Team India skipper Virat Kohli identified the game-changing moment as India dump Australia in the first T20I by 11 runs at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. The home side fell 11 runs short while chasing 161 runs, Virat Kohli & Co had posted after put to bat first.
Chasing a moderate total, Australian openers – Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short started off well in the run chase but once that was broken, the Indian bowling attack never relented. Yuzvendra Chahal, who came as a concussion substitute set the tone for India with two breakthroughs.
T Natarajan also starred with the ball for India and that too in his debut game. As wickets tumbled in the end, Australia lost the plot to go 1-0 down.
Earlier in the day, India managed to break the 160 run barrier as they got some quick runs thanks to Ravindra Jadeja. A 23-ball 44 has helped India get to a score which they can think of defending. They really threw it away in the middle overs thanks to a few loss of wickets but Jadeja got them some momentum in the last few overs before KL Rahul and Sanju Samson gave the initial impetus.
Hardik Pandya’s catch was the game-changer – Virat Kohli
Speaking at the end of the game, Virat Kohli identified Hardik Pandya’s catch to dismiss Aaron Finch as the game-changing moment. Incidentally, India had dropped a few leading to the first dismissal which almost took the game out of their hands.
“Natarajan looks like he can improve a lot. Chahar bowled well as well. Chahal got us back in the game. Hardik’s catch was a game-changer as well,” Virat Kohli said.
Reflecting on the concussion substitute which copped a lot of criticisms, Virat Kohli admitted that there were no plans of bringing Yuzvendra Chahal in the game. However, he credited the leg-spinner for stepping up and grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
“There were no plans of having Yuzi in the game. Concussion replacements are a strange thing. Today, it worked for us. Yuzi showed character to squeeze the opponents,” Kohli added.