Team India against Australia as the hosts have emerged victorious by a comfortable margin.
“This is good,” was Virat Kohli’s reaction when India found themselves on 99/4 chasing a modest 237-run target in the first One-Day International against Australia in Hyderabad. That they achieved the target without losing any more wickets would have pleased the Indian captain no end.
In the chase then Shikhar Dhawan (0), Rohit Sharma (37) and Virat Kohli (44) failed to fire as India looked in a bit of strife on a tough Hyderabad surface. But Kedar Jadhav (81*) and the ice-cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni (59*) forged a defiant unbeaten 141-run stand for the fifth wicket to help their side through to a six-wicket win.
Going into the second ODI in Nagpur on Tuesday (March 5), India will be hoping for a similar show from their players on what is expected to be a good surface for shot making.
Kohli singled out Shami and Jadhav as the big plusses from the first game. Shami hasn’t been a regular in the 50-over setup but since his return has looked menacing and is even touted to pip Bhuvneshwar Kumar into the playing eleven as Jasprit Bumrah’s new ball partner. The right-arm pacer who is looking lighter and quicker has returned 15 wickets from eight matches since his return to ODI cricket. He hasn’t given anything away in the top ten overs and in the death as well has looked more than a handful.
These five ODIs are India’s last few games before the 2019 World Cup and are going serving as a precursor to the quadrennial event considering most members in the current squad are likely to take the flight to England in May.