Australia’s response was led by their skipper Aaron Finch, who rode his luck during his 75. Glenn Maxwell continued his big-hitting brilliance, smashing 59 from 38 with the aid of four sixes. However, once Jasprit Bumrah castled him, the path to India’s victory was clear. Shardul Thakur had an impressive first game, claiming three for 51, although getting Steve Smith strangled down did not involve a lot of skill.
Speaking after the victory, India captain Kohli described the victory as pleasing. “We were under the pump for the first half of our innings, and second half of Australia's, and we fought back both times. One guy (Natarajan) making his debut, Shubman coming back, that brought us some freshness,” he said.
“I think the pitch was much better in terms of helping the bowlers, so obviously the confidence levels go up. We were able to put Australia under pressure because of that fact as well. Playing international cricket for 13-14 years, you should be able to come back like we did.
“I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but we had a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. It was exactly what the team needed to get that boost, even though we've lost the series. We played with heart and desire, and that's what you need to do in Australia," he further said.
Pandya, who was the man of the match, added that he has been working really hard to make a comeback. "It's fantastic. Been working really hard to make sure I play for my country, so I'm really happy to be playing this series.”
On Natarajan’s debut, he added, “Natarajan is quite a story, quite an inspiration with the background he's come from. You need to be on your toes to compete against Australia. I feel that you always have that extra edge in you when you play against Australia, you want to face up to that challenge."
--By A Cricket Correspondent