BRISBANE: Glenn Maxwell smacked 46 runs off 24 balls to fire Australia to 158-4 in the rain-hit opening T20 against India at the Gabba here on Wednesday.
Rain cut the game short to 17-overs a side and thus, by DLS method, India have been set a target of 174 runs.
Maxwell hit four sixes in his whirlwind knock before rain came, after Chris Lynn scored 37 runs off 20 balls to help Australia recover from a slow start.
This was after India won the toss and opted to bowl on a surprisingly green wicket.
Kuldeep Yadav was picked ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal as expected, while the hosts also included a spinner in Adam Zampa and left out medium pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-15) and Jasprit Bumrah (1-21) got India off to a good start but Aaron Finch (27) pulled things back a bit.
Khaleel Ahmed (1-42) got the initial breakthrough as D'Arcy Short (7) was caught at long on. The left-arm pacer proved expensive thereafter.
Kuldeep took a sensational catch running back to dismiss Short, and from there onwards, he had a marked influence on the game.
Later, he also picked up 2-24 in his four-over spell. He dismissed Finch and then sent back Lynn as well, reducing Australia to 75-3 in the 11th over.
Apart from Yadav's stunning effort, India were rather poor in the field.
Skipper Virat Kohli had dropped Finch in the fourth over, a straight chance spilled at cover, and then misfielded later on as well.
Ahmed too dropped Marcus Stoinis (33 not out off 19 balls) late in the Australian innings, while Maxwell should have been run-out.
Finch took advantage of the reprieve and put on 40 runs off 26 balls with Lynn for the second wicket.
But it was Maxwell who stole the show with his belligerent hitting as Australia crossed 150 in the 16th over.
He put on 78 runs off 37 balls with Stoinis as Indian bowlers proved expensive even before the death overs began.
Krunal Pandya went for 0-55 in his four overs before rain intervened and nearly 45 minutes were lost owing to stormy conditions.
The match was curtailed thereafter, sucking out momentum from the Australian innings and leaving them only five deliveries on resumption of play.
Bumrah bowled cleverly, conceding only five runs after the disruption, whilst Australia still finished with a challenging total on the board.