Scores: Australia 118/8 in 18.4 overs (Aaron Finch 42; Kuldeep Yadav 2-16, Jasprit Bumrah 2-17) lost to India 49/1 in 5.3 overs (Virat Kohli 22*, Shikhar Dhawan 15*) by 9 wickets (DLS method)
DLS method is viable for the shortest format of the game, but Australia suffered through another poor batting display that allowed India to draw first blood again – this time in the rain-truncated T20I series opener in Ranchi. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli polished off the revised six-over target of 48 with 3 balls to spare after a Steve Smith-less Australian side succumbed to batting frailties that had become commonplace in the ODI series.
In the absence of Smith, Glenn Maxwell had big shoes to fill at No. 3. He seemed like fish out of water against the fast bowling duo – Bhuvneshwar and Jasprit Bumrah, before Hardik Pandya took some pressure off him in the last over of the powerplay by spraying balls down the leg side. But, Virat Kohli played on the big-hitter’s mind by throwing the ball to Yuzvendra Chahal right after the fielding rules were relaxed.
David Warner took guard, after Virat Kohli put him in, the Australian captain had a reputation to protect. After all, he boasts of very good T20 numbers in this part of the world and particularly at Ranchi, where he holds the highest individual score (90 vs CSK in IPL 2014). But he was up against the man who was perhaps the first name he would put down on his Sunrisers Hyderabad team sheet- Bhuvneshwar Kumar.