India vs Australia 1st T20I: Player Ratings
Virat Kohli’s clandestine affair with the Adelaide Oval continued, and it didn’t look as if a day had passed since 15 February 2015, when the Indian vice-captain had announced India’s arrival in the 2015 World Cup with a century against Pakistan at the same ground.
India’s highest T20 run-scorer bettered his T20 records with a career-best unbeaten knock of 90, before the man who arguably could be called India’s find of the 2016 Australian tour, Jasprit Bumrah, put up another superlative performance with the ball, and combined with the spin arsenal of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to bamboozle the Australians and beat them by 37 runs in the first T20I of the 3-match series.
Here are the player ratings from the match:
Rohit Sharma: 8/10
Although Rohit couldn’t go on to capitalize on the start that he got, he did well enough to propel India to a decent start by hitting 31 off 20, which included 4 fours and one six. His brisk knock set the tempo for the Indian innings, on which, the likes of Kohli and Suresh Rania substantiated later.
Shikhar Dhawan: 4/10
Dhawan couldn’t carry his ODI form into the T20s and was dismissed prodding at a short widish delivery as he was caught behind by the Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to give the comeback-man, Shane Watson, his second wicket in his first over.
Virat Kohli: 9/10
What his teamamte from Delhi couldn’t do, Kohli did in emphatic style, as he maintained the tempo of the innings despite the loss of Rohit and Dhawan in quick succession. Continuing from where he left off against Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup, Kohli began his World T20 preparations in style with a classy 90 off 55 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes to boost India to a competitive total.
Suresh Raina: 7/10
Raina wasn’t at his melifluent best, as more deliveries found the edges and pads than the middle of the bat. He did get underneath a James Faulkner slower delivery and deposited it over long on with a typical Raina-esque heave, but apart from that, his innings lacked the easy flow that was shown by Kohli and Rohit. Maybe it was due to his first outing so far in Australia, but he ought to have accelerated between overs 15-19 before being bowled by Faulkner in the 20th. He played a firm suporting role, though, to Kohli who was striking at over 150.
Yuvraj Singh: N.A.
Yuvraj didn’t get a chance to bat, and filled in for Hardik Pandya with a solitary over. He took a good catch at mid-off to send back Chris Lynn though.
MS Dhoni: 8.5/10
If Dhoni showed the world at the SCG that the job of the finisher also includes getting a boundary at the right time, he perfectly fit in to the cliched definition today. With four balls to play, and Faulkner at the other end, who had bamboozled the Indians with his slower ones in the ODIs, the Indian captain came out, looked neither right nor left, and straight away got the helicopter going. He faced three balls, smashed a six and a four and ended up with 11 off 3, to give India the final push in the final over.
Hardik Pandya: 6/10
The Indian debutant did get two wickets at the fag end of the Australian innings, but he wasn’t anywhere close in terms of the line that he bowled, as he bowled as many as six wides, with four of them coming in his first over- an over that cost India 19 runs. For him to be a genuine all-rounder he would have to bowl a lot better than he did today.
Ravindra Jadeja: 7.5/10
The slower bowlers were finally at their threatening best for the first time on this tour, as Jadeja combined with Ashwin to kill the Australian run scoring in the middle overs, a phase that had as much of an impact on the outsome of the game as any other. Jadeja returned with figures of 2/21 in 4 overs and along with Ashwin decisively turned the match in India’s favour.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 7.5/10
A lot of talk was doing the rounds about Ashwin’s inability to suceed overseas, and when he went for 17 runs in his first over, with Finch miscuing two and conncecting as many, the talks would have gained some momentum. But not only did India’s ace spinner return to trap the Australian captain leg-before, he also tied down the Australian batsmen to their crease, something that culminated into Shane Watson’s wicket as well. He gave away just 11 runs of his final three overs and had returns of 2/28 from 4 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah: 8.5/10
If Irfan Pathan was the find of the 2003-04 Australia tour, Ishant Sharma was the find of the 2007-08 tour, Jasprit Bumrah can very well be considered as the find of the 2016 tour. The right-arm fast-bowler with his awkward action capitalized on his impressive start at the SCG, by picking up 3 wickets, including the vital breakthrough of David Warner. He returned towards the death to warp up the Australian innings, first by cleaning up James Faulkner with the yorker- a delivery that has been missing amongst the Indian bowlers- and then deceiving Cameron Boyce with a slower one.
Ashish Nehra: 7/10
It was a decent comeback for the veteran pacer as he took 1/30 from his 4 overs and also took a vital catch at fine leg to send back Shane Watson.
Aaron Finch: 7/10
The Australian T20I captain Aaron Finch is rated as one of the best T20 batsmen in world cricket, and in Adelaide, he showed exactly why that has been so. Australia were cruising till Finch was there at the crease as he was looking dangerous on 44 off 33 with 4 fours and 2 sixes, before spin proved out to be his nemesis and was trapped plum in-front by a resurgent Ravichandran Ashwin.
David Warner: 7/10
Warner lived up to his reputation and helped Australia get off to a flier when he galloped to 22 off just 9 balls with 2 fours and a six, before Jasprit Bumrah, sent him back in the sixth over. His fireworks were in complete resonance with the actual ones going off all around the Adelaide Oval to commemorate the Australia Day, which coincidentally clashed with the India’s Republic Day.
Steve Smith: 5/10
The Australian Test and ODI skipper got a free flowing start as he raced away to 21 off 14, but couldn’t go on to play an anchor’s innings as he it one straight to a lively Virat Kohli, who was particulary pumped after taking the catch and made Smith know through a few vibrant if not aggressive gestures.
Travis Head: 2/10
The BBL star found the Indian spinners too much to cope with, and was trapped by Jadeja in the 11th over for 2 on his debut, thereby bringing India well and truly back into the game.
Chris Lynn: 4/10
Another BBL heavyweight was bogged down by spin exactly when Australia needed him to fire, as he found it tough to face the Indian spinners, and although he hit the longest six of the match- of 101 metres- Yuvraj Singh plucked a ball out of thin air, that had left Lynn’s bat and was travelling at the speed of notts.
Shane Watson: 6/10
Watson, making his comeback to the Australian side, was found wanting with the bat as he top edged an Ashwin delivery to present an easy catch to India’s comeback man, Ashish Nehra. He took two wickets in his first over, though, that of the Indian openers- Rohit and Dhawan.
James Faulkner: 4/10
The finisher was outdone by Virat Kohli, at first, as the left-arm pacer was taken for 43 in 4 overs, and then by Jasprit Bumrah who bowled the perfect yorker at the death to shatter Faulkner’s stumps. The figures of 4-0-43-1, and 10 runs off 7 balls do not do justice to the finisher’s tag being bestowed upon him.
Matthew Wade: 2/10
Premeditation had been the tune of the day since Wade strolled out to bat, as was the case previously as well in this series, but such pre-meditated shots could only get him 5 runs as he launched Hardik Pandya high into the dazzling Adelaide sky only for it to land into Ravindra Jadeja’s hands who took it just inside the ropes with a sea of blue in the background.
Cameron Boyce: 4/10
The leg-spinner could not quite get his side the breakthroughs when needed, as Kohli and Raina played him with ease througout the Indian innings.
Kane Richardson: 2/10
The man responsible for the dramatic Indian collapse at Canberra tasted some bittersweet revenge, as he was taken for 41 runs off his four overs.
Shaun Tait: 2/10
It wasn’t the best of comebacks by Shaun Tait, as despite bowling with pace and ferocity, his lines and lengths weren’t as consistent, and the added toll that T20 cricket takes on bowlers especially, increased his woes.