IND vs AUS: Dhoni, Jadhav pull off chase to give India series lead

M. S. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav choreographed a masterful run chase as India powered to a six wicket win over Australia in the first One-Day International in Hyderabad on Saturday.

M.S Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav put up 141 for the fifth wicket to steer India to a six wicket win against Australia on Saturday.   -  PTI

Former India skipper M. S. Dhoni and middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav choreographed a masterful run chase under pressure as India beat Australia by six wickets in the first One-Day International in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Chasing a tricky target of 237, India was in trouble as it lost four wickets for 99. But Dhoni (59 not out, 72 balls, six fours, one six) and Jadhav (81 not out, 87 balls, nine fours, one six) made excellent half-centuries on a tough surface to help India take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Dhoni and Jadhav approached the run chase with composure and, after seeing off a tough passage of play, took the attack to the opposition. The duo forged an unbeaten stand of 141 runs for the fifth wicket and ensured there was no further slide as the Australian bowlers struggled to make further inroads.

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The Australian bowlers maintained a tight line, and the boundaries dried up for India for a brief period. But once he got his eye in, Dhoni released the pressure by lofting Nathan Coulter-Nile for maximum over the mid-wicket fence. Jadhav then upped the ante by piercing the gaps en route to his fifth ODI fifty.

While Australia scored 40 runs in the last five overs, India needed just 28 off the last 30 deliveries with Dhoni and Jadhav still at the crease. Coulter-Nile was back in the attack, and Dhoni brought up his 71st ODI fifty with a single before Jadhav sent the ball over long-on to take the game away from Australia.

MS Dhoni

M. S. Dhoni sends one to the fence during his knock of 51 in the first ODI against Australia on Saturday.   -  K.V.S Giri

 

Dhoni then dispatched Marcus Stoinis for two consecutive boundaries to eventually seal the match for India.

Poor start

India began its run chase on a poor note as it lost opener Shikhar Dhawan early. The ploy to deploy a packed off-side field worked as Coulter-Nile forced the southpaw to drive a fuller delivery straight into the hands of Glenn Maxwell at point.

Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli did the repair work as the pair added 76 runs for the second wicket. While Sharma took time to settle in, Kohli was all grace as he hit some delightful shots on both sides of the wicket.

Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff extracted bounce from the wicket and tried to unsettle the batsmen. Sharma was tentative with the ball shaping away from his bat and missing the outside edge on a couple of occasions. Kohli, on the other hand, picked the length early, drove elegantly down the ground and unleashed a majestic pull off Pat Cummins.

The introduction of spin saw Australia bounce back as Adam Zampa dismissed Kohli and Ambati Rayudu. Kohli hit Zampa for consecutive boundaries, but the leg-spinner deceived Kohli with a googly. Umpire Joel Wilson was unmoved by the appeal for leg-before, but Australia successfully reviewed the call and had the Indian skipper walking back to the stands.

Coulter-Nile then removed Sharma with a cross-seam delivery, the batsman getting a leading edge that Australia skipper Aaron Finch at mid-off took easily to end a rather scratchy innings.

India was dealt another blow as the full-capacity crowd went silent when Zampa found the outside edge to pack off Rayudu. With the game evenly poised, Dhoni and Jadhav took the onus on themselves to bail India out of trouble.

Shami, Kuldeep shine

Playing his 100th ODI, Finch made the right call on the coin toss but his disastrous form continued. Electing to bat, the captain departed for a three-ball duck as Jasprit Bumrah provided an early breakthrough.

Marcus Stoinis and Usman Khawaja did the repair work by forging a much-needed 87-run second-wicket stand, which Jadhav broke by removing the well-set Stoinis, who hit straight to Virat Kohli at mid-wicket.

The introduction of Kuldeep Yadav, who was playing a game after 20 days, saw Australian slip further as he and Ravindra Jadeja spun a web around the Aussies. While Jadeja was happy to contain the batsmen with his accuracy, Yadav removed Khawaja, who, in an attempt to up the tempo, went down the track and played against the turn only to see Vijay Shankar take an excellent catch by sliding towards his left.

Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami bowled a brilliant second spell to put India in command.   -  AFP

 

Glenn Maxwell, who was promoted up the order, walked out with 26 overs to spare. India had an opportunity to him pack off as Bumrah snared an outside edge, but the ball went past Sharma who was standing wide of first slip. Maxwell, who was batting at six, went on to add just 34 runs as the Indian bowlers were relentless.

While Peter Handscomb danced down the track only to deceived by Kuldeep’s drift, Maxwell was cleaned up by Mohammed Shami, who bowled a brilliant second spell to put India in command. Shami extracted bounce with consistent pace, clocking in the 140s.

Debutant Ashton Turner, who received his cap from former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, chopped on to his stumps to leave Australia in the doldrums. But Coulter-Nile and Alex Carey forged a crucial 62-run stand to help the side get a decent total on board.