India got off to a winning start against Australia in their first official warm-up match of the T20 World Cup. India were asked to bat first, and courtesy half centuries by opener KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, posted 186/7 in their 20 overs against Aaron Finch’s Australia. In reply, the hosts were bowled out for 180 with the Australia captain top scoring with 76 runs. With 11 needed off the last over, India ran into the surprise named Mohammed Shami, who picked up three wickets and affected a run out to take India home by six runs.
India’s batting left a bit more to be desired as no one barring Suryakumar and Rahul, could get the big runs. Rohit was dismissed for a timid 15, while Hardik Pandya disappointed with 2 off five balls. Team India once again preferred ‘finisher’ Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant, who played a cameo of 20 off 14 balls which included a four and a big six off Australia spinner Ashton Agar.
What caught the attention of cricket fans was Suryakumar giving advice to Karthik from the other end, predicting what Australia pacer Kane Richardson might bowl to him. Surya was caught by the stump mic as saying: ‘Point ke peeche daalega mera aisa feeling hai‘ (He might bowl behind point, that is my feeling). But no sooner did he say it, the fielder from deep point came inside the circle and the fielder at mid wicket was moved back. Off the very next delivery, Karthik went deep in his crease and to a fuller delivery outside off-stump, tried to go big. But unfortunately for him, the wicketkeeper batter holed out to Glenn Maxwell running in from deep mid-wicket.
After Karthik perished, Suryakumar tried to give India a final flourish but was out caught and bowled to Richardson in his next over. R Ashwin came in and opened his account with a six off his first and the innings’ penultimate delivery which took India to 187. They will play their second official warm-up match against New Zealand on October 19, Wednesday at same venue before beginning their World Cup campaign four days later against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
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