The first T20 match between India and Australia took place at the Adelaide Oval on the 26th of January, a day that is special to both countries as it is ‘Australia Day’ and also the Indian ‘Republic Day’.
India gained some momentum after winning the 5th ODI and took that momentum into the first T20 as Kohli and Raina gave India a great platform before captain MS Dhoni played a cameo and took India up to 188.
Australia started really well with captain Aaron Finch scoring a well made 44 and forming good partnerships with David Warner and Steven Smith. However, Indian spinners R Ashwin and R Jadeja put the breaks on the Australian batsman and the pressure ensured that Australia continued to lose wickets in quick succession and caused the run rate to climb with every over.
J Bumrah with his unique action delivered for captain Dhoni by taking 3 crucial wickets and when he bowled James Faulkner in the 17th over, victory was just a matter of time for India. The next T20 match is scheduled to take place at the MCG on the 29th of January and India will want to win again to wrap the series and go back home with some pride after losing the ODI series.
MS Dhoni could end up retaining the same team for the second ODI as he believed the presence of all-rounders like Yuvaraj Singh and Suresh Raina can not only deliver with the bat but also contribute a few overs in the middle, especially if one of the frontline bowlers is having a bad day.
In a statement, Dhoni said “What I don’t want is top five or top six batters, including the keeper, where you don’t have a bowling option. If somebody goes for runs, you don’t really know what to do. In this format, you will have bowlers going for runs. At that time, you want your part-time all-rounders to come in and give you that one over because that one over can help.”
Aussie test and ODI captain Steven Smith has led his side incredibly well over the past few months and T20 captain Aaron Finch will be feeling the pressure as he needs to deliver in the T20 format. Australia will continue to struggle during the next couple of T20 matches as their bowling stocks are depleted with injuries to premier bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter Nile, Pat Cummins and the recent retirement of Mitchell Johnson.