On last Sunday India had a disappointed assignment against Australia in the first T20I in Visakhapatnam. The Men in Blue lost the game in the last ball by three wickets.
This means that India will not be able to win the two-match T20I series against the Men in Yellow. They can at most draw the series by winning the second T20I in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
In the first T20I, India was asked to bat first by Aussie skipper Aaron Finch. India failed to capitalise on a good start given by KL Rahul (50) and skipper Virat Kohli (24). As a result they could only muster 126 runs in a slow wicket at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
The Indian bowlers gave an excellent fight and took the match to the last ball. Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 16 runs. But Umesh Yadav failed to defend 14 runs in the last over and the Aussies won the game in the last ball.
Since 2016, it was India’s second successive defeat in T20Is. They lost the last T20I against New Zealand by four runs few days ago. Moreover it was India’s first defeat in eight T20Is played on home conditions.
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Gavaskar blames team selection
Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels that India took the Aussies lightly. They had defeated the Aussies in Tests and ODIs in their own den. As a result they took them lightly and had to pay the price for it.
“The first thing that every team must realize especially in the ultra-short format of the game is never to underestimate any opponent. India may have just done that at Vizag,” Gavaskar wrote in Times of India.
Gavaskar backed up his opinion by citing the frailties in the team selection. India went with Rishabh Pant, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya in the middle order. Besides that they also had a new opening pair with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
“Rahul batted well, but was not able to carry on after a half-century and that too with almost half the overs remaining. That meant the new boy Pant and the other two keeper-batsmen had to bulk up the innings. That didn’t quite happen,” said Gavaskar.
The veteran of Indian cricket was also sceptical with Umesh Yadav’s selection. He believed that Umesh is not at all suitable for playing the white-ball cricket.