Australia win first T20 by 31 runs
A brutal fifty from Matthew Wade and miserly bowling from David Hussey were crucial in setting up Australia’s 31 run win over India in the first T20 International at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Only David Warner in the Australian side was a member of the team of that won 4-0 against in the Tests. Australia debuted fast bowler James Faulkner, slow left armer Xavier Doherty and a middle order bat-captain, George Bailey. Rahul Sharma, the leg spinner made his debut for India.
Winning the toss, MS Dhoni chose to bowl first even as it rained at Stadium Australia, built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and making its cricket debut. David Warner was kept quite in the 1st over by R Ashwin but he unleashed the switchhit in the 3rd over, hitting a six and slogging another one straight to take 19 runs off the over. He was dismissed trying to slam Vinay Kumar but Matthew Wade kept the punishment going.
Travis Birt’s dismissal in the 10th over only helped Australia’s innings, bringing out David Hussey. Wade and Hussey added 56 runs in the next 34 balls before Wade was bowled by Raina for 72 off 43 balls, a brief rain delay bringing small respite for India.
Hussey went on to slam 42 off 30 balls as Australia posted 171/4 in their 20 overs.
As has been his wont on this tour, Virender Sehwag hit a four and was dismissed within the third ball of the chase, edging a delivery to first slip off Lee. Gautam Gambhir and Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli looked in good touch, accelerating superbly to take India to 47 in the sixth over.
Gambhir seemed to have shaken off his uncertain form from the Tests when he tried an elaborate and unnecessary shot. Trying to carve one over point off Hussey, he scooped a simple catch to Mitchell Marsh at cover, going for 20 off 14 leaving India at 47/2. Brad Hogg got a wicket in his first over in international cricket after four years of retirement, dismissing Virat Kohli who pulled a short ball to Warner at long on, going for 22 off 21 balls. Rohit Sharma’s first ball dismissal in the next over saw India go from 47/1 to 53/4. David Hussey took 2 wickets in his 2 overs, giving away only 4 runs.
The track had gotten lower and slower, the outfield was still wet and together the conditions made run scoring a tough job. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni collected whatever singles they could with the outfield only occasionally carrying the ball past the infield. Raina tried an inside out shot and instead got an inside edge to his stumps as India stumbled further to 72/4, losing wickets and overs. Ravindra Jadeja produced a much needed boundary in the 14th over but was caught by Warner in the deep two balls later, India sliding to 81/6.
Dhoni tried to go for the big shots but it was too little and he had to contend with singles. Ashwin walked across and tried a variety of scoops but failed over and over again to even connect, wasting precious deliveries. Choked for room to free their rooms and restricted by tight fielding from the Australians backed up by an unsupportive outfield, India ended up at 140/6, 31 runs short of the target.
India now go to the 2nd T20 at Melbourne on Friday, hoping to notch up their first win of the tour.