Warm-up Game: Kohli, Dhawan give India winning start in Australia: The number 74 has helped Team India begin their Australian sojourn with a win. Well, a win is a win, irrespective of the opposition more so, for a team that has been beaten ‘black and blue’ at home in the shorter formats.
Team India played their first warm up (T20) game against Western Australia at WACA, Perth.
Young guns, all-rounder Rishi Dhawan, left-arm Punjab pace sensation, Barinder Sran Gurkeerat Singh and Manish Pandey were all included in the Playing XI. Mohammad Shami played his first game at the international after a long lay-off due to injury.
India won the toss elected to bat.
Traditional openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma got together in the middle. Sharma was in a hurry and did not last long. He faced 12 deliveries for his 6 runs which included a boundary.
After a score of 3 and 11 in the first two T20Is against South Africa at home in October, 2015, the southpaw Dhawan came into his elements. He had a good outing and put on 74 runs off just 46 deliveries with 8 fours and 3 sixes at 160.86 strike rate. This innings would have given some confidence to Dhawan about his abilities to score runs.
Kohli also went on to score 74 runs off 44 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes. The two put on a 149-run partnership for the second wicket in 14.1 overs before Kohli departed at the team score of 161/2.
Skipper Dhoni stayed on till the end, scoring an unbeaten 22 runs off just 14 deliveries and took the team tally to 192 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 20 overs.
Chasing 193 to win, Western Australia succumbed to a small score of 118 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs. Except the opener, Travis Birt, who scored an unbeaten 74 runs off 60 deliveries with 11 fours, no other batsman could make any useful contribution.
The young Barinder Sran was really impressive and effective as he went on to pick up 2 wickets in his spell of 4 overs, giving away 24 runs. He was a bit costly at an economy rate of 6.0 and also was a little beaten on the direction, as he ended sending down 6 wide deliveries. Possibly he might have been overawed by the situation, playing at that level. He would definitely learn as he goes by.
Even the experienced Umesh Yadav went for 7.66 runs an over and also wicketless.
All-rounder Rishi Dhawan also was a bit costly, giving away 22 runs in his 3 overs, including 4 wides.
These are initial days for these youngsters and they will only get better with time and the opportunities given to them.
Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel claimed 2 wickets each, in their spell of 3 overs, giving away 13 runs respectively.
India won the game by 74 runs.