Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team Image Credits: BCCI

India failed to defend a 200-plus target for the second time in a T20I at home. Australia gunned down 209 with 4 wickets and 4 balls to spare at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday. India slipped to a new low on Tuesday, September 20 after failing to defend a mammoth total of 208 against Australia in the T20I series opener at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

Australia finished the match with 4 balls to spare, riding on a stunning 30-ball 61 from stand-in opener Cameron Green and a quickfire 45 not out from Matthew Wade.

 India set unwanted record after failing to defend 208 vs Australia in 1st T20I (AP Photo)
India set an unwanted record after failing to defend 208 vs Australia in 1st T20I (AP Photo)

India Becomes Second Team After South Africa Among ICC Full Members To Lose Despite Posting In Excess Of 200

India became the first team to fail to defend 200-plus totals in T20Is at home more than once in a calendar year. They are also only the second team after South Africa in 2016 among full members of the ICC to end up on the losing side despite posting 200 or more on the board.

India had failed to defend 211 earlier this year against South Africa in the first of a 5-match T20I series under Rishabh Pant’s captaincy. South Africa gunned down the total with 5 balls to spare.

200-PLUS TOTALS AND DEFEATS

India – twice in 2022 (vs South Africa and Australia)

South Africa – twice in 2016 (vs Australia, England)

On Tuesday, India posted their highest-ever total against Australia in T20Is – 208 after a quickfire 55 from opener KL Rahul and a six-hitting spree from Hardik Pandya, who posted 71 not out in just 30 balls. Suryakumar Yadav chipped in with 46 from 25 balls.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Credits: Twitter)

However, in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the 1st T20I, India’s bowlers struggled to contain Australia on a good batting pitch in Mohali.

Australia had a 70-run partnership for the 2nd wicket between Cameron Green and Steve Smith but Axar Patel snapped the partnership by removing Cameron Green. Umesh Yadav then removed both Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell in a span of 6 deliveries as Australia slipped from 109 for 1 to 123 for 4.

Rohit Sharma Doesn’t Think India Bowled Well As 200 Is A Defendable Score

However, pacers Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were taken to the cleaners in the death overs. 53 runs came in a span of 3 overs as Australia won with 4 balls and 4 wickets to spare. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel ended with combined figures of 8-0-101-0.

Pinning the blame on India’s typical bowing and fielding efforts, captain Rohit Sharma said a total of 208 is defendable on any pitch. Rohit Sharma conceded that bowling is an area of concern for India and they need to address it in the home series before they head to the 2022 T20I World Cup.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma Photo Credit: (BCCI)

“I don’t think we bowled well. 200 is a good score to defend, and we didn’t take our chances in the field. It was a great effort from our batters, but the bowlers were not quite there. There are things we need to look at, but it was a great game for us to understand what went wrong,” Rohit said.

India will look to bounce back when they take on Australia in the 2nd T20I on Friday in Nagpur. Cameron Green blitzed a 26-ball half-century in his first innings as an opener in professional cricket and Matthew Wade provided the finishing kick as Australia hunted down 209 on a flat pitch in Mohali to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

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