Ravindra Jadeja’s explosive lower-order hitting helped India to an 11-run victory over Australia in their Twenty20 series opener.
Jadeja scored 44 off 23 balls in Canberra as the tourists posted 161-7 before restricting Australia to 150-7 in response.
KL Rahul had laid some firm foundations as the opener put on a measured 51 to mitigate the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan, who contributed only one run.
The hosts also kept a lid on Virat Kohli, the India captain caught and bowled by Mitchell Swepson for nine.
#TeamIndia win the first T20I by 11 runs.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 4, 2020
Jadeja came to the crease with his side 92-5 in the 14th over and bludgeoned five fours and a six to lift India to a solid total.
He was struck on the helmet in the final over by a Mitchell Starc delivery and, though he initially continued, was replaced by concussion substitute Yuzvendra Chahal instead of taking to the field.
Australia’s reply looked to be coming along nicely as D’Arcy Short (34) and Aaron Finch (35) put on 56 for the first wicket.
Hardik Pandya catches ultimately accounted for both, with dangerous duo Glenn Maxwell (2) and Steve Smith (12) unable to stick around for long.
Moises Henriques’ 30 off 20 raised hopes of a revival, but some excellent bowling from Thangarasu Natarajan (3-30) and Chahal (3-25) kept Australia at bay.
The sides meet again in Sydney on Sunday in the second game of a three-match series.