Udayavni Special

1st T20I: Jadeja’s onslaught takes India to 161 for 7 vs Australia


PTI, Dec 4, 2020, 3:47 PM IST

Canberra: KL Rahul continued his impressive run in the shortest format with yet another fifty but it took Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliant back-end flourish to take India to a fighting 161 for 7 against Australia in the first T20 International here on Friday.

The Indian vice-captain hit 51 off 40 balls but leg-spinner Adam Zampa (1/20 in 4 overs) and all-rounder Moises Henriques (3/22 in 4 overs) were brilliant between overs 11th and 15th, which shifted the momentum in favour of the home team till Jadeja came into play with a 44 not out off 23 balls.

During 11th and 15th over, India scored 22 runs and lost three wickets in Sanju Samson (23 off 15 balls), Manish Pandey (2 off 8 balls) and Rahul.

However, Jadeja (five fours and a six), who suffered from hamstring trouble, launched into Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc in the final two overs that yielded 34 runs taking Indian to a par-score at the Manuka Oval.

The Indians found Zampa difficult to get away as he conceded only one boundary while Henriques conceded just a six, cleverly varying the pace of his deliveries with a good mix of cutters and seam-up stuff.

Rahul, who hit five fours and a six, along with Samson and the dangerous Hardik Pandya (16 off 15 balls) were deceived by the pace of pitch where driving on the up wasn’t an easy job.

Mitchell Starc (2/34) was also quick and incisive at the start but got hit during the death overs.

Four days of rest had done Starc a world of good as he found both his length and swing back at the start. At a scorching 145 clicks, he bowled one that shaped away from Shikhar Dhawan starting on middle-stump and knocking the off-stump back.

Rahul’s first boundary was a mis-hit off Hazlewood over third-man, followed by a cover drive off Zampa.

Another streaky boundary off Sean Abbott was topped up by a regal pull-shot into the mid-wicket stands.

Inexperienced leg spinner Mitchell Swepson (1/21 in 2 overs) repeatedly bowled short but did snap a prized catch in rival skipper Virat Kohli (9) when a ball stopped on him and the result was a return catch off a leading edge.

But Rahul punished him and so did Samson, who rocked back to hit him for a six. Rahul’s half century came off 37 deliveries.

However, as has been Samson’s trait, he perished when Henriques bowled an off-cutter and the uppish cover drive. He was pouched by Swepson and India’s innings went down south from that moment before Jadeja partially redeemed it.

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