Australia pulled off a stunning win from the jaws of defeat in the final over to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match T20I series. Opting to bowl first, the Aussie bowlers restricted India to 126 in the full quota of overs. The tourists lost two wickets upfront but got back into the game through D'Arcy Short and Glenn Maxwell. Jasprit Bumrah and the spinners kept bringing India back into the game but Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins knocked off 14 in the final over bowled by Umesh Yadav to help Australia to a win. Here is our report card from the thrilling encounter.
Rohit Sharma - 1/10
Rohit Sharma found himself in trouble yet again while facing left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff as he went for a fancy scoop shot only to gift a catch down short fine leg's throat. Off a length delivery on the stumps, Rohit opted for a cheeky shot and disappointingly erred in execution. The vice-captain fell for just five and will hope to make amends in the next game of the series.
KL Rahul - 9/10
On his T20I comeback, Rahul gave a good account of himself at the top of the order, playing some delightful inside out strokes in his stay at the wicket. He slammed Richardson for four fours in the bowler's first two overs also lofting Coulter-Nile over covers for boundaries. When Zampa came on, Rahul was quick to use his feet and hit him down the ground. He reached his 50 off 35 balls but fell next ball, looking to play another lofted drive on the off side.
Virat Kohli - 4/10
Kohli appeared to be in great touch as he slayed Behrendorff for two boundaries in an over before smashing Coulter-Nile through the leg-side next over. The skipper raced to the 20s in no time but a rush of adrenaline saw him step out to Zampa lofting it straight to long-on.
Rishabh Pant - 1/10
Pant had a great chance to produce an innings of substance from no. 4, but was at the receiving end of a brilliant piece of fielding from Behrendorff, who while fielding at backward point, threw himself to first stop the ball traveling at good pace followed by a quick return to the keeper to catch Pant short. The youngster was a tad unlucky to be dismissed in that manner and will hope to use the next game to find runs and impress the management.
MS Dhoni - 4/10
With wickets tumbling around him, MS Dhoni dropped anchor and ambled along till the end of the innings for India, remaining unbeaten on 29 off 37 balls. The former Indian skipper saw his mates throwing their wickets away from the other end as he batted his way to 23 off 31 balls, before a six in the last over helped him to 29, but he did not take another run off the bat in the final over despite facing all deliveries. In hindsight, the denied singles perhaps cost India in the end as Australia edged home off the last ball.
Dinesh Karthik - 1/10
Karthik was undone by a rip-roaring in-decker from Coulter-Nile. The batsman looked to walk down the wicket and drive on the up but the movement of the delivery into him flummoxed Karthik and he was cleaned all ends up for 1, leaving Dhoni to do the final flourish.
Krunal Pandya- 9/10
Despite faltering with the bat, Krunal Pandya produced a terrific display with ball in hand, containing the Aussie batsmen with his subtle pace variations and immaculate lines. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder bowled three overs unchanged from one end, giving away just 12 runs and dismissed Ashton Turner, the last recognised Aussie batsman completing a superb four-over spell conceding just 17.
Umesh Yadav- 1/10
Umesh Yadav undid all the hard work of the Indian bowlers when he conceded two fours, one apiece to Richardson and Pat Cummins, in the final over. The Indian seamer conceded 14 in the final over as Australia edged India by three wickets. His powerplay bowling was a sensation last IPL, but at the death Umesh has often been found wanting and this performance could well signal the end of his World Cup hopes.
Yuzvendra Chahal - 7/10
On a sticky wicket, Chahal was used to contain the big hitting Aussie top-order with the new ball. He started off brilliantly, with an one-run over, but came back to concede 13 in the last over of powerplay as Maxwell took him on. The leg-spinner, though, returned to prize out Maxwell with his wide, tempting loopy leg break and had the big hitting Aussie caught in the deep.
Mayank Markande - 5/10
Markande went wicketless on his international debut but was better than what the scorecard makes him out to be. He mixed his variations and bowled the quicker ones and googlies with conviction. The leg-spinner should get more opportunity in this series to set things straight.
