Talking points: Finch’s forgettable 100th, Dhoni does it again, Jadhav seals No 6 spot

India survived a scare in their chase against Australia in Hyderabad on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, with Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni taking the hosts from 99/4 to their target of 237 with ten balls to spare. (READ: Kedhar Jadhav, MS Dhoni steer India to 1-0 series lead)

Here are five talking points from the game:

Aaron Finch’s horror 100th ODI

Australia’s captain Aaron Finch made a good start to his 100th ODI by winning the toss and choosing to bat, but his enthusiasm did not last long. Off his third ball faced, Finch nicked Jasprit Bumrah to Dhoni for a duck to leave Australia 0/1 in 1.3 overs. This dismissal continued a lean run of scores for Finch over the past eight months, during which he has gone 20 limited-overs innings without a half-century. (READ: Dhoni overtakes Rohit with most ODI sixes for India)

Finch and Australia’s coach Justin Langer spoke after the T20I series win – in which Finch scored 0 and 8 – of a big score being around the corner. They have to wait.

Aaron Finch was dismissed for a duck in his 100th ODI.
Aaron Finch was dismissed for a duck in his 100th ODI. (Image: Twitter)

An innings of fits and starts

Australia’s innings of 236/7 was made up of a three sizeable contributions, but with a high of just 50. Usman Khawaja top-scored with 50, Glenn Maxwell came in next best with 40 followed by Marcus Stoinis (37), Alex Carey (36*), Nathan Coulter-Nile (28) and the debutant Ashton Turner (19). Peter Handscomb made 19 off 30 balls, the slowest score. (FULL SCORECARD: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 1st ODI)

With such batting, Australia never looked like reaching 300 at any stage.

Vijay Shankar’s utility as a bowler

With Hardik Pandya injured, Vijay Shankar’s chances of going to the World Cup have increased and these ODIs are obviously massive for him. Shankar, a seam-bowling allrounder, had bowled 16 overs in four ODIs without a wicket before Saturday. In his fifth game, he came on as first change and conceded 22 runs in three overs with Marcus Stoinis hitting him for four fours.

The selectors could view Shankar as a specialist batsman for the Australia series and the World Cup, given that his bowling has proven largely in effective.

Jadhav confirms No 6 spot is his

In and out on account of injury, Jadhav’s street-smart batting and handy offspin have kept him in India’s ODI plans. His recent form has been good, and on Saturday he removed all doubt about his spot as India’s No 6 for the World Cup with a match-winning 81 not out off 87 balls.

Kedar Jadhav was Man of the Match for his 81* off 87 balls.
Kedar Jadhav was Man of the Match for his 81* off 87 balls. © AFP

Jadhav took charge of India’s chase at 99/4 and with Dhoni slow to start, he hit two fours off Adam Zampa to ease the pressure. Thereon, his astute sense of running singles and ability to hit the boundary balls kept India in the hunt. Once he secured his fifty, Jadhav opened up with a series of stunning boundaries.

In successful ODI chases, Jadhav now averages 63.33 at a strike-rate of 103.48

Dhoni downs Australia again

With a calculated unbeaten 59 off 72 balls in a stand of 141 with Jadhav, Dhoni made it four successive ODI fifties against Australia this year, and a hat-trick of them in not out in successful chases. In Australia, Dhoni scored 51, 55* and 87* to be named Man of the Series. Those last two innings took India over the line.

In Hyderabad, chasing 237, Dhoni in tandem with Jadhav forged a match-winning stand to take his ODI batting average in 2019 to 150.50.