India lead 1-0 in the 3-match T20I series © Getty Images
India lead 1-0 in the 3-match T20I series © Getty Images

India turned tables around on Tuesday with an emphatic 37-run victory over Australia in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Adelaide Oval. With this win, India now lead Australia 1-0 in their ongoing three-match T20I series with the other two matches scheduled to be played on January 29 and 31 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) respectively. An all-round show from MS Dhoni’s men at Adelaide ensured India winning the opening match. The game witnessed numerous sparkling performances; we get you highlights of some of those which are the point of discussion at the end of the match. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia 2015-16, 1st T20I at Adelaide

Shane Watson’s return: Watson, who was ignored for Australia’s squad that played India in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series returned to international cricket with a bang. Watson was brought into action in the 5th over when India were going almost nine runs an over with Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hitting the ball well. Watson drew first blood for Australia by dismissing Rohit in his very first delivery. Four deliveries later, Watson was the hero with second wicket in his first over. While Dhawan looked to pull the slower bouncer from Watson, the batsman failed to judge it and went on to get an edge that landed in the gloves of Matthew Wade. That moment surely brought a glow in each and every Australian’s face. Welcome back Watto!

Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina’s stand for 3rd wicket: The damage done by Watson early in India’s innings was nullified by these two. Raina walked in after Dhawan’s dismissal with Kohli on crease and India in a tricky position at 41 for 2. Kohli and Raina went on to build a partnership worth 134 runs off just 87 deliveries before James Faulkner sent Raina back to pavilion with four balls left in India’s innings. The duo hit a total of 12 fours and three sixes, therefore terrifying the opponents with their classy and unstoppable approach. While Raina brought up his 1,000 T20I runs, Kohli surpassed his previous best total (78 not out) to remain unbeaten on 90 off 55 balls. Only Raina and Kohli have 1,000-plus T20I runs from the Indian camp.

MS Dhoni’s last minute firing: The Indian skipper walked in when four balls remained in India’s first innings. Not wasting any ball, Dhoni went off the mark in style with a maximum. Faulkner bowling the last over targeted Dhoni’s pads, and in reply, the latter drilled it over the wide long-on which left the Indian fans go wild at Adelaide Oval. Next delivery was pushed over the point for a boundary; those runs did matter at the end. Faulkner came back strong to let Dhoni settle for a single which was followed by Kohli finishing off with two quick runs. There were 188 runs on the board, which eventually proved more than enough as the visitors comfortably defended it with three balls to spare.

Jasprit Bumrah’s fairy-tale tour continues: Veteran Ashish Nehra and Ravichandran Ashwin opened bowling for India from either ends. While Nehra managed to keep the Australian openers in control, Aaron Finch targeted Ashwin in his very first over. The Australian skipper took 17 runs off that over which was inclusive of a six and a boundary. Just when David Warner seemed to join Finch in hitting Indian bowlers all over the park, Bumrah struck. A short ball from the bowler, Warner looked to pull it misjudging the length and pace and was caught by Kohli at mid-on. Although the duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja pulled the match for India with their breakthroughs in quick successions, it was Bumrah’s timing of picking up wickets that did not allow the hosts to make any comeback in the match.

Faulkner entered the crease when Australia needed another 65 off 30 balls. Keeping Faulkner’s past heroics in mind, it was not a great idea to underestimate the all-rounder. Faulkner took time to choose his big shots. While he was going at four runs off five balls, Bumrah entered and the Australian smashed him for a six thereby releasing some pressure off himself. However, the next yorker more or less finished the match for Australia as Bumrah smacked off Faulkner’s stumps, leaving Australia in miserable situation at 147 for 8, needing 42 off 12 balls. With the dismissal of Cameron Boyce in the final over, he sealed the match with figures of 3 for 23 in 3.3 overs.

Steven Smith-Aaron Finch: Warner’s dismissal brought in Steven Smith who got off-the-mark with a beautiful drive at short fine leg for a boundary. That was followed by a dot and then another four was lined in next for Smith. He shared a partnership of 42 runs from 3.5 overs with Finch for the second wicket. Until these two were on field, the worry line was visible on Dhoni’s forehead. It was Jadeja and Ashwin who bowled some excellent spells to put India in the driver’s seat. First Jadeja removed Smith which was followed by Ashwin dismissing Finch, leaving Australia in a miserable position. Jadeja bowled a full quota of 4 overs claiming two wickets, while Ashwin also had two scalps to his name. READ: VIDEO: Virat Kohli sledges Steven Smith during India vs Australia, 1st T20I at Adelaide

Hardik Pandya turned a bad debut into a memorable one: Dhoni handed Pandya the ball for the very first time in the 8th over, hoping the youngster would make a difference right from the start. There he went for a wide. Guess what? Two more wide deliveries were awaited. Smith took three runs from the next balls before Finch crushed the bowler’s confidence with a huge maximum in front of the square. Wide again, that made things just terrible for the 22-year-old. Finch took a single, bringing back Smith on strike. To everyone’s great disbelief, Pandya bowled another wide before Smith finally playing the last ball of the over which went for a four. That summed up to a 19 runs and Dhoni immediately removed him.

However, the bowler returned strong, took advantage of the inexperienced Australian batsmen struggling in the middle as he made bagged his first international wicket, Chris Lynn was the unfortunate batsman. Very soon, Wade was in line to join, he became Pandya’s second wicket in T20Is as that dismissal witnessed the youngster run all over the ground in joy!

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)