India vs Australia, 2020-21: 1st T20I – Who Said What

India vs Australia, 2020-21: 1st T20I – Who Said What

Yuzvendra Chahal, who came in as Ravindra Jadeja's concussion substitute, became the Player of the Match.

Australia v India
Australia v India. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

India have managed to set aside the disappointment of the ODI series and began the T20Is against Australia on a grand note. Virat Kohli and Co defeated the Kangaroos by 11 runs at the Manuka Oval in Canberra to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was also their ninth consecutive win in the T20 format. The series now moves to the iconic SCG where the final two matches will take place.

Jadeja and Rahul star

After being sent in to bat, India’s innings mostly circled around KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. Rahul carried on from where he left in IPL 2020, scoring 51 off 40 with five fours and a six. But he lacked support at the top. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli got out in the single digits. Mitchell Swepson, who was called up as a replacement of Ashton Agar, pinned Kohli with an easy caught and bowled.

Sanju Samson looked impressive in his brief knock of 23 off 15, but Moises Henriques cut short his knock. Henriques was also Australia’s standout bowler as he picked up three wickets, conceding 22 runs in his four overs. If not for Jadeja’s unbeaten 23-ball 44, India would have fallen 10-15 runs short of their eventual score of 161 for seven. For the Aussies, Mitchell Starc got two wickets as well.

Chahal and Natarajan show their magic

The Aussies got off to a bit of a flier in their run-chase, scoring 53 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket. But then, Yuzvendra Chahal, who came in as a concussion substitute of Jadeja, gave India their first breakthrough. He got rid of Aaron Finch, who was batting on 35 off 26. The tweaker, thereafter, pinned Steve Smith, to give India some hope. T Natarajan then removed Glenn Maxwell.

D’Arcy Short, who was looking steady with 34, became Natarajan’s second victim. Henriques looked ominous as he smashed 30 runs off 20 balls, but Deepak Chahar trapped him plumb in front. Prior to that Chahal got rid of Matthew Wade. Natarajan on his T20I debut nipped out three wickets, giving away a mere 30 runs. In the last two overs, the required-rate went out of Australia’s radar.

Yuzvendra Chahal, the Player of the Match, said

I have played so many games and was mentally fit. 10-15 minutes before the start of the innings, I got to know I will play. The way Zampa bowled, I tried to do the same as well. It was a little harder to score in the first innings. 150-160 is a good score on this wicket. I bowled according to my plans.

Aaron Finch, the Australian skipper, said

The injury got progressively worse as the game went on. Their doctor had ruled Jadeja out due to concussion. You can’t be challenging a medical expert’s opinion. We probably leaked too may runs at the death. Then while chasing, we didn’t hit too many boundaries in the 6-over period.

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, said

There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Concussion replacements are a strange thing. Today, it worked for us. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents. I thought they had a great start. They were cruising. The batters offered us a few wickets. That is T20 cricket for you. In Australia, you need to play hard and show intensity till the end. He batted beautifully in the last game. Natarajan looks like he can improve a lot. Chahar bowled well as well. Hardik’s catch was a game changer as well.