IND beat AUS: Concussion sub Chahal and Natarajan shine, India thrash Australia by 11 runs

IND vs AUS 1st T20: Yuzvendra Chahal turned out to be the perfect concussion substitute after an injured Ravindra Jadeja did his part with the bat as the duo played their roles to perfection in India’s impressive 11-run victory over Australia in the first T20 International here on Friday.

While Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls to propel India to 161 for 7, his head injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise with India unleashing Chahal (3/25 in 4 overs) on an Australian side caught completely off-guard. The hosts could manage only 150 for 7 in 20 overs.

Credit was also due to the lion-hearted effort from debutant Thangarasu Natarajan (3/30) and off-spinner Washington Sundar (0/16 in 4 overs), who bowled well in Powerplay.

ICC match referee David Boon allowed the visitors a “like for like” replacement, as mandated by the rules, for Jadeja in Chahal even though home team coach Justin Langer looked visibly angry.

And to make matters worse, Chahal dimissed two form men — Aaron Finch (35) and Steve Smith (12) — in his first two overs to turn the game on its head.

The Australians were not prepared for Chahal, who bowled way better in his most preferred format, varying the pace of his deliveries and using the flight to good effect.

Natarajan, whose nerves had eased after a decent ODI debut, was right on the money and got one to straighten catching Glenn Maxwell plumb in-front.

If that wasn’t enough, Natarajan snuffed out a frustrated D’arcy Short (34 off 38 balls) to make it 113 for 4 and India didn’t have to look back from then on.

Earlier, vice-captain KL Rahul continued his impressive run in the shortest format with yet another fifty but it took Jadeja’s brilliant back-end flourish to take India to a fighting total.

The Indian vice-captain hit 51 off 40 balls but leg-spinner Adam Zampa (1/20 in 4 overs) and all-rounder Moises Henriques (3/22 in 4 overs) were brilliant between overs 11th and 15th, which shifted the momentum in favour of the home team till Jadeja came into play with a 44 not out off 23 balls.

During 11th and 15th over, India scored 22 runs and lost three wickets in Sanju Samson (23 off 15 balls), Manish Pandey (2 off 8 balls) and Rahul.

However, Jadeja (five fours and a six), who suffered from hamstring trouble, launched into Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc in the final two overs that yielded 34 runs taking Indian to a par-score at the Manuka Oval.

The Indians found Zampa difficult to get away as he conceded only one boundary while Henriques conceded just a six, cleverly varying the pace of his deliveries with a good mix of cutters and seam-up stuff.

Rahul, who hit five fours and a six, along with Samson and the dangerous Hardik Pandya (16 off 15 balls) were deceived by the pace of pitch where driving on the up wasn’t an easy job.

Mitchell Starc (2/34) was also quick and incisive at the start but got hit during the death overs.

Four days of rest had done Starc a world of good as he found both his length and swing back at the start. At a scorching 145 clicks, he bowled one that shaped away from Shikhar Dhawan starting on middle-stump and knocking the off-stump back.

Rahul’s first boundary was a mis-hit off Hazlewood over third-man, followed by a cover drive off Zampa.

Another streaky boundary off Sean Abbott was topped up by a regal pull-shot into the mid-wicket stands.

Inexperienced leg spinner Mitchell Swepson (1/21 in 2 overs) repeatedly bowled short but did snap a prized catch in rival skipper Virat Kohli (9) when a ball stopped on him and the result was a return catch off a leading edge.

But Rahul punished him and so did Samson, who rocked back to hit him for a six. Rahul’s half century came off 37 deliveries.

However, as has been Samson’s trait, he perished when Henriques bowled an off-cutter and the uppish cover drive.

He was pouched by Swepson and India’s innings went down south from that moment before Jadeja did redeem it.

Full Ind vs Aus highlight:

17:10: Chahal to Wade, OUT

Another top edge, taken at deep midwicket! Pushed wide outside off again, Wade has to reach for it, opts to sweep again and picks out Kohli. India closing in.

17:08: After 17 overs, 121/4

An impressive spell by Washington Sundar here. He has quietly done his job and created pressure at the other end while only conceding runs at 4 runs an over

16:54: After 14 overs, 104/3

Those 2 balls from Natarajan to Maxwell shows great setup and plan from a debutant. One slightly short leg cutter going out and next a full fast coming in.

16:44: After 12 overs, 84/3

Jadeja’s concussion sub, Yuzi Chahal has come as a blessing in disguise for India. He sent to important players Aaron Finch and Steve Smith back to the pavilion. I wonder if Jadeja could have had the same impact.

16:23: Chahal to Finch, OUT; After 9 overs; 68/1

Oh sensational catch from Pandya! This will grate on Australia, no doubt. The concussion sub has a wicket. And it’s a good ball. Lobbed up at off stump, full and dipping. Finch backs away looking to go over extra cover. Ends up slicing it because he’s not to the pitch. Pandya then sprints some 20 yards to his left from long-off, composes himself briefly and then springs out, full stretch, to pluck this just as it threatens to plonk into the turf. Puts in a nice slide to hold on to it too

16:16: After 7 overs, 54/0

It is the same story as in the ODI series. Australia get a strong start chasing a low-total.

