India opted to go in with all-rounder Vijay Shankar instead of leg-spinner Mayank Markhande, and Shikhar Dhawan replaced Rohit Sharma in the top-order.
I know they are playing around with team selection with WC in mind, but this has to be the weakest bowling attack seen for a while, with Krunal & Vijay Shankar as two of the five bowlers.#INDvsAUS
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 27, 2019
This is the first time that Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul are opening the batting together for India in T20Is.#INDvsAUS — Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) February 27, 2019
While Shikhar Dhawan failed to find the gaps at one end, KL Rahul got the ball rolling for India with some delightful strokes the world knows he is capable of.
Every now and then KL Rahul plays the best lofted extra-cover drive for a six in the world. And effortlessly.#INDvAUS
— Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) February 27, 2019
But his innings came to a tame end, failing to clear the third man fielder off a Nathan Coulter-Nile wide bouncer.
Coulter-Nile removes Rahul...now twice in two innings. And there’s a possibility of another wicket falling soon. #IndvAus — Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 27, 2019
His opening partner also fell soon, but his dismissal brought along controversy of the on-field umpire’s soft signal. Rishabh Pant also managed to play only five balls before being holed out at long off.
There's no way that a clean catch.
— cricketingview (@cricketingview) February 27, 2019
India’s top order muffing up things again. Three wickets gone in a trice and suddenly Aus on top. Kohli still there gives hope of reasonable score, but all eyes on Dhoni. How will his bat talk today? — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 27, 2019
However, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli resurrected the Indian innings. Their partnership went into the 19th over of the innings before the former was dismissed trying clear the boundary. A couple of fine boundaries from Dinesh Karthik and six from Kohli helped India finish on 190 for 4.
Good to see Dhoni get it together. Could pay off in the ODIs. #IndvAus
— Gaurav Sethi (@BoredCricket) February 27, 2019
Jonny Bairstow hit three sixes in three balls earlier in their ODI. Kohli does it now in this T20I.#WIvENG #INDvAUS — Suneer (@suneerchowdhary) February 27, 2019
— wv raman (@wvraman) February 27, 2019
First MS Dhoni and then Virat Kohli have crossed 50 career sixes in T20Is in this match!#IndvAus — Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 27, 2019
Massive score that. Brilliant hitting by the KING #INDVSAUS
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) February 27, 2019
190 posted! Take a bow! Ferocious hitting from Kohli and Dhoni...#INDvAUS — Omkar Mankame (@Oam_16) February 27, 2019
Australia were put under the pump by the Indian pacers, with Siddharth Kaul and Vijay Shankar removing Marcus Stoinis and Aaron Finch within the first four overs.
Two big strikers, Stoinis and Finch gone early. Big score to chase. Australia’s prospects have diminished rapidly. A Maxwell blitzkrieg could alter the equation of course
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 27, 2019
The use of @vijayshankar260 is interesting. Team giving him a chance to see if he has got it in him as a bowler to deliver up front. So far @AaronFinch5 wicket should help. #INDvAUS — Debayan Mukherjee (@Deb_spojourno) February 27, 2019
Can Australia go with this Finch ? Looks really ordinary after becoming the captain.
— Johns (@CricCrazyJohns) February 27, 2019
Australia did find their way back in the game, with D’Arcy Short and Glenn Maxwell imposing themselves against the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya. The Australian opener became Vijay’s second wicket while the big-hitting Maxwell went on to make it back-to-back fifties.
Maxwell with back-to-back fifties. Cricket Australia :#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/F3OHIRfkM7 — Manya (@CSKian716) February 27, 2019
— S. Sudarshanan (@Sudarshanan7) February 27, 2019
Despite plenty to get in the final overs, Maxwell ensured that the visitors crossed the finish line in the final over, with a six and boundary in the final over against Kaul to seal the whitewash, and notching up three figures in the process.
What a ton Maxwell. Too good and India will be happy to know they need more depth in bowling. — Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) February 27, 2019
Majestic T20 batting from Glenn Maxwell, that six of Kaul in the last over summing up his innings. Has just played brilliantly down the ground, always dangerous when he does that. #INDvAUS
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) February 27, 2019
Truly remarkable century by Maxwell. Among the best in T20 internationals surely, pull his side out of the deep woods to the doorstep of victory — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 27, 2019