India romped home to a 37-run win over Australia in the first Twenty20 International thanks to some impressive bowling and a Virat Kohli blitzkrieg. Praising the performance of the visitors, former captain Sunil Gavaskar said that India look like favourites to win the World Twenty20 at home, starting March 8.
Kohli smashed an unbeaten 90 off 55 balls to take India to a total of 188 for three. The Indian bowling, which was shoddy in the ODI series, finally put their hands up and leading the charge was Jasprit Bumrah, who impressed in the Sydney ODI and was playing his debut Twenty20 international.
Bumrah picked up three wickets and was backed brilliantly by a returning Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who both took two wickets apiece.
The performance that saw India take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20 series, came in for heavy praise from Gavaskar.
"India certainly looking good ahead of World T20 and the team is shaping up nicely. They look like the favourites to win the tournament," Gavaskar told a TV Channel.
Praising Kohli's current form Gavaskar said, "He is looking like a batsmen from another planet. Kohli is making batting look so simple. Bowlers don't know how stop a man who is in such great touch."
The legendary India opener praised Bumrah's effort and said the lengths that he was bowling in both the Sydney ODI and the Adelaide Twenty20 were perfect.
"His action is a help. Batsmen will take time to get used to his action. He is bowling the yorkers and he is not bowling the length to hit. He did that in the Sydney game and that is why India could control Australia. My advice to the senior bowlers would be to learn from Bumrah and see how he is bowling," said Gavaskar.
The spinners had also come for some stick during the ODI series which India lost 1-4. Ashwin was surprisingly dropped for the final three one-dayers. But, he made a sterling comeback - taking two wickets and giving away just 28 runs in his four overs. Jadeja had even better figures, scalping two wickets for just 21 runs in his four overs.
"Spinners were bowling great lines and angles. They got the length right as well. A good length ball can be lofted. An adjustment of foot and a half made the difference. Ashwin went around the wicket and made it difficult for the batsmen to score. The support staff and the bowling coach should be complimented," opined Gavaskar.
Meanwhile, it was double bonanza for Indian cricket fans as the women's cricket team also beat Australia, who are the reigning world T20 champions, in a record chase.
To make it a wonderful day, India were also crowned the new World No. 1 in Tests
The match - which was also played at the Adelaide Oval - ended a few hours prior to the start of the men's T20 match and Gavaskar said that would have been a source of inspiration for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men.
"The Indian girls must have inspired our men in Adelaide by beating Aussies. It has been a great gift to the nation on Republic Day," said Gavaskar.