Dubai: Australia skippers old and new combined to put Australia in command against India in the second T20 in Sydney. New skipper Matthew Wade and Steve Smith hit commanding knocks to lift the hosts to a competitive 194 for five on Sunday.
Wade, who was promoted to the captaincy after Aaron Finch was ruled out with injury, smacked 58 and Smith chipped in with 46 after India had won the toss and opted to bowl first.
Wade was run out in farcical conditions when he was dropped at the third attempt by Virat Kohli at over but turned his back and then belatedly tried to make his ground before Kohli’s throw to wicketkeeper KL Rahul.
Smith alerted him to Kohli’s fumble but Wade was almost walking away before the dropped catch and it was too late to recover his ground.
It was a big wicket for India after Wade had belted 10 fours and a six off 32 balls.
Smith was caught at the third attempt by Hardik Pandya at long-off from leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal off 38 balls with three fours and two sixes.
India removed danger man Glenn Maxwell before too much damage was inflicted, caught by Washington Sundar at point off Shardul Thakur for 22 off 13 balls with two sixes.
Moises Henriques was caught behind and confirmed on review off Thangarasu Natarajan for 26 off 18 balls.
D’Arcy Short, who played second-fiddle to Wade in the opening partnership of 47, fell to a leaping catch by Shreyas Iyer at deep midwicket off Natarajan for nine.
Marcus Stonis, back from a side strain, was there at the finish with an unbeaten 16 with debutant Daniel Sams on eight.
Natarajan was the best of India’s bowlers with two for 20.
Australia also went into the game without their pace spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
Starc was withdrawn on compassionate grounds due to a family illness and will miss the final two matches of the series, while Hazlewood has a back injury.
India made three changes from the team that won the opening game in Canberra Friday, with Deepak Chahar replacing concussed Ravindra Jadeja, Shardal Thakur coming in for rested Mohammed Shami and Shreyas Iyer in for Manish Pandey, who has an elbow niggle.
The match is the second in the three-game T20 series and follows the ODI series, won 2-1 by the Australians.