India vs Australia 2020-21: Analysing the talking points as Chahal-Natarajan show helps India win 1st T20I
First Published Dec 4, 2020, 5:41 PM IST
India are facing off against Australia in a three-match Twenty20 International. This was India's eighth consecutive win in the format, having lost two successive ODI series. Also, India would aim to make a clean sweep, in order to rise to the second spot in the ICC T20I Rankings.
Visitors India came up with a dominant bowling performance, to tame hosts Australia in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series, at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, on Friday. While KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja shined with the bat, it was Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan, who stole the show with the ball, handing India an 11-wicket win. Meanwhile, we analyse the talking points, the match presented.
India conspicuous by resting Bumrah: Primary Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah was rested by skipper Virat Kohli, as a means of workload management, keeping in mind the upcoming Tests against the hosts, from December 17. Although it is smart management by Team India, resting him entirely could risk India's chances, provided the series goes down to a decider until the 3rd T20I in Sydney.
Is Jadeja the new finisher for Team India? Jadeja has been in fine form since the Indian Premier League (IPL), as it was pleasing to see him carrying the form. His late blitz played a massive role in India put up a respectable total. Furthermore, his explosive batting towards the end did prove that he is ready to take up the role of a finisher, following MS Dhoni's retirement from international cricket. Wish Dhoni had allowed the same during the IPL for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Australian pitches continue to pop up surprises: Prior to the match in Canberra, it was believed that the pitch would once again be flat and a run feast was expected. Nonetheless, the Indian batsmen getting off to a slow start, followed by the seam movement, along with something for the spinners, once again surprised everyone. It was vastly different from the track it presented during the final ODI on Wednesday.
Concussion substitute drama does the trick: Just before the start of the Australian chase, it was seen that leg-spinner Yuzvednra Chahal was on the field, in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Although Chahal happened to be a concussion substitute, it was controversial, as Jadeja was mildly struck on the helmet while batting. Meanwhile, Australian coach, Justin Langer, was unhappy at it, as he believed that the rule had been misused, with Jadeja utilising it for his hamstring niggle. Nonetheless, it did the trick for India, as Chahal, who is coming off a terrific IPL, claimed 3/25.
Injury scare for Jaddu: Speaking of Jadeja, it is not yet clear whether he really has a concussion, following the blow to his head. Nonetheless, what is evident that he has some niggle indeed on his hamstring, as he took a mid-inning break for the physio to attend him, while he also strapped his hamstring. Would be interesting to see if he plays in the coming games, or does Kohli rest him too for the Tests.
Short's innings might have confused the Aussies: The Australians brought in D'Arcy Short as their opener. However, what was baffling to see that he was playing a very composed knock. Not sure if that was the plan, as it did pile up more pressure on the fellow batsmen, who gave away their wickets in the process to score big. Maybe, Short should have hit some big ones too, to ease the burden on others.
Henriques is a dedicated T20 specialist: All-rounder Henriques might not be a regular member in Australia's limited-overs squad. But, he indeed is one in the T20Is, owing to his terrific contributions in both the departments. While he claimed 3/22, his knock of 30 was worthy, as he has proved that why he is such a famous player in the Big Bash League (BBL).
Match summary: Winning the toss, Australian skipper Aaron finch elected to bowl first, as the Indians were off to a shaky start. Nonetheless, it was wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul (51), along with Jadeja's blitz of 23-ball 44, who allowed India to post a respectable total of 161/7, while Henriques claimed 3/22. In reply, the Australian were off to a flier, as the openers, Short (34) and Finch (35), contributed to 56 runs. Nonetheless, it was Chahal, along with T Natarajan, who claimed three wickets to push Australia onto the backfoot and win the tie by 11 runs.
Brief scores: India 140/6 (Rahul- 51, Samson 23; Henriques- 3/22) beat Australia 150/7 (Short- 34, Finch- 35; Chahal- 3/25, Natarajan 3/30) by 11 runs.
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