New Delhi: The change of format and infusion of young blood failed to bring about a turnaround for India as Australia thrashed the lacklustre visitors by 31 runs in the first Twenty20 International at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Wednesday.

View Scorecard: India vs Australia, 1st T20

Australia rode on wicketkeeper-batsman Mathew Wade's blistering 43-ball 72 to score an imposing 171 for four and then bowled well to restrict India to 140 for six in what turned out to be a lop-sided contest.

After the 0-4 drubbing in the Test series, the induction of the limited overs specialists didn't bring about any change in the script as neither the batsmen nor the bowlers could create any sort of impact.

The game was as good as over when India lost their first four wickets for 53 runs inside the first eight overs.

Virender Sehwag (4), Gautam Gambhir (20), Virat Kohli (22) and Rohit Sharma (0) were cooling their heels in the pavilion within a blink, giving the hosts the advantage.

It only got worse when Suresh Raina (14), after a hit or two, was clean bowled by the highly regarded Daniel Christian.

Only skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni held his ground and struck 48 off 43 balls with a boundary and three sixes. His late flourish was eye-catching but it was too late by then.

There was a brief sparkle when Gambhir and Kohli put on 41 runs off 30 balls but the disaster was round the corner.

Kohli holed out in the deep off Brad Hogg's bowling. Gambhir lofted a catch inside the ring as he failed to read the off-break from David Hussey.

Kohli, a redeeming feature of Test series, was claimed by 40-year-old chinaman bowler Hogg off the fourth ball of his first over. Hussey was the surprise packet for Australia, who claimed two wickets for only four runs in his first two overs.

Hussey claimed Gambhir and Rohit Sharma with his part-time off-spin. For Sharma, who had waited all this summer for his first representative game, it was a dismal start as he was bowled off the first ball he faced.

Sehwag was the first one to begin it all in a rather characteristic dismissal this summer—looking to play on the onside, closing the face of his bat too early and edging a catch, off the side of his bat to lone slip Hussey.

Besides his catch and wickets, Hussey played a smart innings of 42 off 30 balls when Australia batted first in the evening. Hussey shared a 56-run third wicket stand with Matthew Wade whose 72 off 43 balls with five fours and three sixes was the talking point of the evening.

Wade, playing his third Twenty20 international, after two unsuccessful ones against South Africa last year, struck cleanly and powerfully to flatten up the largely spin-oriented Indian bowling.

Left-handed opener David Warner (25) led an early charge and then Wade took over as India were once again made to look inadequate in the middle.

Indians opted to field first and sensing a slow wicket, relied almost exclusively on its spinners but still found the home batsmen come out strongly at them.

Ravichandran Ashwin was brought in first up at the sight of Warner, knowing the off-spinner had scalped him twice in the final Test in Adelaide last month.

Ashwin was allowed to get away in his first over but in the next, Warner slammed 6,4 and 6 off successive balls to break the spell over him. The first of this hit for the maximum took everyone's breath away as it was a switch hit and still carried the ball beyond ropes at widish long on.

Warner didn't last long but his 25 off 14 balls with two sixes and a four had given Australia the early momentum.

Wade, his partner and replacement for Brad Haddin, showcased his talent with brilliant hits around the park.

He didn't begin well enough, his first boundary was a streaky edge past slip cordon off Praveen Kumar but then he opened up. Wade really shifted gear in the eight over when Ashwin was brought in from the other end.

He smote him straight down the ground for a six and later really took a liking for Ravindra Jadeja, smacking his third delivery over covers for a four.

In the left-arm spinner's next over, he smashed a four and followed it up with a six to bring up his half century off 34 balls. There was another four off the next to celebrate his maiden landmark in international cricket.

Australia were now rattling along and Praveen, returning for his third spell, was hammered for 18 runs with Wade smashing his first and final delivery for a four and a six.

Hussey was an excellent presence at the other end and had just hit leg-spinner Rahul Sharma for a six when rain intervened with Australia on 131 for 2 in the 15th over.

Wade left the centre-stage as soon as the game resumed after a 20-minute rain hold up. He went back to cut the off-spin of Suresh Raina which went straight and hit his leg-stump.

The break appeared to have done good to the Indians who conceded only 40 runs from the remaining five-odd overs. The lanky leg-spinner got a scare in his first over itself when he tried to take a return catch off Travis Birt but the shot had been so fiercely struck that it split the webbing of his bowling hand.

Indeed, Sharma bowled the final over of the innings, dropping another return catch, but cleaning up David Hussey for 42 runs, made off 30 balls with a four and three sixes.

Besides Wade and Hussey, Warner (25) and Birt (17) were the other two wickets to fall, both falling to catches by Suresh Raina at the edge of the ring off Vinay Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Teams:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.

Australia: George Bailey (Capt.), David Warner, Travis Birt, Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, David Hussey, Brett Lee, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade and Brad Hogg.

Field Umpires: Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel
TV umpire: Simon Fry
Match referee: Andy Pycroft.


(JPN/Agencies)