Clinical Australia keep T20I series alive

Australia have made a strong comeback in the series with an overwhelming win over India at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati. It marks a turning point in this T20I series. The Indian team had a rare off day as the Australians displayed a good all-round performance.

The visitors won the toss and opted to field first. They made one change to their line-up, bringing Marcus Stoinis in for Daniel Christian whereas Team India went unchanged.

Rohit Sharma gave the Indian team an ideal start when he smashed two boundaries in the first over against Jason Behrendorff but the Aussie quick came back hard and dismissed Rohit Sharma. The Indian skipper then departed for a second-ball duck, as he was dismissed caught and bowled in the same over and the hosts were in early trouble. It was Kohli’s first ever duck in T20Is. Behrendoff then got the wicket of Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan as well to leave India reeling at 27/4.

Adding a partnership was the need of the hour and Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni had a task on their hands. Meanwhile, Jason Behrendorff was bowled out and finished with the best bowling figures by an Aussie bowler against India in T20Is. India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Hardik Pandya tried his best and got the Indian team to cross the 100-run mark. Adam Zampa bowled extremely well too and finished with 2/19 in his 4 overs, which included the wickets of MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav.

Australia kept it tight and bowled India out for just 118. It was a clinical performance by the Aussies to restrict India to a low total. It was going to take a special performance from India to defend this total and clinch the series.

India needed an early breakthrough and Jasprit Bumrah gave them the right start when he dismissed the Australian skipper. David Warner mistimed one and Virat Kohli at covers took a safe catch. Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed the second victim of the match when in-form Aaron Finch played one straight to Kohli.

Travis Head and Moises Henriques stuck together and added a crucial stand for the Aussies. Both of them were getting the odd boundaries in an over and the momentum was in their favour. The duo kept getting and better and better and the Indian bowlers failed to apply pressure and get a further breakthrough.

Head and Henriques finished things off quickly and Australia chased down the total with 8 wickets in hand. It was a clinical performance from the Aussies. It also brought an end to India’s winning streak against the Aussies in T20Is. The partnership between the duo was also the highest partnership by Australia against India for the third wicket. It was also a record partnership in India in T20Is. Moises Henriques finished with a boundary after his unbeaten fifty and Travis Head finished on 48, missing his half-century by a whisker as Australia kept the series alive.

So, it all comes down to the decider now on Friday. Australia came back hard today and sent a strong message to the hosts. With a win each, it promises to be an exciting final T20I in Hyderabad.


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