India and Australia played the first T20I of the three-match series on Tuesday (20 September) which the Rohit Sharma-led team lost by four wickets. India failed to defend 208 runs as Australia chased it down with four balls to spare. Cameron Green, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and Matthew Wade played crucial roles in Australia's win.
Meanwhile, four of Indian bowlers conceded more than 12 runs per over in their respective spells. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel could not contain the flow of runs at the fag end of the innings and were heavily criticized.
This was the third such instance in less than a month where India failed to defend a 150+ score in less than a month. Captain Rohit Sharma was criticised for his tactics during the game. A journalist also questioned Sharma's body language post the defeat as he tweeted, “Why was captain rohit giggling so much after losing…anything funny about losing ..???”
While the journalist did not like Sharma's body language, the Indian captain held the bowlers accountable for the loss. Sharma said that the team did not bowl well. He also talked about the dropped catches and missed chances. “I don't think we bowled well. 200 is a good score to defend, and we didn't take our chances in the field. It was a great effort from our batters, but bowlers were not quite there,” said Sharma at the post-match presentation.
“You can back yourself to defend 60 runs in the final 4 overs. We were not able to take that extra wicket. That was the turning point, if we would have taken another wicket, things would have been different,” he further stated.
Notably, India posted 208/6 in their 20 overs. Hardik Pandya starred for the Men in Blue as he scored 71* off 30 balls. Suryakumar Yadav (46 off 25) and KL Rahul (55 off 35) also chipped in. With the ball, Axar Patel did the most damage as he took three wickets at the expense of 17 runs.