Virat Kohli Helps India Salvage a T20I Series Draw With Australia
- India beat Australia by 6 wickets in the third and final T20 International in Sydney on Sunday, 25 November.
- The three-match series ended in a draw after the hosts won the first T20I and the second game was abandoned due to rain.
- Next up, India will play Australia in a four-match Test series starting 6 December.
Captain Virat Kohli’s heroics in the last over helped India defeat Australia by 6 wickets in the third and final T20 International in Sydney. With this win on Sunday, 25 November, the visitors managed to salvage a 1-1 draw in the three-match series which saw one game being abandoned due to rain.
India, who had come into the rubber at the back of winning seven T20I series in a row, lost to Australia by four runs in the series opener.
Kohli's unbeaten 61-run knock (off 41 balls) and his 60-run unbeaten stand with Dinesh Karthik (22 not out off 18) led India to successfully chase their target with two balls to spare. This, after Shikhar Dhawan (41 off 22 balls) and Rohit Sharma (23 off 16 balls) provided a flying start to the innings.
Earlier, Krunal Pandya took career-best figures of 4-36 as Australia were restricted to 164-6 in 20 overs.
Chasing 165, Dhawan and Sharma put on 50 runs off just 28 balls.
Both batsmen took the aerial route with aplomb and hit seven fours and four sixes between them to leave the Australian bowlers clueless. Overall, India scored 67-1 in the powerplay overs.
Mitchell Starc (1-26) had got the breakthrough in the sixth over, trapping Dhawan lbw via DRS referral. It put a momentary break on scoring as no runs were scored off the next eight balls, resulting in Sharma's dismissal, who played on off Adam Zampa (1-22).
KL Rahul (14) started off by scoring a monster six, and added 41 runs for the third wicket with Kohli. India crossed 100 in the 12th over, but the former started struggling for timing and holed out shortly afterwards.
It became a double blow as Rishabh Pant was out for a first-ball duck, gloving behind off a slower short ball from Andrew Tye (1-32).
India were in bit of a bother at that stage, but Kohli and Karthik brought out their shots. The latter played a perfect foil to Kohli as he struck a four and a six to bring down the asking rate.
Kohli meanwhile reached his 19th T20I half-century off 34 balls and took India home with two balls to spare.
Australia made one change to their line-up, with Mitchell Starc coming in for Jason Behrendorff. India picked an unchanged eleven.
Aaron Finch (28) and D'Arcy Short (33) provided a cautious start to the innings, although they picked up momentum quickly as the Indian pacers struggled in conditions vastly different from Brisbane and Melbourne.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-33) and Khaleel Ahmed (0-35) both proved expensive, while first-change Jasprit Bumrah (0-38) too didn't stem the flow of runs, as Australia raced to 49-0 at the end of powerplay overs.
The Finch-Short partnership put pressure on the Indian fielding, shoddy again, and Rohit Sharma put down a sitter off Finch (on 22) at the start of the eighth over off Pandya.
Kuldeep Yadav (1-19) then provided the much-awaited breakthrough as Finch was out caught sweeping at short fine leg.
It opened the doors to the Australian middle order. Glenn Maxwell (13) survived an lbw shout via DRS off Yadav, but Short and Ben McDermott (0) were dismissed lbw off successive balls in the tenth over as Pandya pegged Australia back.
The quick wickets disturbed Australia's momentum and they never really recovered, losing wickets at regular intervals in the second half of their innings. They had held back Chris Lynn (13) but he couldn't provide the requisite impetus, run-out in the 18th over.
In between Pandya also accounted for Maxwell, caught by Sharma in the end, as also the vital wicket of Alex Carey (27) who held the Australian middle order together after the initial setbacks.
Marcus Stoinis (25 not out off 15 balls) played an attacking cameo at the end, and put on 33 runs with Nathan Coulter-Nile (13 not out) as Australia finished with a score just above average (151) at this ground.
(With inputs from PTI)