India were almost there but just couldn't cross the line in the rain curtailed first T20I at the Gabba against Australia on Wednesday.
Chasing the revised DLS target of 174, Shikhar Dhawan was off to a flying start and gave the visitors hope in their steep chase in the 17-over-a-side game. Although India lost Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and captain Virat Kohli cheaply, Dhawan's 42-ball 76 and accompanied by Rishabh Pant (20 off 15 balls) and Dinesh Karthik's (30 off 13 balls) hitting down the order, took India close but in the end Kohli's men fell short by four runs to fall back 1-0 in the three-match series.
While the bowlers barring Kuldeep Yadav received some beating, Dhawan and Karthik's breezy knocks were great positives considering the fact that the Indian team didn't play a practice match as well before the first game.
And that is why, former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes that India's performance was good and they can turn the tables and make it 2-1 in the three-match series.
"India played good cricket. It was the first match of the series and you also have to consider the fact that they didn't even play a practice match. Shikhar Dhawan batted really well. But when you chase such a big target, there's always pressure on your batsmen. The series is wide open and India have a chance to make it 2-1. I am happy with India's performance," Ganguly said in an exclusive interview to IndiaTV.
The 46-year-old was extremely pleased to see Dhawan's hitting at the Gabba and hoped that the southpaw continued his form over the next two matches as well.
"It was probably one of Dhawan's best T20I knocks. The way he was hitting the ball, he seemed to be in a different zone. I hope he continues to play well in the next matches as I feel India have a chance to comeback in the series," Ganguly said.
He also downplayed any issues regarding Kohli's form after he fell cheaply. According to Ganguly, Kohli is a bit rusty because of not playing the shortest format of the game for a while.
"Virat will take a little time to get used to T20 cricket as he hasn't played this format for some time. But he is a quality player and will perform well in the next match," said the former captain.
However, he did single out Pant for his poor shot selection and said that the 20-year-old needs to work on it to get better.
"Rishabh Pant could've won the match for India with Dinesh Karthik. The way he was batting with Karthik and took the match close for India, the shot didn't have any value," Ganugly said.
"He is a an young player and somebody needs to tell him that when he has the ability and power to hit straight, he doesn't need to play these kind of shots. He is not in bad form. He just has to change his shot selection. It is not a difficult thing to do. I am not concerned with his form," he added.