Team India, on Friday, came up with a fine all-round performance to beat Australia by 11 runs in the first T20I and take the lead in the three-match series. Chasing 162, the hosts finished their innings on 150 for 7.
Asked to bat first, India scored 161 for 7 in the allotted 20 overs. KL Rahul top-scored with 51 while Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls. The Men in Blue were off to a poor start and were reeling at 114 for 6 in the 17th over with the likes of Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya fell cheaply.
However, Jadeja remained till the end while fighting a hamstring injury to propel India to a good total. He hit five fours and one six during his knock. 30 off his 44 runs came off the last ten balls as Ravindra Jadeja took the likes of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to the cleaners.
In reply, Australia finished 11 runs short of the target. The hosts started well with the bat as Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short added 56 runs for the first wicket. But once Yuzvendra Chahal broke the stand by dismissing Finch, Australia’s innings derailed. The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually finished on 150 for 7. For India, T Natarajan and Chahal picked up three wickets each.
Here is what Virat Kohli said after the match:
Speaking at the end of the game, Virat Kohli hit back at suggestions that India made the most of Ravindra Jadeja’s injury and replaced him with Yuzvendra Chahal. Jadeja was hit on the head in the final over but continued to bat before being subbed out.
“There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Concussion replacements are a strange thing. Today, it worked for us. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents,” said Virat Kohli.
He further spoke about the match, saying:
“I thought they had a great start. They were cruising. The batters offered us a few wickets. That is T20 cricket for you. In Australia, you need to play hard and show intensity till the end. He batted beautifully in the last game. Natarajan looks like he can improve a lot. Chahar bowled well as well. Chahal got us back in the game. Hardik’s catch was a game changer as well.”