Brisbane: India fought valiantly, but fell short by four runs in the first T20I against Australia at the Gabba on Tuesday. India were widely tipped to be the favourites, given the hosts' much-depleted side, but the Aussies showed they are a tough nut to crack at home.

Australia made their way 155/4 in 17 overs, before their innings was cut short by rain. India got D'Arcy Short early, but captain Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn went after the bowlers. Kuldeep Yadav got rid of Lynn, forcing the dangerous Australian batsman to mistime his shot. Kuldeep completed a good, low catch off his own bowling. 

Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis then went for the jugular, as Krunal Pandya was picked out for special treatment. The left-arm orthodox bowler, who has been a hit in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Mumbai Indians, found himself to be at the wrong end of some pasting, especially by Maxwell, who smashed Pandya for a hat-trick of sixes in the 14th over. Khaleel Ahmed also leaked runs, going at 14 runs off his three overs. 

India's target was revised to 174 in 17th overs courtesy Duckworth-Lewis-Stern. The visitors lost Rohit Sharma cheaply, but his opening Shikhar Dhawan unleashed an array of shots. Surprisingly, it was not captain and best batsman of the side Virat Kohli who came in at the fall of Rohit's wicket, but it was KL Rahul. The Karnataka batsman found it difficult to get going, as India lost momentum. Rahul crawled his way to 13 off 12 balls, before succumbing to the leg-spin of Adam Zampa. 

Kohli came in with the score reading 94/3, but soon departed for a measly four, with an uncharacteristically slow strike rate of 50. Dhawan didn't last long either, but made a handsome 76 off 42 balls before being caught on the third man boundary. His innings had given India a strong platform, and in Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik India had two strong hands who could take them over the line. 

The Australian bowlers, however, stuck to their task and an atrocious shot by Pant brought about his downfall. Karthik hit four fours and a six, but could not do an encore to his performance at the Nidahas Trophy final.