India vs Australia, 1st T20I: Australia Tear Into Indian Attack, Gun Down 209-Run Target To Take 1-0 Lead

India’s weaknesses with the ball were exposed as Australia shot down a formidable 209-run goal, fairly comfortable for a four-wicket win in the first T20I in Mohali on Tuesday. KL Rahul (55 off 35 balls) and Hardik Pandya (71 not out on 30) helped India post a disheartening 208 for six after Australia gave the hosts batting. Australia was dominant in the chase, running home in 19.2 overs. Last year’s World Cup hero Matthew Wade (45 out of 21) and Cameron Green (61 out of 30) played special strokes to make short work of a stiff target.

It was a formidable total, but the way Australia started was an early finish on the cards.

Green opened up in international cricket for the first time and was in a menacing mood when he hammered comeback man Umesh Yadav for four straight boundaries in his first T20 since February 2019.

The seasoned Indian pacemaker felt the heat right away and resorted to bowling slower balls in his very first over, which didn’t work.

There was no heavy dew, but no swing was offered for either Umesh or Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The batters were able to punch through the line, making the Indian attack look very ordinary.

Standout bowler for India Axar Patel removed opposition skipper Aaron Finch to get a much needed break. However, more carnage awaited when Green, who is not even part of the Australian T20 World Cup squad, played with the bowling while Steve Smith enjoyed the other side.

In the eighth over, he beat Yuzvendra Chahal for a pair of sixes and a four for a 19-run over. India dropping Green and Smith didn’t help their cause either.

With 109 for one in 10 overs, Australia walked away with the game before India fought back with three quick wickets, two of them via Rohit Sharma’s brilliant DRS calls, which sent Smith and Glenn Maxwell back into the hut.

With five wickets in hand, Australia needed 55 of the last 24 balls.

However, Australia debutant Tim David in the company of the veteran Wade went ballistic in the death overs to complete a fine run chase.

Two big overs in which Bhuvneshwar leaked 15 and Harshal 22 sealed the fate of the home side.

Previously, Rahul made a statement with a high-quality knock before Hardik crushed an unbeaten 71, including five sixes.

Suryakumar Yadav also played some breathtaking strokes in his 46 from 25 balls.

Australia expected dew and chose to bowl.

Jasprit Bumrah, who was chosen for the series after recovering from a back injury, was surprisingly not selected for the series opener. Dinesh Karthik was chosen for Rishabh Pant.

After Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fell cheaply, Rahul and Suryakumar split a score of 68 points on 42 balls. It was raining at six when they were in the middle.

Rahul’s walk across the stumps to send Josh Hazlewood across the cow corner made his intent clear before whipping Cameron Green into a huge six over deep square leg.

Suryakumar’s acting style is often awe-inspiring and the Mohali audience has seen him at his best.

Out of his four sixes, his smash hit the fine leg of a good length Cummins ball.

India was able to keep up their pace in the center overs as Suryakumar picked up leggie Adam Zampa for two straight sixes over a long and deep midwicket.

Hardik then took over, pushing India past 200. He quickly punished anything short of the pacers and his pick-up shot of Pat Cummins in the 18th over was the culmination of his entertaining knockout.

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He skipped three straight sixes from Green in the 20th, including a flat in the middle of the wicket region. The last five overs yielded 67 runs.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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