Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawa celebrating after the captain hit the winning runs    AFP
Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan celebrating after the captain hit the winning runs AFP

When the target was reduced to 48 off 6 overs, there were remote chances for Australia to rise victorious. The predictions remained the same when India needed 12 off 12. By far Australia had done well in removing Rohit Sharma (11 off 7) early and denying any uncharacteristic deliveries.

David Warner had already invested 2 overs in his best bowler, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and had no option but to gamble with leg-spinner Adam Zampa to further tighten the screws. The format anyway is for the audacious. The tactic paid off, and Zampa conceded run a ball. India needed 6 off the last over.

Daniel Christian was the fifth bowler. It was anyone s game at this point. A wicket and couple dot balls would give India a scare. MS Dhoni had padded up. It would have been a consolation for the Ranchi crowd for the time the rain had ruined.

All this could have happened only if Virat Kohli was not at strike. He ended the match with 3 balls to spare. A lofted shot over covers helped India take 1-0 lead in 3-T20I series.

Rain had stopped play when Australia were 118 for 8 in 18.4 overs. And it only worsened for another 90 minutes. An abandoned game was on the cards when the rains surprisingly stopped. Thanks to the grounds-men that they had covered it with two layers of cover. The efforts were magnificent.

India opted to bowl, given the rain was expected to play spoilsport. They went with the same balanced line-up they had boasted in the ODIs, keeping Ashish Nehra benched. Australia, on the other hand, played a few T20 specialists.

David Warner, the stand-in captain, commenced with consecutive fours, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed him before he could unleash his best. That, or anything, could not have contained the rampant Aaron Finch. He blasted 42 runs before Kuldeep Yadav outfoxed him with a tossed-up delivery. Australia could never get going after that, as Kuldeep and his fellow spinner Yuzvendra Chahal conceded 39 runs and took 3 wickets between them.

That being said, the highlight of the day was Chahal dismissing Glenn Maxwell in their fourth consecutive faceoff.

Brief scores:

Australia 118 for 8 in 18.4 overs (Aaron Finch 43; Kuldeep Yadav 2 for 16, Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 17) lost to India 49 for 1 in 5.3 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 15*, Virat Kohli 22*; Nathan Coulter-Nile 1 for 20) by 9 wickets (DLS).

Man of the Match: Kuldeep Yadav

Full scorecard