Visakhapatnam, Feb 24 (IANS) Opener K.L Rahul’s brilliant knock (50) went in vain as India were restricted to 126/7 against Australia in the first Twenty20 International at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, here on Sunday.
Put in to bat, India started the innings steadily. But a poor shot selection from opener Rohit Sharma saw India losing its first wicket in 2.3 overs. Pacer Jason Behrendorff dismissed the opener.
Unperturbed by the fall of wicket, Rahul, playing first time after a chat show controversy, hammered the Australian bowlers all round the park, along with skipper Virat Kohli (24).
But just when things seemed good in the middle, the skipper lost his wicket. Kohli was caught at the boundary by Nathan Coulter-Nile off Adam Zampa. His 17-ball innings included three boundaries.
New batsman Rishabh Pant’s (3) bad form in the shortest format continued as he got run out, due to some brilliant fielding by Behrendorff.
After adding few runs, while trying to increase the scoring rate, in-form Rahul was also caught at the mid-off. His 36-ball innings was laced with six boundaries and one six.
Middle-order batsmen Dinesh Karthik (1), Krunal Pandya (1) also returned to the pavilion without scoring much.
With scoreboard reading 100/6 in 15 overs, it was all upon Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29 not out) to push the score with the lower-order batsmen at the other end.
Dhoni tried to pace up the innings towards the end, hitting few boundaries but lack of support from Umesh Yadav (2)and Yuzvendra Chahal (0) coasted India.
For Australia, Nathan Coulter-Nile scalped three wickets, while Behrendorff, Zampa and Pat Cummins chipped in with one wicket each.
Brief scores: India: 126/7 (Lokesh Rahul 50, M.S Dhoni 29 not out; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/26)against Australia.