INDIA: Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with a four-wicket victory over India in the opening T20 International. Matthew Wade’s undefeated 45 off 21 balls and Cameron Green’s explosive 61 of 30 effort enabled the Kangaroos to squeak a victory with four balls remaining.
When Australia’s skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to field first, Hardik Pandya (71 not out) and KL Rahul (55), who both blasted smashing half-centuries, helped India reach 208/6 in 20 overs. Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah were excluded from the playing XI.
The Indian team’s subpar fielding against Australia in the opening T20I of the series has drawn criticism from former India head coach Ravi Shastri. Despite amassing a huge total of 208 runs in the first innings, India could not defend the total since they had a bad field day.
“Both youth and experience can be found on any of the top Indian teams throughout the years. I believe that the youth is absent here, which is why the fielding. If you look at the last five to six years, I believe this team cannot compete with any of the best teams in terms of fielding. In significant competitions, that may be devastating,” Shastri stated.
India missed three catches against Australia, two of which were critical ones of Cameron Green and Matthew Wade, who later served as the driving forces behind Australia’s victory.
Shastri also discussed how fielding affects the batting side, which must score more runs to compensate for the fielding unit’s disadvantage.
The series’ second game is scheduled to be played on September 23 in Nagpur.
Australia 211 for 6 (Green 61, Wade 45*, Axar 3-17) beat India 208 for 6 (Hardik 71*, Rahul 55, Ellis 3-30) by four wickets.
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