Stand-in India captain Hardik Pandya marked his ODI captaincy debut with a 5-wicket win over Australia in the first match of the series on March 17, 2023, in Mumbai.
Pandya had won the toss and chose to bowl first and India went in with three pacers in Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur, and two spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, with Pandya as the backup pacer.
Mohammad Shami (3/17) and Mohammed Siraj (3/29) along with two wickets from Ravindra Jadeja kept Australia to 188 in 35.4 overs, with only Mitchell Marsh doing some damage with 81 runs in 65 balls with 10 fours and 5 sixes.
In reply, KL Rahul (75*) and Ravindra Jadeja (45*) added 108* runs for the sixth wicket from 83/5 to take India home in the 40th over with 5 wickets to spare.
After the match, Hardik Pandya spoke and lauded KL Rahul and Jadeja’s match-winning partnership.
He said: “We were under pressure both the times . We kept our composure and found ways to come out of those situations. Once we got the momentum towards us, we were quite on top of the game. I am really proud of the way we caught today. The number of chances we created ... they had to be taken. Outstanding catches by Jaddu and Shubman as well. Talking about Jaddu, he did what he's capable of. Coming after a break in ODI cricket, the way he finished as well, we needed a partnership with KL and he did the job for us. That was fantastic. It was hot, I was enjoying my bowling. I was enjoying my batting as well. The way KL and Jaddu finished it off and the way they batted, it gave us the confidence. It was very relaxing watching them bat. Overall, a very good victory and very proud of them.”
Ravindra Jadeja was named the Player of the Match for his two wickets, 45* and a brilliant catch as well.
He said: “I’m playing ODI cricket after 8 months so I was just looking to adapt to the format as soon as possible. Luckily with the ball, I got a few wickets. When I went to bat, I was looking to build a partnership with KL. I knew that the total was small but still we had to chase it down. We've been playing Test cricket. Line and length is different to Test cricket. You have to alter you lengths and pace. I was looking to bowl in good areas and I was also getting a bit of turn. I was looking to build a partnership today of about 70-80 runs, and that's what happened. It was not easy to play the big shots because the ball was swinging.”
Both the teams will meet in the second ODI in Vizag on March 19.
(Star Sports inputs)