Hosts India were able to post 161 runs on the scoreboard after Ravindra Jadeja put his foot on the gas and stitched a 23-ball 44 in the first T20I at Canberra on Friday. The left-hander stepped up after India lost wickets in quick succession in the middle overs. Continuing his form with the bat, Jadeja hit 5 fours and a six to propel the visitors to a challenging total against Australia.
Jadeja got India the momentum in the last few overs and also etched his name on the record books. He registered the highest score for an Indian batsman batting at No.7 or below in T20Is, surpassing MS Dhoni in the list. Dhoni, who had scored 18-ball 38 against England at Wankhede back in 2012, was sitting first in the list before Jadeja clinched the top spot.
After being put to bat first by the hosts, India were jolted with the early departure of Shikhar Dhawan. However, KL Rahul hit a vital half-century to keep the scoreboard ticking. Wickets kept tumbling at the other end but the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper scored 51 off 40 deliveries and ensured that the visitors don't suffer a batting debacle.
In the end, it was Jadeja who rose to the occasion and smashed a blistering knock. Moises Henriques, who scalped three wickets in his spell while conceding 22 runs, was the top performer with the ball.
After suffering a 2-1 defeat in the ODI series, the Virat Kohli-led side will be eying to start the T20I affair on a positive note. After the first T20I contest at Canberra, Australia and India will lock horns in the subsequent two games of the series at the SCG.