Virat Kohli slammed an unbeaten 90 before a collective effort by the Indian bowlers gave the visitors a resounding start in the Twenty20 series against Australia with a 37-run victory in the first match in Adelaide, on Tuesday.
The in-form Kohli faced 55 balls in his whirlwind knock, which was laced by nine fours and two sixes, to propel India to a healthy 188 for three in their 20 overs after being put into bat at the Adelaide Oval.
The Indian bowlers came up with an impressive display as they bundled out the hosts for 151 in 19.3 overs to record only their second win on the tour so far. The remaining two T20 matches will be played in Melbourne (January 29) and Sydney (January 31).
Chasing 189, Australia got off to a rollicking start with Aaron Finch (44) and David Warner (17) plundering runs off Ashish Nehra and Ravichandran Ashwin in the early overs.
Ashwin, who shared the new ball with Nehra, was hit for 17 runs in his first over, and Nehra also went for runs as Australia raced to 34 for no loss at the end of three overs.
Debutant Jasprit Bumrah bowled well to apply brakes, giving away only three runs in his first over, before removing Warner in his next over, who was caught at mid-on. He finished with impressive figures of three for 23, while Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya claimed two wickets each.
Steve Smith (21) joined Finch in the middle and the duo brought Australia back on track as they put on a quick stand of 42 runs for the second wicket. They were harsh on debutant Pandya, who was taken for 19 runs in his first over in international cricket, inclusive of five wides.
But Jadeja bowled superbly in the middle overs, dismissing Smith in the ninth over, caught in the covers off a leading edge.
The initiative was wrested back to India when Ashwin returned to trap Finch leg before wicket in the 10th over, and Jadeja did the same to Travis Head (2) in the next over as both players were dismissed attempting to play the sweep shot against the spinners.
Australia suffered a rare batting collapse against the Indians as they lost three wickets for four runs in the space of 12 deliveries and were reduced to 93 for four after 11 overs.
Veteran Shane Watson (12) hit a couple lusty blows to keep Australia's hopes alive, before he top edged a sweep shot against Ashwin, and was caught by Nehra at short fine leg.
Pandya made a good comeback with the ball as he got the wickets of Chris Lynn and Matthew Wade off successive deliveries to continue India's wicket ways.
Bumrah finished off the tailenders as he bowled James Faulkner with a quick yorker, which came in sharply in the 18th over, while he foxed Cameron Boyce in the final over to finish off the Australians on 151 in 19.3 overs.
India batsman Virat Kohli struck an unbeaten 55-ball 90 to help India post a challenging total.
Put into bat at the Adelaide Oval, Kohli put on 134 runs for the third wicket with Suresh Raina (41 runs, 34 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) and notched up his highest personal T20 score, to dominate the Australian attack.
Opener Rohit Sharma (31 runs, 20 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) set the ball rolling with a four and a six in the first over, but was bowled by Shaun Tait (0-45). Thanks to Rohit, the run-rate shot up to ten-per-over in the first four overs even as Shikhar Dhawan (5) was out early.
Cameron Boyce dropped Rohit in the 4th over, but it didn't cost Australia too much. Shane Watson (2-24) struck in the very next over as Rohit departed after an explosive start, caught at mid on. India faced a double blow soon after as Dhawan played an ugly shot four balls later, off a bouncer, only to be caught behind.
Once Kohli and Raina came together they went about rebuilding the Indian innings. They kept up the tempo initially, taking advantage of the Powerplay overs as the 50 -mark came up in the sixth over.
For the first nine overs, the Men in Blue scored at over eight-per-over, but Watson and Boyce (0-23) managed to pull things back a bit, despite Kohli hitting out against the leg-spinner.
Their 50-partnership came up in the 12th over, off 39 balls, while Kohli reached his 10th T20I half-century off only 32 balls in the 14th over.
There was an urgent need to up the scoring thereafter, but early on Raina looked rusty in his shot-making even as his partner had no difficulty in finding the gaps.
Once India had reached the 100-mark in the 13th over Kohli came out all guns blazing, attacking the bowlers and picking boundaries at ease, crossing his highest individual score in T20I cricket in the bargain.
The 150-mark came up in the 18th over as both batsmen looked to throw their bat at everything.
Raina was finally bowled in the final over by Faulkner as he shuffled across a long way but missed a lo full toss.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11 not out) then marched out to the crease, and smacked a six and a four straight away, as 28 runs came off the final two overs.
Earlier the hosts handed Travis Head his debut, while Chris Lynn, Watson and Tait returned to the international fold. India too brought in Hardik Pandya for his international debut, while Jasprit Bumrah was handed his first T20I cap.