Australia draw first blood as they dominated their chase of 209 to clinch the series opener in Mohali by 4 wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
Cameron Green slammed his first fifty in the T20I format as an opener to propel the Kangaroos to a comfortable win with 4 deliveries left. Green and Matthew Wade were the standout players from the Australian camp.
Cameron Green give plaudits to Hardik Pandya for his stellar knock
Speaking after his match-winning knock, the 23-year-old said, “It’s always nice to get there, especially out in the middle with someone like Finchy. He is an experienced campaigner, he kept me calm.”
He added, “Was coming out to bat at the luxury of watching the Indians bat. Hardik played beautifully, it was pleasure to watch him. It was kind of good to watch them bat, and that gave us an idea about how to go about while chasing. (Whether he’ll continue to bat as an opener) I have no idea, I’ll leave it up to the coaches to think about that.”
Australia got off to a strong start with Finch and Green dealing in fours. However, Finch departed for 22(13) but Green continued the show with Steve Smith. The pair added a 50-plus stand and took the game away from India until the 10th over. India bounced back right after the halfway stage, with Axar Patel and Umesh Yadav leading the fightback. The spinner scalped three wickets in his four-over quota, while Yadav, who started on an expensive note, scalped two wickets in his return spell. However, a crucial partnership between Green and Tim David took the game away from the hosts. Green smashed 61 off 30 balls, while Wade returned unbeaten on 45 off 21 balls.
Earlier, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and put India to bat first. The Men in Blue got two early blows as skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli departed cheaply. However, KL Rahul and Suryakuamr Yadav steadied the ship for India after the initial shock.
Hardik Pandya then continued the momentum by unfurling his stylish shots as he took the Australian bowlers to the cleaners. The swashbuckling all-rounder hit every Australian bowler around the park to propel India to a staggering total of 208/6 in their 20 overs.