Rahul, playing his first game for India since the fourth Test in Sydney, played a composed innings after negotiating a tricky first over from Jason Behrendorff in Vizag.
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The Karnataka batsman stood out from the pack, scoring 50 off 36 balls before falling to Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 13th over of the Indian innings.
Rahul, who looked a batsman out of sorts in the three Tests he played Down Under, returned to grade cricket and smashed two scores of over 80s against the England Lions to make a return to the senior side as the spot for the third opener remained open ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
And, seeing him back in form, was a happy sight for Jasprit Bumrah, who himself impressed as well on his return to the side after being rested for the New Zealand series.
"It's always good when you've got good competition in the team. He looked the best batsman today I feel because he was playing with a lot of composure, he started off playing good shots and he was playing conventional shots. It's always good when a player like him is back in form," Bumrah said at the post-match press conference.
Bumrah himself bowled a sensational penultimate over when Australia needed 16 off 2 overs to win and gave away just two runs but Umesh Yadav failed to defend 14 as Australia clinched the first T20I of the two-match series by 3 wickets.
"Not a lot, just focussing on what my strengths are and what the wicket is because the wicket was a little difficult to bat on, it was not a wicket you could score heavily on, to play big shots on this sluggish wicket was a little difficult. So I was just figuring out what my options were and was looking to execute them," Bumrah said when asked about what his plans were while bowling.
The 25-year-old however, backed Umesh to come good and said bowling at the death is never easy.
"It always goes both ways. When you bowl a last over in a close game, it is sometimes 50-50. You try your best, you're always clear in your execution, some days it works, some days it doesn't. Nothing to be worried about.
"Yes, we wanted to close the game in our favour but it's okay, this happens as death bowling a little difficult in any situation," Bumrah said.
India were down and out at one stage of the game but did a sensational job to come back in the game but just failed to get over the line and the pacer felt that the hosts were 15-20 runs short but they gave their best to defend the modest total.
"We almost pulled out this game as well but on this wicket, around 140-145 would have been a very good score because as I said, over here there was low bounce and it was difficult to hit big shots so it's always difficult on these kinds of wickets to chase total.
"We were trying our best. We were just trying to figure out. He [Dhoni] was just trying to take the game deep and trying to get us to a safe total. I think we tried, we were short by 15-20 runs but still gave us a fighting total. We had something we could fight on so I think that was the plan he was trying to execute.
"We always knew going into the game that what is our batting line-up. We wanted that everybody would have taken a bit more responsibility but these things happen in a game of cricket. We tried our best, we lost 2-3 wickets more than we wanted but ya, we back our team and we wanted to execute with whatever we had," Bumrah said.
The second T20I will be played on February 27 at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.