Australia beat India by three wickets with the final delivery in a low-scoring first Twenty20 international at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
India’s best fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was rested for India’s limited-overs trip to New Zealand. He returned afresh, took 3-16, including two wickets in his final two balls in the penultimate over, but it proved inadequate.
India skipper Virat Kohli wasn’t perturbed by his team’s shoddy batting display in the first T20 International – it turned out to be a nail-biting contest, last ball decider.
Virat wants to give more chances to youngsters KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant looking ahead at the World Cup in England. KL Rahul scored a fifty on his return to international cricket.
Rahul made a 50 on his return but Pant was needlessly run-out during India’s three-wicket defeat against Australia in the first T20 International. Rahul did no harm to his chances with an impressive 36-ball 50 and combined in a rapid fire partnership of 55 for the 2nd wicket with Virat Kohli, who made 24.
Chasing a target of 127, Australia were cruising along before Jasprit Bumrah’s (3/16 in 4 overs) brilliant 19th over nearly won the game for India.
“We want to give Rahul and Rishabh more game-time. Rahul played a really good knock and we had a good partnership. Had we gone on, we could have got 150, which would have been a match-winning score on this pitch. But Australia played better cricket overall and deserved to win,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
However, he didn’t forget to praise his bowlers for making a match of a low target like 127. “Very pleased with the bowling effort. Never thought we would be in this situation but Bumrah can do wonders when the ball is reversing. Even Mayank (Markande) bowled brilliantly (17th over), I thought,” said Kohli.
Winning captain Aaron Finch also conceded that facing Bumrah in the death overs is not an easy proposition. “When Bumrah has got overs up his sleeve, it’s never easy. But the run-outs didn’t help either. Maxwell played a hell of an innings on a difficult pitch,” Finch lauded the senior batsman. Maxwell hit 56 off 43 balls.
Coulter-Nile shines in Australia’s last-ball win over India.
Pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with figures of three for 26, felt that the ball wasn’t coming onto the bat.
“I thought the boys bowled really well and we scraped home. We worked out quickly that the ball was not coming on to the bat. We have been playing a bit of cricket in the BBL. Really good to have a win and hopefully we will have another one and win the series,” said Coulter-Nile.
The second and final T20 will be played in Bengaluru on Wednesday.