Virat Kohli fell for a 4-ball 0    AFP
Virat Kohli fell for a 4-ball 0 AFP

It is always a pleasure to watch India play at home. India vs Australia, it doesn t get better. The series kicked-off with the 1st ODI being played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. India beat the visitors comfortably by 26 runs via DLS method in a rain-curtailed tie. Although India had seemingly gone off to a shaky start, struggling at 11 for the loss of three wickets, they managed to recover quite well. As to thank for the recovery phase, it was once again the cool minded MS Dhoni, along with Hardik Pandya, who steered India to a safe total. Later, it was the Indian bowlers, especially Yuzvendra Chahal, whose three-for helped India seal the win. However, it was not all in the match as we take a look at all the talking points.

Virat Kohli s unfortunate duck: After almost 4 years, Kohli bagged an ODI-duck at home. Kohli was dismissed for 0 off Nathan Coulter-Nile in the fourth ball, after being caught brilliantly by Glenn Maxwell. His dismissal left India stranded at 11 for the loss of two wickets in the sixth over. However, what followed next just became a nightmare for the Aussies.

India struggling at 87 for 5: Following the dismissal of Kohli, the Aussies gained quite a good momentum as they managed to chip in with wickets at regular junctures. It was the pair of Rohit and Kedar, who most started the recovery phase for India, as they contributed to a steady 53-run stand for the sixth wicket. Rohit contributed 245, while Jadhav contributed 26 in the stand, before Rohit fell for 28, followed by Jadhav for 40. Although still in favour of the Aussies, India had well begun their preparations for the recovery phase.

MS Dhoni s emotional return to Chennai: As we all know, Dhoni has a tremendous emotional attachment with Chennai. And we probably know the reason to that as well. It is his eight-year stint with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has made him the most-loved cricketer in this city. He also led CSK to the twin IPL title wins, along with 2 Champions League T20 (CLT20) titles as well. Although Dhoni missed out playing for CSK in the previous to editions of the IPL, owing to CSK s suspension, the love for the fans in Dhoni has still not worn out. We might see him don the yellows again in the next season but his love affair with the venue continues.

 

MS Dhoni-Hardik Pandya s prolific stand of 118: If what was the platform build by Rohit and Jadhav, the pillar to the India s recovery innings was played by Dhoni and Pandya. The pair contributed to a prolific stand of 118, which hurt the Aussies. Although Dhoni played a stable knock in the stand, contributing just 29, it was Pandya, who played a gem of an innings, contributing 83. He fell in the 41st over to Adam Zampa, but not before registering his highest ODI score so far.

MS Dhoni s 100th international half-century: Following Pandya s dismissal, it was Dhoni s turn to take the innings forward, and he rightfully did so with an innings of 79. In the process, he also scored, what was his 100th international half century across formats. Dhoni is now the 13th cricketer in the history of international cricket to complete a ton of 50s. Among Indians, he is fourth after Sachin Tendulkar (164), Rahul Dravid (146) and Sourav Ganguly (107).

 

 

It was Dhoni s 66th ODI half-century, he has 33 in Tests and 1 in T20Is. Dhoni now also has 9,737 runs in ODIs, and requires 263 runs more to complete the 10,000-run milestone in ODIs. He also went on to contribute to a 72-run stand for the seventh wicket along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, helping India to 281.

Jasprit Bumrah s blinder to dismiss Steven Smith: Steven Smith was always going to be the key wicket. Being the skipper, it is always an expectation from the Australian fans that he would bail them out. However, he could not do so on Sunday as he fell for a mere single to Pandya in the fifth over. However, what was most interesting during his dismissal was the catch taken by Jasprit Bumrah to get rid of him. It was a blinder of a catch from the young lad. He was first undone by Pandya s slower and then Bumrah began his sprint. However, to judge it better, watch the catch below:

India and Australia will square off in the second ODI at Kolkata on Thursday. The Durga Puja flavour will definitely add more flavour to Eden Gardens-encounter.