India recorded their fifth straight loss in Australia as they went down by 31 runs in the first of two 20/20 matches in Sydney.
Chasing 171 for victory, the hosts were pegged back in their chase in the very first over when Brett Lee removed Virender Sehwag for 4. The Indians never recovered as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals which saw the run-rate enjoy a comfortable rise.
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli looked to grab some momentum back for the visitors as they went after Lee Faulkner. However, with the rate always touching nine runs an over the pressure continued to tell on the pair.
David Hussey’s introduction to the bowling attack paid dividends immediately as he removed Gambhir for 20. This wicket signalled a mini collapse as India lost 3 wickets for 6 runs to all but leave their chase in tatters.
Brad Hogg’s surprise return to international cricket was marked with a wicket in his first over as he accounted for Kohli with a full toss. Hussey returned the next over to bowl Rohit Sharma for a first ball duck to leave India reeling at 53-4.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina looked to try and get India’s chase back on track; however, the captain struggled to score. Raina dragged Daniel Christian back on to his stumps ending a promising partnership.
With only the tail left as company Dhoni looked to up the tempo as he attacked Christian, scoring 15 runs off the 16th over. However, his assault came too little too late as Australia ran away comfortable winners.
Earlier in the day Australia was put in to bat by Dhoni and capitalised on first use of the wicket through a breath-taking 72 runs from Mathew Wade. Having coming in to the team in palce of the out of form Brad Haddin, Wade set about announcing his presence by guiding the Australian innings.
His half century was coupled with an aggressive 42 from Hussey, who showed that he can be relied on to finish an innings.
Australia’s innings got off to a rapid start as David Warner, the only member of the test side, blasted 25 off 14 balls.
Australia now takes a 1-0 lead in to the second and final 20/20 match in Melbourne on Friday. For India, their only hope is that their fragile batting line up can finally click.