The JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi was the venue for the 1st T20I between India and Australia. The game was a reflection of how the tour has progressed so far for the visitors. Another Australian collapse caused by the Indian spinners halted them to a paltry score. The rain interruption made it easy for the Indians to chase a curtailed target. India extended the winning streak over Australia in T20Is to 7 and took a 1-0 lead with 2 more games to go.
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first having the rain threat in mind. It’s always better to bat second in such situations where the DLS method is likely to intervene. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was treated with a couple of boundaries on the trot in the first over by the stand-in Australian captain David Warner. But the Indian pacer made a tremendous comeback and castled Warner off the 5th ball.
Finch’s sole fight
Aaron Finch made a good start with some eye-catching boundaries. Glenn Maxwell, who was promoted to No.3 in the absence of Steve Smith, looked scratchy. He was not able to time the ball and played too many strokes to no avail. At the end of the powerplay, the score reached 49/1.
The nemesis of Maxwell – Yuzvendra Chahal, again accounted for the wicket of the batsman in the very first over he came on to bowl. Chahal has now dismissed Maxwell on all 4 occasions on the tour. Finch was looking good for a big score as he handled the spinners well. But a clever piece of bowling from Kuldeep Yadav dismantled the stumps of the opener for 42 in the 10th over.
Another middle-order collapse
The same old story of Australian collapses repeated itself as the batsmen struggled against the spinners. Kuldeep bagged another in the form of Moises Henriques for 8. Hardik Pandya came into the act and sent back Travis Head for 9 as the visitors were left reeling at 92/5 after 14 overs.
The brakes were applied by the spin duo as just 3 and 4 runs were collected off the next 2 overs. Tim Paine broke the shackles with a four and a six in the 17th over off Bhuvneshwar. Jasprit Bumrah did what he knows best and castled Paine and Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 18th over. Virat Kohli’s direct hit from long-on found Daniel Christian short at the striker’s end as the 8th wicket fell.
The score read 118/8 after 18.4 just when the rain gods interrupted. A steady rain forced the players to walk off the field. The game was halted for 2 hours after finally, the rain relented. India’s revised target as per the DLS method was 48 from 6 overs.
A walk in the park for India
India’s chase began with a lovely flick shot for four from the bat of Rohit Sharma off Jason Beherendorff. But the pacer made a good comeback and conceded just 1 run from the remaining 5 deliveries of the over. Rohit tonked Coulter-Nile for a six off the first ball of the 2nd over but got his stumps uprooted next.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli struck a couple of boundaries each to take the score to 36/1 after 4 overs. With 12 required off 2 overs, Adam Zampa bowled a decent penultimate over and gave away just 6 runs. Dhawan took a single off the first ball of the last over and then, Kohli collected a couple and struck a boundary to seal the game for India.
India won the toss and opted to bowl first
Australia: 118/8 in 18.4 overs
Aaron Finch 42, Glenn Maxwell 17
Kuldeep Yadav 16/2, Jasprit Bumrah 17/2
India: 49/1 in 5.3 overs
Virat Kohli 22*, Shikhar Dhawan 15*
Nathan Coulter-Nile 20/1
India won by 9 wickets by DLS method
Player of the Match: Kuldeep Yadav