Sydney: Change of the colour of the jersey as well as the ball failed to change the fortunes of the touring Indian side in Australia. Victory continued to elude them in the tour Down Under after one and a half months.
Chasing a stiff 172 for victory, India’s famed batting line-up faltered again and they were restricted to 140/6 in allotted 20 overs, thus losing the 1st T20 International match by 31 runs.
Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni- everyone failed to get going. The result: India were shocked again in this disastrous tour.
Australia were clinical throughout the entire match. After scoring 171/4, they bowled exceptionally, always keeping the pressure on India, taking wickets at regular intervals.
Daniel Christian and David Hussey claimed 2 wickets apiece while Lee and Hogg scalped a wicket each.
Sehwag started the proceedings with a 3-ball 4. He was removed in the very first over by Brett Lee. Unless Sehwag understands that there is a method in madness, he won’t be able to succeed in T20 matches.
After his dismissal, Gambhir and Kohli tried to stabilize the innings with a 41-run stand. But once Gambhir fell for 20, the floodgate opened for India.
Kohli departed for 22 in the pursuit of increasing the run-rate. Much was expected from Rohit Sharma. He became India’s wicket no. 4 as he was bowled by David Hussey for a first-ball-duck.
Allrounder Ravindra Jadeja failed to change the script as he threw away his wicket for 7.
Dhoni, in company with R Ashwin, tried to resurrect India. They took the Indian total to 140/6 but India were never in the hunt after they were reduced to 72/5 in the 12th over.
Dhoni remained unbeaten on 48 while Ashwin was not out on 15.
Earlier, wicketkeeper batsman Matthew Wade slammed a quickfire 72 off 43 balls to guide Australia to a challenging 171/4 in the first T20 International match on Wednesday.
David Hussey and David Warner also made 42 and 25, respectively to help Australia post a total which was described as a match-winning one during the break.
Wade, coming in place of Brad Haddin in the side, initially played a second fiddle to a dangerous looking David Warner who hit R Ashwin for two sixes and a four in the 3rd over to set the tone of the match. Warne finally departed for an entertaining 14-ball 25.
After Warner’s departure, Wade took the attack to the opposition, hitting every Indian bowler with equal ease.
He completed a fine fifty off just 34 balls with 3 fours and a six. His fifty helped Australia reach hundred in 12.4 over.
David Hussey also played well for his 30-ball 42. He slammed 3 huge sixes during his innings before becoming the maiden international victim of debutant leg-spinner Rahul Sharma. He, along with Wade, put on 56-run for the 3rd wicket.
It was due to Hussey that Australia kept their momentum going after Wade’s departure.
Indian bowlers failed to make any impact in the entire match. With two fast bowlers, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar, in the side, Dhoni had to operate with the spinners most of the time.
Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Suresh Raina, Rahul Sharma- all picked up a wicket each with Raina; Kumar and Sharma remaining most economical.
India: G Gambhir, V Sehwag, V Kohli, RG Sharma, SK Raina, MS Dhoni*†, RA Jadeja, R Sharma, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, P Kumar
Australia: DA Warner, MS Wade†, TR Birt, DJ Hussey, GJ Bailey*, MR Marsh, DT Christian, JP Faulkner, GB Hogg, B Lee, XJ Doherty