A superb stand of 141 for the fifth wicket between MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav saw India home with 10 balls to spare in the first ODI between Australia and India at Hyderabad.
Jadhav joined Dhoni in the 24th over with the score on 99-4 in pursuit of Australia’s modest score of 236-7, and the 33-year-old played the leading hand in the run chase ahead of his legendary batting partner.
Jadav hit the last ball of the 48th over for six, and Dhoni then smashed the first two balls of the 49th over to the boundary to bring up a relatively comfortable six-wicket win, although Indian fans would have endured some nervous moments en route to the triumph.
Dhoni ended undefeated on a sedate 59 off 72 balls (6×4, 1×6), while Jadav’s 81 not out came off 87 balls, with nine fours and a six.
There were contributions throughout the Australian innings, but they lacked someone to stake their claim on the innings and produce a big score. Usman Khawaja scored a rather pedestrian 50 off 76 balls at the top of the innings, with Glenn Maxwell continuing his superb form from the T20I series to post the next highest score, 40 off 52 balls.
Despite a number of 20s and 30s, Australia managed to post just 236-7 off their 50 overs, with Ravi Jadeja (0-33, econ 3.30) in superb form, backed-up by Kuldeep Yadav (2-46, econ 4.60) and Mohammed Shami (2-44, econ 4.40).
‘Recently in Australia, we put up a similar kind of chase. When you have Mahibhai at the other end, you don’t have to worry about a lot. I get to learn a lot from him. Nobody better than him in the middle to learn the game from,’ said Player of the Match Jadhav. ‘I guess I have tried to play more shots, but plenty of times he tells you that the team needs me to be more solid,’ he added.
‘We were about 20 or 30 short,’ admitted Aussie skipper Aaron Finch. ‘Especially after we lost one wicket, we had to take it deeper. We tried our best with the ball. I think our quicks are most effective when they are banging the wicket. There were a few plays-and-misses, but that happens against a high-quality side.’
‘The way Kedar and MS took responsibility was outstanding,’ added a proud Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who scored a valuable 44 off 45 balls at the head of his side’s run chase.
Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images