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India took Australia lightly in first T20I and paid price, feels Sunil Gavaskar

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar felt India paid the price for taking Australia, who they beat in a Test and ODI series in their den recently, lightly in the game.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India disappointed in the first home assignment of the year on Sunday when Australia shocked them with a three-wicket win in the first T20I in Visakhapatnam. The loss in the first of the two matches means India will not be able to win the series and can look to redeem some pride by drawing the series in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Batting first after being asked by Aussie captain Aaron Finch, India failed to capitalise on a good foundation given to them by opener KL Rahul (50) and captain Virat Kohli (24) and could manage only 126 runs in their allotted 20 overs on a slow and low wicket at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. India’s bowlers still gave a fight but the visitors eventually won the match in the last ball of the match. Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets for 16 runs but yet the effort could not prove to be enough.

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The defeat was the second successive for India (they lost to the third T20I against New Zealand by four runs a few days ago) in the shortest format since June 2016 and also the first defeat in eight T20Is at home. Bumrah brought India back into the game brilliantly by conceding two runs and taking two wickets in the penultimate over of the game before Umesh Yadav squandered the match in the final over.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar felt India paid the price for taking Australia, who they beat in a Test and ODI series in their den recently, lightly in the game.

Gavaskar points out at India’s team selection

“The first thing that every team must realize especially in the ultra-short format of the game is never to underestimate any opponent. India may have just done that at Vizag,” Gavaskar wrote in a recent column for Times of India. The legend believed that India’s light approach was evident with their decision to go with Rishabh Pant, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya in the middle order besides opting for a new opening pair in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.

“Rahul batted well, but was not able to carry on after a half-century and that too with almost half the overs remaining. That meant the new boy Pant and the other two keeper-batsmen had to bulk up the innings. That didn’t quite happen.”

Gavaskar was also critical of playing Umesh in the game saying the fast bowler is not suitable for white-ball cricket and sought his replacement.

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