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India vs Australia 2019: 3 talking points from the nail-biting first T20I

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.13K   //    24 Feb 2019, 23:08 IST

India v Australia - T20I: Game 1
India v Australia - T20I: Game 1

The first T20I between India and Australia at Vishakapatnam was expected to be a run fest, but the packed crowd were left disappointed after the Indian batsmen, apart from KL Rahul, failed to get going, and could muster only 126-7 from their 20 overs.

India’s only way of making that score look daunting for the visitors was to make early inroads and they did just that, thanks to an awful mix up between openers Short and Stoinis. Australia lost their out-of-form captain Finch once again to Jasprit Bumrah, who had come back after a well deserved rest. The tourists were in a spot of bother at 5-2 at that stage.

An 84-run stand between D’Arcy Short and Glenn Maxwell not only ensured Australia were back on track, but also put them in a position to chase down the target with ease.

But as we have seen on numerous occasions in this format, one good over or a wicket can change the entire course of the innings. The wicket of Maxwell in the 14th over when he hit Chahal straight down the throat of long off gave India a sniff.

Wickets at regular intervals coupled with dot balls put Australia under serious pressure, and in the end Australia scraped through off the last ball to take a 1-0 lead in the T20I series.   

Let’s look at three talking points from the low scoring encounter at Vishakapatnam:

#1 KL Rahul plays well on his return

India v Australia - T20I: Game 1
India v Australia - T20I: Game 1

Rahul returned to play for the country after missing out on a few matches due to off-field controversies, and he looked comfortable right from the start of his innings. He opened the innings with Rohit Sharma, with Shikhar Dhawan being rested for this game.

When Rahul plays the shot over extra cover off a genuine fast bowler well, it means he is in his zone, and he was hitting them with ease against Coulter-Nile and Jhye Richardson.

Just when he was looking well set to go big, Rahul mistimed one after scoring his 50, but his return to form will be a welcome sign for India ahead of a busy white ball season.

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