Indian spinners choke Australia in opening T20
India drew first blood in the three-match Twenty20 series when they beat Australia by 37 runs at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
After Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and sent the visitors in to bat on both countries' national day, the Indians smashed their way to 188 for three thanks to a brilliant 90 not out from Virat Kohli.
The Australians started their run chase full of purpose, at one stage scoring at 11 runs an over. But once they lost David Warner (17), Aaron Finch (44) and Steve Smith (21) they never looked like chasing down the total.
Indian spinners Ravi Ashwin (2-28) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-21) proved the difference between the two teams as the Australian batsmen struggled to keep up the pace.
After the impressive paceman Jasprit Bumrah had Warner caught at mid-on, Smith and Finch scored freely until Jadeja had Smith caught at mid-off by Kohli.
Ashwin then trapped Finch leg before and when Jadeja dismissed newcomer Travis Head the same way in the next over, Australia were 93-4.
Shane Watson (12) and Chris Lynn (17) both fell trying to lift the scoring rate and the remaining batsmen put up little resistance.
"I think it was a good game," said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I think we batted really well, we got those extra runs and also the bowling was good.
"It was good to see our bowlers making the batsmen play the big shot because you can really put pressure on them that way.
"If you see the Aussie batting line-up, more often than not the only way you can beat them when they are chasing is by taking wickets."
Earlier, Kohli smashed his 90 runs from just 55 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes.
"Everything came together nicely and it was good to get that win under the belt," Kohli said.
He was given good support from recalled batsman Suresh Raina (41), with the pair putting on 134 for the third wicket.
Rohit Sharma got the visitors away to a lightning start, hitting 31 from 20 balls before he mistimed a pull shot off Watson and was caught at mid-on by James Faulkner.
Watson had the other opener Shikhar Dhawan (5) caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade two balls later to leave the Indians on 41 for two. But Kohli and Raina were untroubled until Raina was bowled by Faulkner in the final over.
Dhoni came to the crease and hit a six and a four from his first two balls to take India to what proved a winning total.
Finch said the Australians had no one but themselves to blame.
"We let ourselves down in the field and obviously an unbelievable innings by Virat - he's hard to stop when he gets going," Finch said.
"At the end of the day we have eight genuine batsmen and we back ourselves to chase, but it just wasn't to be."
India completed an emphatic 37-run win over Australia in the first Twenty20 international on Tuesday.
Chasing a target of 189, Australia were bowled out for 151 with spin twins Jadeja and Ashwin doing the damage.
Virat Kohli smashed 90 runs from 55 balls to lead India to 188 for three after their 20 overs in the first Twenty20 against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
Kohli continued his impressive form from the one-day series, hitting nine fours and two sixes in a powerful display.
He was given good support from recalled batsman Suresh Raina (41) with the pair putting on 134 for the third wicket.
After Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and sent India in, Rohit Sharma got the visitors away to a lightning start, hitting 31 from 20 balls before he mistimed a pull shot off Shane Watson and was caught at mid-on by James Faulkner.
Watson had Shikhar Dhawan (5) caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade two balls later to leave the Indians on 41 for two, but Kohli and Raina were untroubled until Raina was bowled by Faulkner in the final over.
But captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came to the crease and hit a six and a four from his first two balls to take India to a big total.
Australia are bowled out for 151 in 19.3 overs.
Cameron Boyce c Pandya b Bumrah 3 (6b)
Nehra strikes castling Richardson. Aus 149-9, 18.2 overs.
Kane Richardson b Nehra 9 (7b)
Faulkner slog sweeps Bumrah for a six before castled next ball. Aus 143-8, 17.2 overs.
James Faulkner b Bumrah 10 (7b 1x6)
Pandya is on a hat-trick after Jadeja holds a skier off Wade. 129-7, 16.1 overs.
Mathew Wade c Jadeja b Pandya 5 (7b)
Ashwin completes a fine spell returning figures of 4-0-28-2. Aus 129-6, 16 overs.
Lynn has clobbered Pandya out of the ground but the bowler has the last laugh. Aus 124-6, 15 overs.
Chris Lynn c Yuvraj Singh b Pandya 17 (16b 0x4 1x6)
Watson is gone as he attempts to sweep Ashwin only to get a top edge. Aus 110-5, 13.3 overs.
Shane Watson c Nehra b Ashwin 12 (10b 0x4 1x6)
Jadeja has completed a superb spell returning figures of 4-0-21-2. Aus 108-4, 13 overs.
Watson has slammed Yuvraj for a flat six. Aus 103-4, 12 overs.
Jadeja has struck again trapping Head leg before. Aus 93-4, 11 overs.
Travis Head lbw b Jadeja 2 (5b)
Ashwin strikes trapping Finch plumb in front. Aus 89-3, 9.2 overs.
Aaron Finch lbw b Ashwin 44 (33b 4x4 2x6)
Jadeja gets rid of Smith. Aus 89-2, 9 overs.
Steve Smith c Kohli b Jadeja 21 (14b 3x4)
Pandya's erratic over which contains five wides goes from bad to worse as Finch whacks him over over the short square boundary for a six. Aus 82-1, 8 overs.
Smith gets into his stride with a couple of boundaries. Aus 56-1, 6 overs.
