Australia’s batting woes continued as India stormed to a comfortable nine-wicket win in the first T20 game of the series played at Ranchi. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli played well to see India chase down 48 runs from six overs after the heavy rains meant that the equation was revised. Steven Smith’s has not any answers as to why Australian batting lineup has done so poorly in India especially the middle order that includes Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head and Matthew Wade.
David Warner was the first one to go as he was taken out by pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The left-handed player has been in decent form coming into this series but paid the price for being too aggressive against the bowling of Kumar. Virat Kohli did setup good plans for Warner who was not allowed anything outside his off stump. Glenn Maxwell was promoted to no.3 as the swashbuckling batsman looked completely out of touch and did not seem get going against the pace bowlers in the initial overs of the game. Kohli brought in leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack and the ploy worked as Maxwell was dismissed on a pretty innocuous looking delivery.
Aaron Finch was the only batsman who played well while the rest of the lineup gave their wickets away. He was quick to punish anything loose offered to him and also played well against spin of Chahal.
Kuldeep Yadav caused him a few problems as left-arm chinaman got more assistance from the pitch the rest of the Indian bowlers. He bowled cleverly to Finch and did not allow him any freebie in the first few deliveries. The rest was Finch completely misjudging a straight delivery to see him stumps get shattered. Finch scored 42 runs off 30 balls and his dismissal the started a procession of wickets as Travis Head, Daniel Christian and Moises Henriques could not produce significant scores to see Australia end up with only 118 runs from 18 overs. Wicket-keeper Tim Paine also failed to deliver with the bat for Australia in this game.
Jaspreet Bumrah was excellent in his second spell as he dismissed Paine in the 18th over of the innings. The right-arm pacer has been India’s go to bowler in the death overs and has truly excelled as the cricketer in the T20 format. He has been quite successful in this format besides the likes of Ashish Nehra and Ravi Ashwin.
The rain played a huge role in the second half as it took a lot of time for the ground staff to make sure that the game could take place. Australia’s paltry score did not help their cause as India only needed 48 runs from six overs due to revised target according to Duckworth-Lewis method. Nathan Coulter- Nile dismissed Rohit Sharma but Kohli and Dhawan did well really well in tricky conditions to make India win the game without any hiccups. Kohli hit the winning runs against Daniel Christian to see India notch-up their seventh consecutive win over Australia in the T20 format.