That incomparable veteran in contemporary cricket, MS Dhoni, and the conspicuously consistent performer K Jadhav teamed up together to snuff out the Aussie challenge by six wickets in the first of the five ODI at Hyderabad on Sunday.
Their 141 run unbroken fifth wicket partnership almost obliterated the stains of the two success defeats in the T-20 series against the same combination a few days ago.
The outcome before a huge crowd at the stadium in Hyderabad helped India regain the stature as the top outfit In the limited over format of the game. At one point it looked as though India was down in the dumps after exits of Kohli, Rohit and Rayudu.
At 99 for four India was on the edge but Dhoni and Jadhav managed to stem the rot. Mixing aggression and caution both tackled the Aussie pace and spin confidently. Jadhav was more adventurous and scored runs with ease while Dhoni held his end with usual composure. Jadhav contributed 81 runs off 87 balls with nine 4s and one 6 while Dhoni was not out at 59 made of 72 balls with six 4s and one 6 India wrapped up the match in the 49th over with 10 balls to spare.
The early dismissal of Dhawan for a duck put some pressure on Kohli but the Indian skipper showed no signs of alarm and stroked fluently, He played a few majestic drives and added a beautifully executed six. Rohit was surprisingly subdued in compiling 37 runs off 66 balls with five 4s. Dhawan seems to be in poor form and may be replaced In the next match.
Barring Usman Khawja (50) and Glenn Maxwell (40) none of the other batsmen looked like dominating the Indian bowling which started off in a brilliant note with Bumraj cornering skipper Finch for a duck caught by Dhoni behind the wicket.
Mohammad Shami bowled zestfully in his second spell finishing with two wickets ably supported by Kuldeep Yadav declared as man of the match
“It was a difficult sort of a game and we did good job with the ball” said Kohli after the match. I think we were 20 or 40 runs short. I thought out bowlers did an outstanding job but India were too good, “ commented the Aussie skipper, Finch.
The next match is on March 5 at Nagpur.