India vs Australia 1st ODI 2017: IND to Opt Bat First

Fresh from their stunning victory in Sri Lanka, Kohli and mates are eyeing the same against Australia for the 5 match ODI series that starts today at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced injured Axar Patel, was not included on the side.

While Ajinkya Rahane, who was promoted at top of the order in Shikhar Dhawan's absence, fell meekly for five, other top-order batters - captain Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey - failed to open their accounts, and departed in quick succession - thus adding the pressure on the team.

The real drama and action are now set to get underway as Virat Kohli-led India take on Steve Smith's Australia in the series opening first ODI at the Chepauk in Chennai on Sunday.

Asked about Rahul's form, Kohli said:"KL (Rahul) is an outstanding talent".

In a near flawless first hour for Australia, Steve Smith could have made it better had he held on to a catch second slip.

Kedar Jadhav was tried in the series against England and he did a splendid job, scoring a century at Pune and nearly pulling off a win in the third ODI at Kolkata.

Australia slumped to 4-35 in the eighth over when David Warner nicked Kaldeep Yadav through to MS Dhoni.

For the Aussies, not having Aaron Finch opening the batting with David Warner is not a ideal arrangement with the dashing right-hander nursing a calf problem.

Australia called in local left-arm wrist spinner K.K. Jiyas, who played for Delhi in the Indian Premier League, to help prepare for Kuldeep's guile during net practice in Chennai. The Australians couldn't generally recoup from that and the downpours added to their situation, as they needed to sit tight for their swing to bat.

Dhoni on his part hit four boundaries and two sixes - both coming down the track and lofting over extra cover off pace bowling.

"Hardik believes in himself, and his innings was the game-changer".

The 23-year-old Baroda all-rounder hit his highest ODI score of 83 in just 66 balls and brought momentum back in India's favour after the hosts were reeling at 11 for 3 inside the first six overs of the innings. All those things are to get that aspect of mind games which I think creates an excitement for the fans watching as well. Nathan Coulter-Nile took 3-44, striking thee times in the space of seven balls. It is a matter of giving players confidence. The last Test series was a good testimony which proves to identify spin as the most relevant grey area and invest resources for the team and the players.

Asked about these staggering numbers, he replied: "I don't play for the three-figure mark, may be that's why I end up crossing it more".

  • Joanne Flowers