The favorites to win the T20I series against Australia, India had an off-day on the field as they lost the first game by 4 runs.


After the home side were sent in to bat, the Indian seamers repaid the trust that Virat Kohli had shown by conceding just 38 runs in the first six overs. However, Khaleel Ahmed and Krunal Pandya proved expensive and allowed Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell to settle in. Though rain did affect the Australian innings, their blitzkrieg meant that India had to chase down 174 in 17 overs.

Regular wickets though left India with 65 to chase in the last 5 overs, and despite the heroic efforts of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, India went down fighting by 4 runs. Here are the talking points from the game.

 

The absence of Dhoni

The T20I series was in the news due to the absence of Dhoni, who missed playing an international game for India in Australia for the first time ever. However, all eyes were on Pant, the keeper in the game, and on Karthik, who has impressed in his limited opportunities.

The duo got together after the fall of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket with the score reading 105 for 4, and India still needing 69 runs in 5.2 overs, Just when the fans had thought that the game was over, the two batters got together to smash 51 runs in just 23 deliveries. They were particularly harsh on Marcus Stoinis and got India within touching distance of the win. However, Pant’s dismissal ended all hopes as India lost by just 4 runs.

 

Dhawan overtakes Kohli

After looking out of sorts in the T20I series against Windies, Dhawan returned to form in style, scoring 76 runs in 42 deliveries. In the process, he created a world record, breaking Kohli’s record of scoring the most runs in T20Is in a calendar year.

The Delhiite has amassed 648 runs in 16 games in 2018, which was a betterment of the 641 runs that Kohli had scored in 2016. Dhawan also has six fifties to his name this year.

 

Australia win against India at home for the first time since 2012

Though the Aussie unit has dominated India in the ODIs and in the Tests, they have lagged behind in the shortest format, losing the previous four games against them Down Under. India had defeated Australia 3-0 the last time they were there in 2016 and had clinched the last T20I of the three-match series in 2012.

With Aaron Finch’s men coming off a 0-3 drubbing at the hands of Pakistan, this win was badly needed to boost the confidence of the side.

 

Kuldeep continues his magic

Even as Krunal Pandya was being bashed by Maxwell at the other end, Kuldeep ensured to keep things tight from his end, conceding just 24 runs in his quota of overs whilst picking up 2 wickets. He kept frustrating the rivals with his wrong uns that cramped them up for room. The chinaman bowler has been India’s trump card in white-ball cricket this year, impressing against England and South Africa overseas, before churning out a good performance in his first game in Australia.

With 31 wickets in 15 T20IS, Kuldeep is the highest wicket-taker for any bowler who has played at least 15 games.

Comment below! The best comment is in for a surprise 😉