India went to play against the Aussies with the tag of favourites to win the three match T20I series. Rain was forecasted and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first.
Australia had a slow beginning, as they scored 38 in the powerplay and lost D’Arcy Short in the fifth over. Chris Lynn hit Khaleel Ahmed three sixes later. But Kuldeep Yadav removed Aaron Finch and Lynn in successive overs.
Things were in India’s favour until Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis added 78 runs in 37 balls. Rain arrived in the 17th over and halted the game for one hour and the game was reduced to 17 overs-a-side.
Australia scored 158-4 and as per DRS calculation, India was given a target of 174. The visitors started with 11 in the first over. Rohit Sharma was given out in the last over of the powerplay.
Shikhar Dhawan was in blistering form as he got his ninth T20I fifty. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli scored 13 and 4 respectively and both of them lost their wickets to Adam Zampa.
Dhawan made 76 from 42 balls and got out in the 12th over. It was Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant’s responsibility to score 65 from last 5 overs.
They scored 25 runs in the 14th over and then Pant got out in the penultimate over for 20 runs. It was down to 13 runs in the final over which Marcus Stoinis defended as he gave just 8 runs. Australia won the first game by four runs and started the series on a positive note.
Here are some of the reasons why India lost the first T20I match of the series.
3. Indian bowlers failed to control the run flow in the middle overs
At the end of powerplay, Australia were 38-1. With spinners like Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav, it was expected of India to dominate. But the opposite happened as Australia scored 120 runs in next 11 overs.
Kuldeep gave 24 runs in his four overs and picked two wickets. The trio of Bhuvi, Bumrah and Kuldeep gave just 60 runs in 10 overs.
The bowlers from the other end did not support them. Krunal and Khaleel gave away a combined 97 runs from their 7 overs.
Although India picked up wickets, yet they could not restrict the run flow because of the lack of support from these bowlers.