Australia star Glenn Maxwell admitted he found it difficult to score freely against Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya in the first T20I on Sunday.
Australia must have expected a walk in the park when they restricted India to a modest total of 126 for 7. Asked to bat first, India were off to poor start as their in-form opener Rohit Sharma could score just five before returning to the pavilion. Comeback man KL Rahul and Virat Kohli then hit a flurry of boundaries to bring the innings on track. However, before the duo could bat India to a solid position, Adam Zampa struck to remove Kohli.
From thereon, the Men in Blue lost wickets at regular intervals which never allowed them to get the impetus. Rahul scored a fifty on his comeback but the likes of Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya failed to play their parts. MS Dhoni held firm from one end but with no one to support from the other, he just could not score fast and ended up scoring 29 off 35 balls.
However, the chase of 127 was not at all easy for Australia and at one stage it looked like they have lost the game before Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins took them over the line. That India managed to make a game out of it was mainly because of Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya. While Bumrah conceded just 16 runs in addition to picking up three wickets, Krunal conceded 16.
With Bumrah and Krunal tough to deal, Maxwell, who hit a match-winning half-century, said he decided to take the attack to the other bowlers.
“Krunal and Bumrah were extremely hard to get away. I decided to target other players like Chahal. I was trying to hit another six, but it was a poor bat swing (during dismissal off Chahal’s bowling), I’ll make amends in the next game,” Glenn Maxwell told Star Sports on Sunday.
He further heaped praise on tail-enders Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins after the duo collected 14 in the final over.
“Win is a win obviously. I thought I was able to control in the middle overs. Had a good partnership with D’Arcy [Short], but unfortunately, both of us got out in quick succession which caused a bit of chaos towards the end. Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson were excellent in the end,” said Maxwell.
India and Australia will meet in the final T20I of the series in Bengaluru on February 27.