India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on his bowlers for defending a challenging total which guided the visitors to a comfortable 37-run victory over Australia in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket series at the Adelaide Oval here on Tuesday.

Young pacer Jasprit Bumrah starred on his T20I debut by picking up three wickets for 23 runs, while another debutant, Hardik Pandya, bagged 2-37. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was equally effective, picking up two wickets for 21 runs in four overs.

Asked to bat, India scored 188/3 in 20 overs, thanks to Virat Kohli’s powerful 90 not out from 55 deliveries and Suresh Raina’s 41.

In reply, the hosts were bowled out for 151 in 19.3 overs. Captain Aaron Finch was Australia’s highest scorer with 44.

When MS Dhoni was asked why he promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the first T20I, Dhoni replied: “It was tough on Raina and Yuvraj Singh, they had just one session of practice, that’s why I promoted myself ahead of Yuvraj. There was pressure on Pandya, it was his first over and that got to him. He did well coming back later on, got his yorkers and wide deliveries right. If he does well, it will be a huge plus for us — he gives us plenty of depth as an all-rounder.”

“I thought the bowling was superb. Ashish Nehra was excellent coming back, the only way to win against Australia is by taking wickets, I think the bowlers did well in that regard. Rohit gave us a great start, Kohli and Raina batted beautifully,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

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