Australia stunned India in the T20I series opener in Mohali after completing a miraculous chase on Tuesday, 20th September. The visitors go 1-0 up in the three-match series on the back of a scintillating finish from the veteran wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade. The Indian pacers went for plenty in the death overs, sorely missing their stalwart Jasprit Bumrah as he was rested. Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya opinied on his teammate’s absence after the loss.
The hosts registered a considerable total on the board on the back of solid starts from the under-pressure KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav. But it was the punishing innings from the mercurial Hardik Pandya (71* off 31 deliveries) that plunged India’s total over the 200-run mark.
But the Indian pacers went for plenty on a batting-friendly track and let Australia escape after the 16th over in the second innings. Veteran Indian bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s abysmal outing at the back end of the innings continued as he ended up conceding 52 runs in his four overs. Jasprit Bumrah has been one of the best in the slog overs and his absence was felt throughout the Asia Cup tournament and in the series opener against Australia. Pandya acknowledged the lack of quality at the death due to Bumrah’s omission from the team but backed the bowlers to come good in the upcoming games.
“Jasprit not being there obviously makes a big difference. He is coming back after an injury, he needs to get enough time to kind of come back and may not put a lot of pressure on himself. We all know what he brings to the table and how important he is to us. There will be concerns here and there (about bowling) which is fine. We got to trust our boys,” Hardik said to the press.
Notably, Bumrah was rested for the first T20I against Australia as the management wanted to give him ample recovery time following his back injury. He has been named in the T20 World Cup squad, and the team would want him fit before the ICC mega event, commencing next month.