Australia were making solid progress at 169/4 with Ashton Turner and Glenn Maxwell taking the attack to the Indian bowlers. Maxwell, who blasted his third Twenty20 International century to help Australia win a T20I series in India for the first time ever, looked good for yet another fifty while Turner was looking in good touch. Mohammed Shami came into the attack and he changed the complexion of the game. The right-arm pacer bowled Turner for 21 with a slow off-cutter but he got the massive wicket of Maxwell for 40 with a ball that curved back in to knock of the off stump out. Australia managed just 63 runs in the last 10 overs and Kedar Jadhav (81*) and MS Dhoni (59*) helped India to a six-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the series.
Speaking after the victory, Indian skipper Virat Kohli not only hailed the performances of Jadhav and Dhoni but praised the efforts of Shami (2/44) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/46) in keeping Australia down to a total under 250. “It was a difficult sort of a game. We did a good job with the ball. You have experience with MS and flair with Kedar. I think Kedar and MS took responsibility, it was great. I think the bowling (won the game for us). Kuldeep's been doing it for a while. I have never seen him (Shami) so lean. Got Maxi out with a beautiful ball. I haven't seen him so hungrier. Heading into the WC, it's a great sign for India,” Kohli stated.
Shami, in particular, has been in great form ever since the series in Australia. In the Perth Test, he took 6/56, his career-best figures while in the ODI series, he played a good supporting role in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. In the ODIs in New Zealand, Shami provided the early breakthroughs on a regular basis and helped India win an ODI series in New Zealand after 10 years with nine wickets in four games at an average of 15.33.
Kohli also hailed the performance of Ravindra Jadeja, who did not take a wicket but conceded just 25 runs in his 10 overs. “Ten overs for less than 35 is a great job on this pitch. He set his fields on his game. He is a great asset in the field too,” Kohli said.
India would be aiming to extend their advantage in the series when they take on Australia in the second ODI in Nagpur on March 5.