India batsmen looked below par in the first ODI against Australia, but all-rounder Hardik Pandya was in the zone against the Aussies, scoring 83 runs in Chennai. His innings was filled with five fours and five sixes.
India were rattled by Nathan Coulter-Nile's incredible line and length, and the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey fell prey to his accurate spell. Things began to look downhill for India with 11 runs on the board and three wickets down. The hosts soon lost Rohit Sharma and Kedar Jadhav even before scoring 100 runs.
Pandya was under pressure when he walked onto bat, but did not allow Australia dominate proceedings. Though Pandya might have not taken the attack to the opposition in the first few overs of his stay at the crease, he gradually got his eye in, and runs began to flow from his bat.
The Australian feilders, along with captain Steve Smith, looked helpless when Pandya shifted gears, and started to play big shots. There was an element of confidence in his batting as the all-rounder played freely.
It was an interesting battle between Australia leggie Adam Zampa and Pandya. The spinner was not afraid to give the ball some air, and Pandya took the invitation and hit him for some massive sixes.
After helping India cross 200 runs mark, Pandya was once again looking to clear the fence, but Zampa got his man with another flighted delivery. He top-edged the ball to be dismissed for an entertaining 66-ball 83 runs, which was his third ODI fifty as well.
Wonderful to see the growth in Hardik Pandya. That was serious hitting— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 17, 2017