Six Big Stats From India vs Australia Tour Opener in Brisbane
Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t see India home despite his heroics with the bat after the Maxwell-Stoinis show.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis starred in Australia's 4-run win over India in the rain-affected first T20 International at the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday, 21 November.
After belting an unbeaten 19-ball 33 to propel the hosts to 158/4 in 17 overs, Stoinis picked up two crucial wickets and was equally supported by leggie Adam Zampa (2/22) to deny India, who came agonisingly close to the target and finished their innings on 169/7 after the target was revised to 174 under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
India's chase began on a poor note, losing Rohit Sharma (7) and skipper Virat Kohli (4) cheaply before Shikhar Dhawan's (76 off 42; 4X10, 6X2) whirlwind knock resurrected the innings to some extent.
Continuing from his brilliant 92 in the final T20I against the West Indies on 12 November, Dhawan was at his brutal best, getting to his fifty off a mere 28 deliveries to become the highest run-getter in T20Is in the 2018. Dhawan tops the list, amassing 648 runs this year from 16 matches. Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman is second on the list, 72 runs behind Dhawan from 17 matches.
With his innings of 76, Shikhar Dhawan also broke Virat Kohli's record for the most runs scored by a batsman in T20Is in a calendar year. Two years back Kohli had scored 641 runs in 15 matches. Dhawan crossed the mark on Wednesday. His tally now stands at 648 runs from 16 matches, with two T20Is still to be played in 2018.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah got India off to a good start but Aaron Finch pulled things back a bit. Skipper Kohli had dropped Finch in the fourth over.
Finch took advantage of the reprieve and put on 40 runs off 26 balls with Lynn for the second wicket.
Lynn also scored a 20-ball 37, which included four over the boundary shots, to dent India’s chances further.
But it was Maxwell who stole the show with his belligerent hitting as Australia crossed 150 in the 16th over.
Maxwell hit four sixes in his whirlwind knock of 46 off 24 balls. He put on 78 runs off 37 balls with Stoinis as Indian bowlers proved expensive even before the death overs began.
Krunal Pandya had a forgettable day with both bat and ball. He went for 0/55 in his four overs before rain intervened. He bowled India’s third-most expensive spell in the history of T20 internationals.
However, Kuldeep Yadav once again came to India's rescue. The chinaman sent the duo of Lynn and Finch back to the pavilion in quick succession before Maxwell and Stoinis took charge.
With this win Australia ended their four-match losing streak in T20Is.
Australian cricket has been in turmoil since a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, and is coming off back-to-back series losses to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and at home against South Africa.
On top of that, Australia were missing their frontline bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, who were preparing for the four-match test series, which kicks off on 6 December in Adelaide.
Meanwhile, India has won its last seven T20 series, and Kohli's squad is using the three-game series in the shortest format to fine-tune for the bigger prize starting next month when they chase their first-ever test series victory in Australia.
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