The first T20I between India and Australia left more questions than answers for the Rohit Sharma-led side. India lost the match by four wickets, despite scoring 208/6 batting first. While the bowlers failed completely, veteran batters like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli could not hit big scores. Former Pakistan cricket team spinner Danish Kaneria said that both can be used in different batting positions, rather than their usual spots.
“Rohit Sharma is not scoring runs while opening. We saw this in the Asia Cup. He is scoring in patches. Virat Kohli also is not being able to score consistently at one down. Maybe you have got a good opportunity – bring Rohit one down, Virat can then open with KL Rahul. Or, if Rohit is very comfortable in opening, then you can start with Virat and him. In that case KL Rahul can be used as one down. It won’t be such a big issue,” Danish Kaneria said in a video on his YouTube channel.
In the first T20I on Tuesday, India’s frailties with the ball were laid bare as Australia gunned down a formidable 209-run target rather comfortably for a four-wicket win in the first T20I in Mohali on Tuesday. KL Rahul (55 off 35 balls) and Hardik Pandya (71 not out off 30 balls) helped India post a daunting 208 for six after Australia put the hosts in to bat.
Australia were dominant in the run chase, romping home in 19.2 overs. Last year’s World Cup hero Matthew Wade (45 not out off 21) and Cameron Green (61 off 30) played special knocks to make short work of a stiff target.
Earlier, Rahul made a statement with a high-quality knock before Hardik smashed an unbeaten 71, which included five sixes.
Suryakumar Yadav also played some breathtaking strokes in his 46 off 25 balls. After Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fell cheaply, Rahul and Suryakumar shared a 68-run stand off 42 balls. It was raining sixes when they were in the middle.
India were able to maintain their tempo in the middle overs as Suryakumar picked up leggie Adam Zampa for two successive sixes over long on and deep midwicket. Hardik then took over and pushed India past 200. He was quick to punish anything short from the pacers and his pick-up shot off Pat Cummins in the 18th over was the highlight of his entertaining knock. He smashed three consecutive sixes off Green in the 20th over including a flat one in the mid wicket region. The last five overs yielded 67 runs.
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