Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni Partnership Made The Difference: Gavaskar


India take on Australia in the first of what promises to be an exciting series of five ODIs at Chennai.

India were reeling 4-64 in 16th over when Dhoni came to the crease after Rohit Sharma was caught by Coulter-Nile off Marcus Stoinis. He top-edged the ball to be dismissed for an entertaining 66-ball 83 runs, which was his third ODI fifty as well. Rohit and Jadhav kept picking the singles and put the odd bad ball away to the fence, but the momentum lay with the tourists throughout the partnership.

The people of Chennai love and adore MS Dhoni.

With the team in deep trouble, opener Rohit Sharma (28) and Kedar Jadhav (40) brought some solidity with a 53-run fourth wicket stand before Sharma fell to a short-pitched delivery from Marcus Stoinis. The India skipper was out for a four-ball duck.

Kohli has recovered his form and India returned from an emphatic tour of Sri Lanka, where it beat the hosts across all three formats.

Throw in limited-overs stars like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, as well as the focal point of the side, skipper and spiritual leader Virat Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni, who maintains an aura of calm and objective in the side, and you have a tremendous limited-overs side capable of dominating at home or away. As I said before even if I am 98 not out or 99 not out, I don't mind, as long as I win the game.

India's bowling too looks in good shape with the comeback of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.

"I am not too concerned about my differences with Kohli". Does Ajinkya Rahane, who could open in Shikhar Dhawan's absence, have the ability to match modern scoring standards?

The Australian players Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are ruled out in this series as they are injured and Aaron Finch will not be the opener along with Warner and he is replaced by Peter Handscomb but Travis Head is expected to be the novice with Warner.

Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile is likely to partner Pat Cummins with the new ball, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa is Australia's front-line tweaker.

The Aussies will definitely miss the services of their pace unit spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood. After a cautious start, all hell broke loose for Pandya and the momentum of the innings changed after the Adam Zampa over, the 37th one of the innings.

For Australia, Hilton Cartwright is making his ODI debut, he has been an opener and shall open the innings with David Warner.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya's blistering 83 complemented by a responsible 79 from Chennai's resident "Super King" Mahendra Singh Dhoni saw India score a respectable 281 for 7 against Australia in the first One Day International, here today.

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