16:08: This Jadeja injury will certainly cause a big controversy. Here is the law regarding concussion subs:

“The ICC Match Referee should ordinarily approve a Concussion Replacement Request if the replacement is a like-for-like player whose inclusion will not excessively advantage his team for the remainder of the match.

“In assessing whether the nominated Concussion Replacement should be considered a like-for-like player, the ICC Match Referee should consider the likely role the concussed player would have played during the remainder of the match, and the normal role that would be performed by the nominated Concussion Replacement.”

15:52: Ravindra Jadeja has been pulled out due to concussion

“Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the helmet in the final over of the first innings of the first T20I. Yuzvendra Chahal will take the field in the 2nd innings as a concussion substitute. Jadeja is currently being assessed by the BCCI Medical Team,” BCCI reported.

15:17: India post a total of 162.

15:10: Jadeja is grabbing his hamstring. This is bad for India. He is getting it stretching.

15:04: Henriques to Pandya, OUT

High…very high, and taken at long-off! Pandya is cut off before he can really get going, and Smith had all the time to get him below the ball. Safe hands!

14:55: After 16 overs, 104/5

India will need a strong performance from Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja to have a competitive total.

14:51: Henriques to Rahul, OUT; After 15 overs; 97/5

Brilliant catch at long-on by Abbott. It is a big wicket for Australia. One more wicket and it is game over for India.

14:45: Zampa to Pandey, OUT

Good catch at short third man! Hazlewood does well to get down to that. Pandey went back to a slightly shorter ball, goes for the cut, it takes the top edge and is dipping as it reaches Hazlewood

14:37: After 12 overs, 89/3

India need to support Rahul if they want to reach a defending total. A target of 180+ would be a defending total given Australia’s devasting batting line-up.

14:27: KL Rahul brings up his 50

Amazing display of batting by KL Rahul. Hits his 12th T20 fifty this time in just 26 balls.


14:14: After 7 overs, 51/2

While India did score in this over, the momentum is certainly in Aussies camp as Swepson gets Kohli.

14:12:  Swepson to Kohli, OUT

Balloons back to the bowler. The only thing going for Swepson this ball is that it has gripped.

14:10: After 6 overs, 42/1

12 runs from the over is exactly what India was looking for. One more good over and the momentum will shift on their side.

14:05: After 5 overs, 30/1

India will now want to build up on the momentum which it lost after losing Dhawan early. If they can do it, projected score can be anywhere 170+

14:00: After 4 overs, 21/1

Kohli has become the 1st batsman to score 2800 runs in T20 cricket. Meanwhile, Australia continue to build pressure on the Indian top order batsmen.

13:56: Starc to Dhawan, OUT; After 3 overs, 13/1

Knocks out off stump with a trademark delivery! He’s back. Starc is back. High 140s, outswinger starting middle and curving viciously towards off. Dhawan’s got his front leg in the leg side and his stumps exposed as he creates room for the drive through cover. The late swing and the pace does him and it’s a pretty sight as the stumps is tonked

13:50: After 2 overs, 6/0

There is swing and bounce both in Canberra today. Bumrah might be missed today. A lot will depend on Deepak Chahar who can swing with the new ball.

13:49: A look at Australia’s new jersey

13:42: After 1 over, 4/0

Decent start for India. Dhawan and Rahul have become the master of T20. They will take first three overs to adapt and then its boom boom cricket.

13:39: And it begins!! India vs Australia at Manuka Oval.

13:33: Shikhar Dhawan on cusp of breaking MS Dhoni’s record

All eye will be on Shikhar Dhawan as India take on Australia for the 1st T20 at Manuka Oval, Canberra. The Indian opener is on the cup of breaking MS Dhoni’s record when he takes the pitch today. READ FULL STORY

13:30: Bumrah, Chahal rested

It is quite a bold decision by India to rest Bumrah who had just found his lost touch. Also Sundar in place of Chahal is also a big move. Hope it works for India.

13:19: Starting XI

Australia (Playing XI): Aaron Finch (c), D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (wk), Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Sean Abbott, Mitch Starc, Mitch Swepson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul(w), Virat Kohli(c), Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, T Natarajan

13:14: Australia have won the toss and have opted to field

Kohli: Great chance to have a look at a few guys. Have managed workloads of the bowlers nicely so far. We’ve been playing good T20 cricket, we just have to continue that. Natarajan is making his debut today. Looked composed in the third ODI. There was a reason I went to him.

Finch: Been quite a big buildup anyway. Was expected to be at this time. Not much changes. Short opens the batting, Wade at three. Phenomenal design, grateful to be able to wear it (the indigenous kit).



13:09: After ODI, Natarajan all set for his T20 debut

12:55: Sanjay Manjrekar and Murali Kartik predicts their playing XI

Manjrekar’s playing XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami

Kartik has the same playing XI, except, Shami. He opted for T. Natarajan instead of Shami.

12:47: Some fun facts:

India have won each of their last eight T20Is, meanwhile, Aussies have won 10 of their 13 games since 2019.

12:41:Australia to wear its new jersey today

In case you are wondering why it is so special, READ HERE

12:26: What to expect from today’s game?

India will be hoping to win today, given their performance in the 3rd ODI at Manuka Oval. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are in great form and they showed just why the Canberra pitch is rated as being one of the favourites for batsmen in Australia.

Meanwhile, the hosts will be looking to bring back some of its players like Stoinis and Starc who were rested due to niggles.

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