Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli shine as India clinch series 2-1
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Three enthralling encounters, three exciting finishes!
Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli were the architects of the victory in the decider, with stellar half-centuries, as India defeated Australia by six wickets to seal the series 2-1.
Australia started and finished strongly with Cameron Green and Tim David scoring half-centuries to help the team reach 186/7.
Thankfully, the forecast of rain did not affect the game and the fans witnessed a complete match after an eight-overs-a-side game in the second T20I.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first.
For Team India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned to the side in place of Rishabh Pant after missing out in Nagpur. Deepak Hooda was unavailable for selection owing to a back injury.
Meanwhile, Josh Inglis replaced Sean Abbot for the visitors.
Cameron Green, who is having a stunning series as an opener, came out with an attacking mindset yet again as Australia raced to 40/0 in just three overs, with the 23-year-old scoring 37 of them.
The Men in Blue got their first breakthrough in the form of Aaron Finch, with Axar Patel bagging a wicket in the fourth over.
Shortly after, opener Cameron Green blazed towards his half-century in just 19 balls, just before departing off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the fifth over.
At the end of powerplay, Australia were dominating despite both their openers back in the pavilion, with the scorecard reading 66/2.
In the very next over, the hosts missed a golden chance to dismiss the dangerous-looking Steve Smith after Axar Patel dropped a sitter at backward point.
However, Axar Patel made up for the dropped catch with some splendid work in the field. An electric throw at the striker’s end sent Glenn Maxwell packing.
Steve Smith’s dismissal followed thereafter as the hosts did well to make a comeback and bring the run rate down from 11 in the powerplay to 8.5 at the end of 10 overs.
Axar Patel returned to take the twin wickets of Josh Inglis and in-form Matthew Wade with some fantastic bowling in the 14th over.
With Aussies in trouble, the Mumbai Indians’ duo of Tim David and Daniel Sams combined for a important 68-run partnership to propel their side to 186/7, with the former scoring his first international half-century in the process.
Chasing 187, India were dealt a blow as KL Rahul departed in the first over itself after scoring a solitary run.
Rohit Sharma got out in the fourth over for a 14-ball 17 off Pat Cummins as Aussies continued to pile pressure on the hosts.
India reached 50/2 at the end of the powerplay phase as Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav steadied the innings after early setbacks.
The two batters continued the revival with some glorious strokes. India reached 91/2 half-way through the innings, keeping up with the asking rate.
Mumbai Indians’ Suryakumar Yadav completed his 50 with a six off Adam Zampa’s fourth ball of the 13th over.
Australia, however, got a breather after SKY departed for a well made 69 off 36 balls in the next over, not before completing a 104-run partnership with Virat Kohli to put India in a decent position.
With 32 needed off three overs, momentum was very much in favour of the home side.
Nonetheless, India reached within touching distance of the victory despite Virat Kohli getting dismissed in the final over.
Hardik Pandya hit the winning runs with a boundary off the fifth ball of the final over to help team India get over the line in a close clash.
Brief scores: Australia 186/7 in 20 overs (Tim David 54, Axar Patel 3/33) lost to India 187/4 (Suryakumar Yadav 69, Daniel Sams 2/33) by six wickets
Riding high on confidence, Team India will next host South Africa in a limited overs series (three T20Is and ODIs each) starting September 28 before boarding the flight to Australia for the ICC T20 World Cup.
On the other hand, Australia will continue their preparations for the mega event with two seperate T20I series against West Indies and England at home.