Bowling and fielding standards need to improve as the series continues: Rohit Sharma

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Skipper Rohit Sharma pointed to the poor efforts of his bowlers and fielders as the reasons for India’s four-wicket defeat to World Champion Australia in the first T20I game of the three-match series here on Tuesday.

While the batters did well, especially Hardik Pandya (71 not out), who made a late attack with three sixes from the last three deliveries of the innings, KL Rahul (55) and Suryakumar Yadav (46), helping the host to 208 /6 in 20 overs — their highest score in a T20 against Australia.

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But the visitors went after goal with ease, thanks to Cameron Green (61 out of 30), a 35 out of 24 from Steve Smith and a 45 out of reach from Matthew Wade, as they reached 211/6 in 19.2 overs.

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Rohit said his bowlers didn’t come out well despite defending a big total.

“I don’t think we bowled that well. 200 is a good score to defend and at the same time we didn’t take our chances on the field. That’s about it,” said Rohit Sharma after the match. ceremony at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium here.

Rohit said it was all a matter of taking one wicket between Wade and Tim David to seal the win in the match.

“For us it was about that one wicket between Wade and Tim David. And we couldn’t. I think they got about 60 collaborations in 32 balls, which was a turning point from their perspective,” said Rohit.

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The Indian skipper’s defeat makes the match a great opportunity to understand what went wrong and where the team faltered.

“I think we hit brilliantly to get to that score. It was a great game for us to understand where we went wrong and what we can do better in the next game,” he said.

Leading up to the match, India lost first to Australia’s skipper Rohit Sharma (11) and Virat Kohli (2) for cheap scores. As a result, Men in Blue struggled 35/2. KL Rahul (55) and Suryakumar Yadav (46) then stabilized the innings with a score of 68 runs. Then Hardik Pandya played a brilliant 71* knockout from just 30 balls with seven fours and five sixes to end the innings at 208/6.

Pacers Nathan Ellis (3/30) and Josh Hazlewood (2/39) were the most successful Australian bowlers. In the chase of 209, openers Aaron Finch (22) and Cameron Green made a quickfire 39-run tie to give Australia a solid start. Green played some really impressive strokes and pulled off a 70-run tie with Steve Smith (35). Green was fired for an impressive 61 from 30 balls.

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Hereafter, Men in Blue made a comeback into the game, taking wickets from Smith, Glenn Maxwell (1) and Josh Inglis (17) within a space of just 36 runs. But wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade (45*) and rookie Tim David (18) stitched a 62-run tie to help the Aussies win the game by four wickets, ending the innings at 211/6. Cameron Green was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his 61 and 1/46.

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