Debutant Thangarasu Natarajan shone as he picked up three wickets in the first T20 International match against Australia on Friday. With an equal contribution from Yuzvendra Chahal, India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the match that was held in Canberra.
Batting first, India’s KL Rahul scored 51 runs off 40 deliveries to become the top-scorer for the side. Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 44 from 23 balls as India posted 161 runs for seven wickets in their designated 20 overs. Moises Henriques was the most successful Australian bowler with 3/22.
Chasing a target of 162, Australia could only score 150 for seven wickets with captain Aaron Finch scoring the maximum runs for his side with 35 runs. Yuzvendra Chahal, who was brought in as a concussion substitute in Jadeja’s place picked up three wickets giving away only 25 runs while T Natarajan, who played his first international T20 game on Friday picked up three wickets for 30 runs. Deepak Chahar picked up one wicket.
Friday’s game also sparked controversy around the rules of bringing in a substitute player for concussion. Yuzvendra Chahal was not part of the playing 11 but was brought in as a substitute for Jadeja, who suffered an injury during India’s innings. The decision to bring in Chahal irked Australian coach Justin Langer, who was seen engaging in an argument with David Boon, the match referee.
Jadeja was seen limping immediately after being hit on the head by a Mitchell Starc delivery in the 20th over of the Indian innings. The all-rounder had also taken a break after the third ball of the 19th over and his injury, which looked like a hamstring, had to be tended to.
The injury, however, did not impact his big-hitting as he hit 24 off the next seven balls he faced to take India to 161/7. But the way he walked off the field after the innings did not make for a pleasant sight. The left-arm spinner, whose 44 on Sunday is now the highest score for an Indian batsman at No. 7 or below in T20Is, was seen limping off the field.
"Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the helmet in the final over of the first innings of the first T20I. Yuzvendra Chahal will take the field in the 2nd innings as a concussion substitute. Jadeja is currently being assessed by the BCCI medical team," BCCI confirmed in a tweet.
Jadeja's unbeaten 66 against the Aussies in the final ODI on Wednesday was also responsible for taking India to a match-winning 302-run total. He had also picked the important wicket of captain Aaron Finch in that last ODI.