After a near whitewash in the ODI series, the Indian cricket team got to a great start in the T20 format, successfully defending 188. It was a clinical performance from India in all the departments – batting, bowling and fielding. Many players such as Shane Watson, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh and Shaun Tait made a comeback to their national sides.
Virat Kohli’s elegant unbeaten 90 and some crafty bowling by their spinners secured India’s comprehensive 37-run victory over Australia in the first Twenty20 International at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
EssentiallySports brings to you five key talking points of the match.
Tait’s express pace and frequently wayward bowling made him cannon fodder for the Indian batsmen who took him out of the park for all the loose deliveries. He gave away 45 runs from his 4 overs spell and bowled 6 wide deliveries. The Indians, particularly Rohit Sharma used his pace to hit him for boundaries.
Shaun Tait, making a comeback to the side, had an economy rate of 11.25 for no wicket which is certainly not something that any team would expect from any bowler.
Harsha Bhogle joked that he is also following the odd even rule of Delhi, every even ball is a wide outside off stump and ever odd ball is a wide down the leg side. Such erratic bowling was not expected from the 32-year-old veteran who otherwise has a career economy rate of 6.94 in his 19 matches.
Virat Kohli, India’s highest run getter in T20 internationals, played a crucial innings to become the 22nd batsman to make 1000 T20 international runs.
Kohli scored a 55-ball 90 with 9 hits to the boundary and 2 over it. Usually a 90 is seen in T20, and assumed that there would be at least one slog, one miss-hit, one fancy shot, but his innings was a show of traditional risk-free batting, and even still at a strike rate of 164.
It took India to a par total. He was a livewire in the field too as he picked up 2 catches and saved a couple of boundaries.
The comeback player, Shane Watson who thought he would never play for his country again, put up a spectacular show with the ball today.
Watson got the danger man Rohit Sharma out on the very first ball of his over and got Shikhar Dhawan in the same over. He bowled at a good pace and foxed the batsman with his slow bouncers. While batting, Watson hit Yuvraj for a six.
The 34 year old was desparate to make a comeback in the side and even took advice from Jacques Kallis during the Big Bash League. He finished his spell by giving away just 24 runs at an economy of 6 per over.
Hardik Pandya bowled 6 wides on his debut and was taken to the cleaners by the Australian batsmen. He gave away 37 runs in his 3 overs, picking up 2 lucky wickets. The 22-year old also has an economy rate of over 10 in the IPL, in which he plays for the Mumbai Indians.
On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah picked up 3 wickets by giving away just 23 runs off his 4 overs. He stuck to the basics and bowled wicket to wicket. He bowled a yorker to get James Faulkner out bowled, immediately after being hit for a six . His performance makes one wonder – Is he the answer to India’s bowling woes?
The duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin choked the Australian batting during the middle overs. In the 8 overs they bowled, they gave away just 49 runs, picking up 4 wickets between them.
At one point when Australia was cruising along, Dhoni turned to his spinners who did a terrific job to change the momentum of the game in India’s favour.
The spinners were the main reason for the failure of the Australian batting, with wickets of Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Travis Head and Shane Watson.