Jasprit Bumrah - 10/10
Bumrah was unstoppable for India and nearly helped them to an outstanding win with his accurate bowling and almost unplayable yorkers. He removed Aaron Finch early and returned in the penultimate over to dismiss Handscomb and Coulter-Nile off successive deliveries to put India in the driving seat. Though he gave Umesh 14 to defend with his two-run 19th over, India could not wrestle home.
D'Arcy Short - 8/10
Short appeared a changed batsman against spin as he rocked back effortlessly and punished anything loose. The opening batsman, off another superb Big Bash season, where he topped the run charts, was diligent and watchful, yet imposed himself each time the bowler erred. His bowling, a work in progress with the help of spin consultant Sriram Sridharan, also appeared handy at Vizag.
Marcus Stoinis - 1/10
Stoinis was unused with the ball as Australia's strike bowlers pegged back India but he came out to open the batting after his success at Melbourne Stars. However, before he could showcase his skills at the top of the order, the all-rounder had a mix-up while running between the wickets, and ran himself out for one. The experiment at the top should continue in the next game and we might get a better glimpse of Stoinis in the powerplays.
Aaron Finch - 1/10
Finch's issues with the ball coming into him continued as he was trapped in front by Bumrah off the first ball he faced. After a deplorable series at home, where he constantly failed against Bhuvneshwar Kumar's inswingers, Finch seems to be carrying the same issue on this tour. The skipper has a lot of work to be done in the background and the Aussies will hope he irons out this glitch soon.
Glenn Maxwell - 10/10
Maxwell walked in with the total at 5/2 but unperturbed by the score, he counter-attacked to divert the pressure and help rebuild for Australia. The Australian was outstanding against pace and spin alike and raced to his half-century in 40 balls. He was, however, dismissed by Chahal soon after and Australia struggled to maintain the tempo post his dismissal.
Peter Handscomb - 2/10
Handscomb was on his T20I debut and after a good show in the ODIs against India at home, he was trusted to finish off the run-chase, which seemed fairly regulation work. However, pressure from wickets falling at one end and Bumrah's brilliant accuracy got the better of Handscomb top-edging a pull off the Mumbai Indians seamer to be dismissed for 13, conceding the advantage to India in the process.
Ashton Turner - 1/10
Turner had played quite a few crucial knocks for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and his task at Vizag was very similar to the ones he had nailed back at home a month ago. However, the pressure of International cricket is different and Turner struggled to get off the mark, consuming four dots on the trot against Umesh Yadav. He was soon cleaned up by Krunal, while looking to play a paddle sweep, for nought.
Pat Cummins - 9/10
Cummins remained calm under pressure in the run-chase and hit a four and a double in the last two balls of the innings to help Australia to a win that appeared unlikely an over ago. The Aussie seamer was earlier superb with the ball and conceded just 19 in his four overs while picking up a solitary wicket.
Nathan Coulter-Nile - 10/10
Coulter-Nile was the pick of Aussie seamers as he hit the deck, moved the ball either ways and put the Indian batsmen in uncomfortable positions. Coulter-Nile broke the momentum of the Indian innings when he had the in-form Rahul caught at long-off before cleaning up Karthik in the same over. He added the wicket of Krunal courtesy a sharp bumper, to finish with figures of 3/26.
Jhye Richardson - 4/10
Richardson's skiddy pace had made him a bowler to watch out for in Australia. But on the Vizag surface, Richardson erred in line and either bowled into the pads of the batsman or was too full outside off-stump. Rahul took full toll of his mistakes and smashed four fours off him in two overs. Richardson, though, made amends for his poor bowling show with a composed batting performance under pressure in the final over.
Jason Behrendorff - 9/10
Behrendorff yet again struck early for Australia, removing the dangerous Rohit in his second over. Known as a new ball weapon after his exploits for Perth Scorchers, Behrendorff has earned a reputation for Australia in the format and delivered a good spell up front. He further enhanced his credentials with a sharp piece of fielding to send back Pant.
Adam Zampa - 7/10
Zampa was the pick of Australia's bowlers in the T20Is when India toured Australia last year. His pace variations and googly proved to be a handful then and it did as much damage at Vizag when he befuddled Kohli with flight. He proved to be a tad expensive but remains a potent weapon for the Aussies in this series.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor
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