After the India v Australia ODIs, the focus shifted to the 3-match T20I series. Ranchi hosted the 1st T20I on Saturday (7th October, 2017), where Virat Kohli won the toss and invited Australia to bat first.
David Warner (8) got off the mark in a flamboyant fashion. Smashing Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two boundaries in the very first over but the speedster had the last laugh after disturbing his furniture. Glenn Maxwell got promoted to the one down position in the absence of Steven Smith. A good partnership bloomed between Maxwell and Aaron Finch. Kohli introduced Yuzvendra Chahal at the right time and he delivered for his skipper by plucking Maxwell's (17) wicket for the 4th consecutive time on this tour. He previously got him out thrice in the ODI series. Post that, the Aussies fell like a house of cards as Kuldeep Yadav got rid of dangerous looking Finch (42). Soon, Travis Head (9) got cleaned up by Hardik Pandya and Moises Henriques (8) fell prey to Kuldeep. The visitors were in the dire straits as they were struggling to keep their wickets intact. Jasprit Bumrah hit the timber as Tim Paine (17) couldn't convert his good start into a big score. A run-out by Virat Kohli sent Daniel Christian (9) back to the hut. Jasprit Bumrah's yorker did the trick for him once again as Nathan Coulter-Nile departed for a duck. A total of 6 Australian batsmen were bowled as the Indian team equaled a T20I record. Soon, the heavens opened up and the players were off the field with the scoreboard reading 118/8 (18.4).
After a long waiting game the players made their way in the middle, where the Men-in-Blue needed 48 runs in 6 overs (DLS method). Rohit Sharma's (11) useful cameo gave a perfect launch to the hosts before Nathan Coulter-Nile got his wicket. Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Kohli played some beautiful shots, which automatically pushed the visitors on the backfoot. Looking at Dhawan's strokes no one could make out that he was playing his first match of the series. The Aussies looked helpless as the unbeaten 38* stand between the Delhi boys Dhawan (15*) and Kohli (22*) sealed the deal for India with 3 balls to spare. Kuldeep Yadav was awarded the Man of the Match award for his outstanding spell of 2/16.
India’s comprehensive display helped them to their 7th consecutive win over Australia in T20s. The 2nd T2OI takes place at ACA Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Tuesday (10th October, 2017) and Team India will be eager to wrap up the series.