India vs Australia 1st ODI: MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav lead the way as clinical India go 1-0 up

MS Dhoni supported Kedar Jadhav to perfection by remaining 59 not out of 72 deliveries. (AP)

MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav starred for India as the men in blue got back to winning ways in the first one-day internationals (ODI) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Saturday. Chasing 237 to win, India reached the target in 48.2 overs, riding on a 141-run unconquered stand between Kedar (81 no, 87 balls) and Dhoni (59 no off 72 balls), to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

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After losing the Twenty20 International (T20I), it was imperative that the home team get a favourable result. However, India did make heavy weather of an easy target on a not so difficult wicket.

India got off to a poor start with Shikhar Dhawan falling in the second over of the innings. From thereon, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli put up a 76-run stand to prevent further damage. But the duo fell one after the other and at one point India were placed precariously at 99/4.

But the 141-run partnership between Dhoni and Jadhav put the hosts in cruise control. Australia kept their bowling tight but lack of wickets did not help their cause. But Jadhav and Dhoni took their time and steadily upped the ante. What was most crucial was that they never allowed the asking rate to cross 7. In the end, India won the match with 10 balls to spare.

But what will please Kohli is that this is the third time in the last six months that India have successfully chased down a 150+ target without anyone from top three scoring 50-plus

Earlier, in the afternoon session, the Indian bowlers controlled the proceedings to restrict Australia to a sub-par score of 236/7. It was a vastly different performance from the bowling unit which maintained discipline for the better part of the 50 overs with Mohammed Shami (2/44 in 10 overs) showing the way.

Kuldeep Yadav (2/46 in 10 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (0/33 in 10 overs) and Kedar Jadhav (1/31) made up for a rare off-day by Jasprit Bumrah (2/60 in 10 overs), that too, by his standards.

Even Usman Khawaja (50) and Glenn Maxwell (40) — the top two contributors for Australia — weren’t exactly comfortable against an Indian attack that bowled as many as 169 dot balls.

Despite not getting wickets, Jadeja bowled two miserly spells-5-0-15-0 and 5-0-18-0. To top it, he was hit for only two boundaries and bowled 34 dot balls.