India's takeaways from the Australia ODIs

Such was the contribution of Hardik Pandya with the bat and the ball that Virat Kohli calling him the "biggest asset" on Sunday night didn't sound exaggerated at all. The all-rounder, batting down the order, saved India with a whirlwind knock in Kolkata. In the next two matches, he capitalised the opportunity to bat at No. 4 with useful knocks. His ability to dominate spinners – especially with hitting sixes at will – has impressed connoisseurs and amazed aficionados. Add to that his sharp medium-pace, and Pandya is fast becoming a complete package. Perhaps India's long search for a pace-bowling all-rounder has concluded. Photo: PTI
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India has a problem of plenty when it comes to openers in the ODI squad. As a result, despite being the man of the series in the West Indies, Ajinkya Rahane had to be benched for the following series in Sri Lanka once Rohit Sharma returned to the squad. With Shikhar Dhawan pulling out of the Australia series, Rahane got another chance to make a case for a permanent slot. And the opener made utmost use of it, scoring four consecutive fifties and being involved in three successive hundred-run partnerships with Rohit. But with Dhawan set to return for the remainder of the home season, perhaps it's time for Rahane to be tried out at No. 4 again in ODIs? Photo: Vivek Bendre
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Ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni threw the ball to him during the home series against New Zealand last October, Kedar Jadhav has consistently been used as a partnership breaker. The diminutive bowler's slinging offies may seem obnoxious from a distance but Jadhav has foxed the best of the batsmen. His value as a bowler rose so much that in Nagpur on Sunday, he was introduced on a slower surface as early as the 14th over and bowled 10 overs on the trot — the first instance of him finishing his quota in ODIs. Photo: AP
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The selectors' and the team management's decision to move on from Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for white-ball cricket had raised a lot of eyebrows ahead of the series. However, the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has combined so well with the accurate left-arm spinner Axar Patel that it won't be a surprise if the triumvirate emerges as India's first-choice spinners for the shorter formats before the end of India's home season. Photo: AP
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In the olden days, the pace bowlers would use the new ball and then return to finish an ODI innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have turned the clock back in a way. The duo moves the new ball, which combined with their nagging lines and lengths are enough to force batsmen into mistakes. And their consistency in hitting the block-hole at the death have made them the best combination at the end of an innings. Even Australia skipper Steven Smith said so mid-series! Photo: V. GANESAN
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