting reading material, including this account on Bengaluru FC’s stay in North Korea last week”
“Yeah, obviously we got ourselves into a good position,” Steven Smith says. “We had them at 5 for 87 and let things off a bit. MS and Hardik had a great, match-winning partnership. The new ball was stopping and some skidded on. We lost too many wickets in the middle. You can’t control the weather. No complaints, we weren’t good enough and we were outplayed by India. I thought Cummins and Coulter-Nile bowled very well in the new ball and hopefully they can back it up in a couple of days’ time. It was a tough wicket with the new ball, and then we went away from our plans too early.”
“We spoke at the toss that we wanted to put on a big score,” Kohli says. “We lost wickets but MS and Kedar played well. Hardik then (played well too), MS then finished it off like he does. Today was an example, Sri Lanka was the example of how good the middle and lower order can be. The bowlers were outstanding as well. It is a matter of giving players confidence. Hardik believes in himself, and his innings was the game-changer. He possesses all three skills equally and we are lucky to have him. Chahal is very brave and doesn’t say no to any situation. Bhuvi and Bumrah very clinical and our bank bowlers. After the rain, we felt this was our best T20 attack. We can’t have a more perfect combination.”
“It was a good day for me,” Man-of-the-Match Hardik Pandya says. “A couple of catches could have helped. I don’t think anything has changed. I am the same Hardik I was a year back. Maybe people’s thinking was changed. To be honest, when Mahi bhai was batting with me, we knew what Zampa was going to bowl. I am glad I am doing with the bat and bowl.”
That’s all she wrote for today. I’ll leave you with Sid Monga’s report. This is Deivarayan Muthu signing off on the behalf of Varun Shetty, and thanks for tuning in