Indians would argue that they are at least on familiar territory, playing intense but easy T20 instead of grueling 5 day encounters. However that argument can cool off in the freezer, as Australia again took the wind out of their sails.
Batting first, they made a professional 171, harping on a super opening bid by Matthew Wade. Wade, who poses a serious threat to Brad Haddin, as a keeping prospect even in tests, made the most of his chance by striking 3 sixes and 5 fours in his 72. In the process, he was part of three partnerships over 30; 35 with Warner, 41 with Birt and 56 with Hussey. In the context of T20, 30 is like 100. Hussey made a sparkling 42, and the debutante skipper Bailey finished it off.
In reply, the Indians looked like back to their confident stature in the pre-Powerplay overs, crossing 50, but then fell into a heap with the quick dismissals of Gautam, Virat and Rohit. Rohit, who has been warming the benches since mid-December, lasted only 1 delivery, a scorcher from David Hussey. Just prior to that, the veteran Hogg, returning into international quest at 40 dismissed Kohli in his 1st over.
Thereafter, the only thing that went up was the required rate. Indians were only biding their time, and every time someone looked to pep the momentum, he was cleaned. It was only Dhoni with his helicopter shots and brilliant bat speed, which provided the cheers and threw the cat among the pigeons for the extremely optimistic Indians. In the end, all he managed was reduce the deficit to 31.
There is another T20 to play, and for India, there are only two positives from this match. One is Dhoni getting some toasts off his middle, and the other is Rahul Sharma bowling beautifully amid the carnage.