After losing the thrilling first T20I of the home series against Australia at Visakhapatnam, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli praised the Indian bowlers for their fighting spirit in the low-scoring encounter.
On Sunday (24 February), India lost the first T20I of two-match T20I series on the very last ball of the match. After managing only 126/7 in 20 overs, India took the first two wickets at very early. Struggling on 5/2, the opener D’Arcy Short and the no.4 batsman Glenn Maxwell provided a crucial 84-run partnership for the third wicket.
However, India was back on track after breaking that partnership. Due to some brilliant late bowling performances, India had to defend 14 runs in the last over. But, the Indian pacer Umesh Yadav failed to protect that as the Australian tail-enders Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson correctly did their job. While Australia needed two runs to win on the final ball of the match, they brilliantly took that required runs.
Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah was fantastic with the ball as his bowling figures were 4-0-16-3. Virat Kohli also praised the debutant leg-spinner Mayank Markande who had the bowling figures of 4-0-31-0.
Talking about the Indian bowlers, Virat Kohli said in the presentation ceremony, “Very pleased with the bowling effort, never thought we’d be in this situation but Bumrah can do wonders, even Mayank bowled brilliantly, I thought.”
We want to give Rahul and Rishabh game-time
Earlier in the game, KL Rahul opened the innings with the vice-captain Rohit Sharma. After Rohit Sharma (5) lost his wicket at early, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli had a crucial 55-run partnership for the second wicket. KL Rahul finally showed his great batting performance as he scored 50 runs off 36 balls.
On the other hand, after Virat Kohli was dismissed on 24 runs, Rishabh Pant came to bat at no.4. However, the young man Rishabh Pant (3) quickly threw his wicket through a run-out. Since then, India faced a big batting collapse as they went down from 80/2 to 109/7.
MS Dhoni played an essential knock in that innings by remaining not out on 29 off 37 balls. That knock helped India to reach a fighting total of 126/7.
Talking about the batting performance, Virat Kohli said, “We want to give Rahul and Rishabh game-time. Rahul played a really good knock, we had a good partnership, had we gone one, we could have got 150, which would have been a match-winning score on this pitch. But Australia played better cricket overall and deserved to win”
With a 3 wicket victory in the first T20I, Australia has taken 1-0 lead in this series. They will play the second and final T20I of the series on Wednesday (27 February) at Bengaluru.