Bowlers fail yet again as Australia take 1-0 lead
MOHALI, Sep 20: India’s frailties with the ball were laid bare as Australia gunned down a formidable 209-run target rather comfortably for a four-wicket win in the first T20I here on Tuesday.
K L Rahul (55 off 35 balls) and Hardik Pandya (71 not out off 30) helped India post a daunting 208 for six after Australia put the hosts in to bat.
Australia were dominant in the run chase, romping home in 19.2 overs. Last year’s World Cup hero Matthew Wade (45 not out off 21) and Cameron Green (61 off 30) played special knocks to make short work of a stiff target.
It was a formidable total but the way Australia started, an early finish was on the cards. Opening for the first time in international cricket, Green was in a menacing mood as he hammered comeback man Umesh Yadav for four successive boundaries.
There wasn’t heavy dew but no swing was on offer for both Umesh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The stand out bowler for India, Axar Patel, removed opposition skipper Aaron Finch to get a much-needed breakthrough. However, more carnage was in store as Green toyed with the bowling.
At 109 for one in 10 overs, Australia were running away with the contest before India fought back with three quick wickets, two of those coming via Rohit Sharma’s brilliant DRS calls, which sent Smith and Glenn Maxwell back in the hut.
With five wickets in hand, Australia needed 55 off the last 24 balls. However, Australia debutant Tim David in the company of the experienced Wade went ballistic in the death overs to complete a fine run chase.
Earlier, Rahul made a statement with a high-quality knock before Hardik smashed an unbeaten 71, which included five sixes.
Suryakumar Yadav also played some breathtaking strokes in his 46 off 25 balls.
Expecting dew, Australia opted to bowl. After Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fell cheaply, Rahul and Suryakumar shared a 68-run stand off 42 balls. India were able to maintain their tempo in the middle overs as Suryakumar picked up leggie Adam Zampa for two successive sixes over long on and deep midwicket.
Hardik’s cameo then took over and pushed India past 200. He was quick to punish anything short from the pacers. (PTI)