Canberra: Yuzvendra Chahal turned out to be an unlikely hero for India in the first T20I against Australia as the leg-spinner picked up three crucial wickets to hand his side a victory by 11 runs at the Manuka Oval on Friday.
Chahal, who came in as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja after the latter suffered from hamstring and a hit to the helmet, made for his poor bowling show in the ODI series as India went on to take a 1-0 lead in three-match series.
Jadeja nonetheless played a vital knock of 44 runs off just 23 balls to guide India to 161/7. KL Rahul was the top scorer with 51 runs.
In response, Australia began quite well with skipper Aaron Finch (35) and D’ Arcy Short (34) stitching a 56-run opening stand. But Chahal made the difference with the ball and so did debutant T Natarajan, who returned with figures of 3/30. Chahal was named Man of the Match.
The next game would be played in Sydney on 6 December.
Brief scores: India 161/7 (Rahul 51, Jadeja 44; Henriques 3/22) beat Australia 150/7 (Finch 35, Short 34, Chahal 3/25) by 11 runs.