Bumrah draws first blood as Warner drags a bouncer to mid-on. Aus 47-1. 5.1 overs.
David Warner c Kohli b Bumrah 17 (9b 2x4 1x6)
Warner and Finch spoil a tidy over from Nehra by slamming boundaries. Aus 47-0, 5 overs.
Good over by Bumrah conceding just three runs. Aus 37-0, 4 overs.
Warner gets into the act pulling a short ball from Nehra to the fence followed by a six over the short square boundary. Aus 34-3, 3 overs.
Ashwin opens from the other end and Finch smashes him over cover for a boundary while Finch whacks him over mid-off for a six. Aus 22-0, 2 overs.
Finch welcomes back Nehra by slamming a boundary past square leg as Australia begin chasing 189. Aus 5-0, 1 over.
Dhoni weighs in with a first-ball six and boundary as India finish with a flourish making 188-3.
Kohli remains unbeaten on a 55-ball 90 which was studded with nine boundaries and two sixes.
Raina perishes being castled after his ramp shot goes wrong. Ind 175-3. 19.2 overs.
Suresh Raina b Faulkner 41 (34b 3x4 1x6)
Raina has clubbed Faulkner over the short square boundary for a six. Ind 160-2, 18 overs.
Kohli is on fire flicking Tait over short square leg boundary for a six. Ind 140-2, 16 overs.
Watson is smashed for a couple of boundaries in his final over by Kohli. Ind 128-2, 15 overs.
Kohli races to his half century by slamming a couple of boundaries off Richardson. Ind 117-2, 14 overs.
Kohli sends Boyce sailing over long-off just clearing the fielder on the ropes. Ind 98-2, 12 overs.
Kohli greets debutant Head by driving him powerfully past extra cover for a boundary. Ind 88-2, 11 overs.
Tait is back switching ends and Kohli square drives through point for a boundary while Raina also joins the party by edging to the fence. Ind 54-2, 6 overs.
Watson has struck deadly blows removing both openers within the space of five balls. Ind 41-2, 4.5 overs.
TWO DOWN! Shikhar Dhawan c Wade b Watson 5 (8b)
Watson strikes with the first ball on his return to international cricket as Sharma drives straight to mid-on. Ind 40-1, 4 ov.1 overs.
ONE DOWN! Rohit Sharma c Faulkner b Watson 31 (20b 4x4 1x6)
Eventful over as Sharma (28) survives as Boyce drops a sitter before hammering a boundary off Faulkner. Ind 40-0, 4 overs.
Rohit seems to have taken a fancy to Tait punching him through point and pull to long leg for a couple of boundaries. Ind 31-0, 3 overs.
Rohit flicks the second ball from Tait using his pace to steer to the square leg fence and top edges over long leg for a six. Ind 10-0, 1 over.
Tait opens procedings and unleashes 150kph short delivery.
Australia have won the toss and opted to bowl first in the first T20 against India at Adelaide on Tuesday.
Tait and Watson are back for Australia while Yuvraj, Raina and Nehra return for India.
Big-hitting Hardik Pandya makes his India debut and Travis Head for Australia.
Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Shane Watson, Mathew Wade, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Cameron Boyce, Shaun Tait
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra
India will kick-off their build-up for the World Twenty20 when they face Australia in a three-match series starting Tuesday at Adelaide Oval.
Games will also be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (January 29) and Sydney Cricket Ground (January 31).
Having been outplayed in the ODIs, India will seek to bounce back to get their balance right ahead of the March-April championships.
Both camps are acutely aware of getting a head start for the tournament in India.
"It's very important. I think every game form here on till the World T20 will be extremely important. It gives you a chance to try different players and see what combination works best for you," said Team India's Director Ravi Shastri at the pre-match press conference.
"We've got an idea about what the final XI might look like, and the beauty about having now these three T20s against India, the ODIs against New Zealand and the T20s against South Africa is that, there's time for the guys who've got their opportunity to have a first crack at it and cement their their spot for India," said Australia's T20 captain Aaron Finch.
The series will also mark the return of Shaun Tait, one of the fastest bowlers in the world, and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh.
Tait retired after the 2011 World Cup but now finds himself back in the national squad as Australia's selectors also included uncapped paceman Andrew Tye in a 17-man squad for the three T20Is,
Yuvraj's last appearance for India was ironically in the final of the World T20, which India lost to Sri Lanka.
He has forced himself back into the side with his prolific form in India's domestic tournament scoring 346 runs at 69.20.
Australia's Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon also gets the chance for his first T20 international cap in an enlarged squad.
Glenn Maxwell has been ruled out of the first match due to a hamstring injury but is expected to return for Friday's second match.
India have been forced to make two changes for the T20 leg of their tour of Australia, with Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar both suffering hand injuries.
Rahane split the webbing in his right hand during the fourth ODI in Canberra on Wednesday, with allrounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann named as cover for the T20 series.
Bhuvneshwar has flown home with a hairline fracture in his left thumb and his place has been taken by allrounder Rishi Dhawan.
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), David Warner, Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Shaun Marsh, Cameron Boyce, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Scott Boland, Shaun Tait
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane (Gurkeerat Singh Mann to act as cover), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishi Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra
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