India vs Australia: Kuldeep Yadav has come of age in the last two seasons to emerge as India’s first choice spinner in all three formats. The Chinaman has been India’s go-to bowler overseas and he has delivered. During the 1st T20I against Australia at Brisbane, Kuldeep Yadav touched another feat by becoming the highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket after the first 15 games. Kuldeep has 31 wickets in 15 T20Is, whereas Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis has 29 and the Lankan is closely followed by Yuzvendra Chahal who has 27 wickets from his first 15 T20I matches. Kuldeep picked up two wickets for 24 runs in the Brisbane T20I.
31 – Kuldeep Yadav
29 – Ajantha Mendis
27 – Yuzvendra Chahal
26 – Umar Gul/ Ahsan Malik/ Ish Sodhi
25 – Imran Tahir/ Kesrick Williams
Meanwhile, India won the toss and opted to bowl on a surprisingly green wicket. Kuldeep Yadav was picked ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal as expected, while the hosts also included a spinner in Adam Zampa and left out medium pacer Coulter-Nile.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-15) and Jasprit Bumrah (1-21) got India off to a good start but Aaron Finch (27) pulled things back a bit. Khaleel Ahmed (1-42) got the initial breakthough as D’Arcy Short (7) was caught at long on. The left-arm pacer proved expensive thereafter.
Kuldeep took a sensational catch running back to dismiss Short, and from there onwards, he had a marked influence on the game. Later he also picked up 2-24 in his four-over spell. He dismissed Finch and then sent back Lynn as well, thus reducing Australia to 75-3 in the 11th over.
Apart from Yadav’s stunning effort, India were rather poor in the field. Skipper Kohli had dropped Finch in the fourth over, a straight chance spilled at cover, and then miss fielded later on as well. Ahmed too dropped Stoinis (33 not out off 19 balls) late in the Australian innings, while Maxwell should have been run-out.