MELBOURNE // India revived their Australian tour with a convincing eight-wicket win over the home side in the second Twenty20 international yesterday.
The tourists dazzled in the field with four run outs to restrict Australia to 131 off 19.4 overs before reaching the target at 135 for two with two balls to spare before 62,275 fans.
It was India's first victory on their tour of Australia after losing the opening T20 game by 31 runs in Sydney on Wednesday and being beaten 4-0 in the Test series.
Australia were sunk by India's brilliant fielding, the pick of which came from Ravindra Jadeja, the man of the match, who claimed two run outs.
Gautam Gambhir top-scored with 56 off 60 balls, with MS Dhoni, the captain, not out 21 off 18 balls after promoting himself to No 4 in the batting order.
"The fielding was exceptional. Best fielding side, I've seen. It will be hard to beat this effort," Dhoni said. "We are a side that relies a lot on a good start, not about the runs. A good, calm start is what we look for. Overall, it was a good effort by the bowlers and equally by the top three batsmen."
The Indians were always in control of the run chase, but tensions mounted in the final over as the Australians ringed the field around Gambhir before he pierced the circle for the winning runs with two balls to spare.
The impressive victory was just the momentum switch that India needed ahead of tomorrow's opening match in the triangular one-day series against Australia in the same venue.
The opener Aaron Finch, one of three changes from Australia's win in the opening T20 game, top-scored with 36 and Matthew Wade chipped in with 32.
But India had the home side under pressure from the third over when they had David Warner dismissed for eight to a great catch in the deep by a back-pedalling Gambhir off Praveen Kumar.
The Test flop Shaun Marsh was out for a two-ball duck and Finch was run out by an outstanding piece of fielding by Jadeja after David Hussey hit the ball straight to him at backward point and scampered for a single.
* Agence France-Presse