India started their Australian tour with a defeat as the hosts secured a four-run win in the rain-hit opening T20 International in Brisbane on Wednesday. Electing to bowl first, Indians were sloppy in the field. Capitalising on it, Australia crossed the 150-run mark in the 16th over before play was interrupted due to rain. Glenn Maxwell was the star performer of the day as he smashed 46 runs in just 24 balls.
After the interruption, umpires decided to revise the total and India were asked to chase 174 runs in 17 overs. Right from the beginning, India lost wickets at crucial junctions, which eventually gave the hosts a four-run win over the in-form Indian team.
Speaking after the match, Indian skipper Virat Kohli made his assessment and said, “It was a close game, exciting one for the crowd to watch and for the players as well. Was a see-saw battle.” He stated that the tumble in the middle overs was one of the primary reasons behind the defeat. Kohli also said that at one point he believed Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik would lead India to victory, but things turned around after Pant’s dismissal. “We started well with the bat, fumbled in the middle overs, in the end we thought we’ll win with Pant and Karthik but it changed again with Pant’s dismissal.”
Speaking about Shikhar Dhawan’s performance, the skipper said, “He’s (Dhawan) a very strong player at the top of the order. Hasn’t got a T20 hundred yet, but the way he plays it really benefits the team. That’s how it goes in the game. What we can do is learn from them (mistakes) and get back better. On the day, if we can have three-four guys to stand up for the team, that’s what we want. Don’t have much time to think of things, which can be a good thing as well as a bad thing.” Dhawan scored 76 runs in 42 deliveries.
Australian skipper Aaron Finch applauded his players for a splendid show, especially in the middle overs. Speaking during the presentation ceremony, the Aussie skipper said, “Thought the boys played really well, especially in the middle overs with the bat. Showed a lot of courage to take it on. Some of our bowling was outstanding under pressure. Never been my strong point at school (maths). Just stuffed it up out there (didn’t realise that two of his bowlers already had bowled four overs). He’s been practicing a lot (Stoinis). It’s one strength he wants to add to his bowling. Going with three frontline quicks, and one all-rounder in Stoinis, he is the one we wanted to do that job at the end. And he did it beautifully.”