KL Rahul (57 off 33) and Suryakumar Yadav (50 off 33) smashed entertaining half-centuries to power India to 186 for seven after Australia opted to bowl at the Gabba.
With 16 runs from the last 12 balls with six wickets in hand, Australia were on course for a comfortable win before Shami, Harshal Patel and Virat Kohli produced a fielding turnaround for India.
AS IT HAPPENED
Shami, who last played a competitive match in July and landed here after suffering a long bout of COVID-19, turned up to bowl the last over of the match and made a decisive impact on the match .
He landed yorker after yorker and finished with three wickets in the over, apart from a run out. Shami was included in the squad as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah.
In the penultimate over, the under-fire Harshal Patel delivered after being hammered early as he conceded just five runs in an over that also included a brilliant run from a Kohli direct hit.
The star batsman from India also plucked a stunning one-handed catch out of the air at the boundary line to defeat Pat Cummins.
However, concerns about India’s bowling remain ahead of their tournament opener against Pakistan on October 23.
India win a thriller! They beat Australia by 6 runs during their warm up match in Brisbane 👏 #T20WorldCup | S… https://t.co/XdipZoVhgq
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“There is room for improvement but I want more consistency from the bowlers. You have to keep things simple and hit the deck hard. Overall a good game for us, they had a decent partnership and that got us down pressured,” says captain. Rohit Sharma.
On Shami’s match-winning effort, he said: “He’s coming back after a long time, so we wanted to give him an over. Wanted to give him a challenge and let him build the final over, and you saw what he did.”
Earlier, the Indian batsmen enjoyed the pace and bounce of the wicket, especially Rahul who scored the bulk of the runs in the showdown and took his side to 69 for no loss.
Rohit (15 off 14) was a mere spectator at the other end as Rahul came up with one classy hit after another.
During a stand of 78 runs between the openers, Rohit could hardly bat and could only open his account in the fifth over.
Innings Break! Half-centuries from @klrahul (57) & @surya_14kumar (50) propel #TeamIndia to a total of 186/7 on the… https://t.co/zk6sdI0pkh
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Rahul, whose strike rate has been questioned in the past, looked to be at his best after coming back from an injury lay-off.
His innings consisted of delightful cover drives from the pacers, while his standout knocks were the two sixes from Cummins, one a sharp pull while the other was a sweep of a good length ball, which sailed over deep mid-wicket.
Apart from Hardik Pandya (2), who was outdone by a slower ball from Kane Richardson, all the Indian batsmen spent some valuable time in the middle.
The bigger boundaries in Australia are already making an impact with Kohli (19 off 13), Dinesh Karthik (20 off 14), Rohit and Rahul being caught in the deep.
Karthik walked across the stumps to send Kane Richardson over deep mid-wicket but was caught just inside the boundary ropes by Glenn Maxwell. It would have been a six at a ground in India.
Kohli was bowled by Mitchell Starc to be caught at fine leg while Rohit’s batting sweep landed in the safe hands of Maxwell.
After a high-quality knock, Rahul couldn’t give a long bounce from Maxwell due to penalty and was caught at deep mid-wicket.
With the start India got, they should have reached 200 but couldn’t do it.
There was also another good knock from Suryakumar, who also scored a fifty against Western Australia in Perth. He and Rahul also got a taste of the extra bounce when they were both hit on the helmet.