Tune in to Fox Cricket on channel 501 from 6.30pm Sunday as Australia takes on India in the second T20 international.
India has won its second match against Australia in a row and taken a 1-0 lead in the T20 series by winning game one by 11 runs.
Here’s what we learnt from the first T20I between Australia and India.
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AUSTRALIA NEEDS THE 50-OVER VERSION OF GLENN MAXWELL
Glenn Maxwell couldn’t deliver a fourth time.Source: Getty Images
BACK DOWN TO EARTH: Aussie batters flop as concussion sub wreaks havoc
‘RAT SNIFFED’: Furious Langer blows up at match referee over controversial India ploy
‘STRANGE’: Kohli moment caps off wild 48-hour turnaround for rookie
Glenn Maxwell is in some of the richest ODI form of his career, but after a failure in the first T20 it begs the question; why hasn’t it transferred to the game’s shortest format?
The all-rounder finds himself in a bizarre situation where he’s unstoppable in 50-over cricket yet oddly vulnerable in the 20-over game.
Maxwell has played in all four of Australia’s T20s since September and has been dismissed in single digits three times.
His three scores against England in September were 1, 26 and 6.
Against India on Friday he faced just three balls before Thangarasu Natarajan had him trapped on the crease. After a DRS review, he was dismissed lbw for just two.
By comparison, Maxwell just finished a memorable ODI series in which he hit, and switch hit, India in stunning fashion from Australia’s middle order.
He made 167 runs at 83.50 with a whopping strike rate of 194.18. The runs were spread out across all three innings, too, with scores of 45, 63* and 59.
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VIRAT KOHLI IS HUMAN
Not his night.Source: Getty Images
Outside of the win, Virat Kohli will want to wipe the memory of Friday night from his memory banks quickly. It could not have gone much worse for the Indian captain.
The night started poorly for the 32-year-old when he lost his third toss in four this tour and then got worse when he not only failed to pick up a boundary off a long-hop from Mitchell Swepson, but managed to top edge it straight back to the bowler to fall for nine.
Things got worse in the 19th over for Kohli as three-format star Ravindra Jadeja suffered what looked a hamstring injury. Jadeja was still able to pick up another 24 runs for the innings, dragging India to a competitive total and in somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the tourists he was struck in the helmet in the final able and substituted out for Yuzvendra Chahal for the second innings.
Kohli drops a SITTER!
Nevertheless, it would be a surprise if Jadeja was able to play in the final two T20s due to the injury, and depending on the severity of the injury he may be in doubt for the opening Test too.
His worst moment, from a personal point of view, came in the seventh over of Australia’s innings. Stationed at cover, Kohli spilt the simplest of catches off a top edge from D’Arcy Short. It was the kind of catch he would normally have caught in his sleep but it was that kind of night for the batting maestro.
Kohli falls to RANK long hop
MOISES HENRIQUES’ SELECTION PAYS OFF
Moises Henriques was Australia’s best bowler.Source: AFP
After the promise he showed on his ODI debut, selectors would have been tempted to hand Cameron Green a maiden T20I cap on Friday night as well.
The giant Western Australian bowled fast, bombed one massive six and was exceptional in the deep. There was enough there that getting carried away was a distinct possibility.
Instead, it was Moises Henriques who got fast-bowling all-rounder duties on Friday night, right reward after his bowling performance in the second ODI and on the weight of his T20I career.
Henriques did not disappoint at Manuka Oval, taking the three biggest wickets of the innings.
The veteran removed Sanju Samson, somewhat fortunately, in the 12th over just as the right-hander looked set to take India’s total somewhere dangerous. He backed that up in his next over with the dismissal of half-century maker KL Rahul, having him caught at mid-wicket after building the pressure.
He then dampened India’s hopes of a late innings flourish, like the one we saw on Wednesday, having Hardik Pandya caught for 16.
He almost managed to damage it further with a stunning catch at gully, leaping high to nearly reel in a skewed off the bat of Ravindra Jadeja in the 19th over.
“It looks like a pretty easy paced wicket, so I was just trying to create as much deception as I can with the pace that I have which isn’t a great deal these days,” Henriques said of his strategy at Maunka Oval. “Trying to change down very often and then using the pace on sparingly.”
MITCHELL STARC STARTS TO GET IT RIGHT
Mitchell Starc put in an improved showing.Source: Getty Images
He was by no means back to his best, but there were signs on Friday night that Mitchell Starc is on his way back to finding some form.
All eyes were on the out-of-form left-armer after a woeful start to the summer, which was followed by a “back and rib niggle” that kept him out of the third ODI.
His battles with both the ball and with fitness had alarm bells ringing with the Test season so close.
But on Friday night at Manuka Oval, he went some way to allaying any Australian fears.
Captain Aaron Finch kept his confidence in Starc who was once again thrown the new ball to open the bowling.
Starc’s PEACH destroys stump
And despite a nervy first delivery that perhaps should have been called a wide, Starc was soon on his way to finding his stride.
His dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan in the third over — a gorgeous outswinging yorker — was vintage Starc.
He had more trouble closing out the night with his last two overs going for 12 runs and 11 respectively. It’s worth noting, however, that Josh Hazlewood’s last over went for 23 runs as Ravindra Jadeja went berserk.
Starc finished the night with 2-34 from his four overs, which was the second-best figures for Australia behind Moises Henriques’ 3-22.
THE INJURIES ARE RAPIDLY MOUNTING
Players have been dropping like flies.Source: AFP
The casualty wards for both Australia and India are rapidly growing with both sides being struck by more injuries.
On Friday, it was Ravindra Jadeja for India and Aaron Finch for Australia giving their teams cause for concern.
Jadeja received treatment to his hamstring in the late stages of India’s innings and struggled to run in between wickets. He was then struck on the helmet in the final over and was controversially substituted for the second innings due to concussion.
Finch was soon having his own issues with a niggle in his glute clearly hampering him while batting.
Beware the injured Jadeja!
Their injuries followed several from the Australian camp across first three matches of the summer.
Over the ODI series, Australia lost Marcus Stoinis (side), Ashton Agar (calf), Mitchell Starc (back and rib) and — most notably — David Warner (groin) through injury.
Isa Guha said on Fox Cricket that it was no longer “just a coincidence”, and that the unique circumstances of the summer was to blame.
“Condensed schedules, being in a bubble, with Australian players only being able to go out for an hour or two a day and training, sitting in the confinements of their room… it’s something that needs to be managed,” she said.