Mumbai: India’s stand-in captain Hardik Pandya was in praise of batting efforts made by KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja following the hosts’ five-wicket win over Australia in the first ODI at Wankhede Stadium, saying it was very relaxing to watch the duo bat towards victory.
Rahul, who had lost his vice-captaincy in Test cricket and was out of playing eleven for third and fourth Tests against Australia, slammed an unbeaten 75 to rescue India from a precarious 83/5 in 19.2 overs.
Along with Jadeja’s 45 not out, Rahul was also involved in an unbroken 108-run stand for the sixth wicket to help the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“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 confidence. It was very relaxing watching them bat. Overall, a very good victory and very proud of them,” said Pandya to broadcasters after the match ended.
The fast-bowling all-rounder was quick in admitting that India were under pressure while bowling as well as batting, but was proud of his team’s ability to find solutions in coming out of tough scenarios.
Mitchell Marsh’s 65-ball 81 did put India under pressure. But Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj along with Jadeja got timely scalps to bundle out Australia for just 188 in 35.4 overs.
“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 in the match. The number of chances we created, they had to be taken. Outstanding catches by Jaddu and Shubman as well,” Hardik said.
Jadeja, adjudged as ‘Player of the Match’ in the first ODI, stated that playing in the format after eight months of knee injury, his goal was to get used to the pace of a 50-over cricket match with both bat and ball.
“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,” said Jadeja.
“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,” he added.