India Vs Australia T20I Cricket: India Now Looking More Like the Team It Had Been!


Although the ‘experiment’ scare is far from over Team India is now looking more like the one it had been in the national sense as regards the international tournaments. Doing justice to the expectations of a decider the third and last T20I match in Hyderabad last night went down the wire keeping the thrill on till the penultimate ball of the match. It was a high-scoring match in a pitch that helped both the batsmen and the bowlers. Australia put up an imposing target of 187 runs for India after Rohit Sharma won the toss for the second time. And India skillfully handled the early losses of both their openers with Virat Kohli (63) and Suryakumar Yadav (69) having a rollicking partnership of 104 runs thus nearing the target with enough wickets left. However, the ride was still not without thorns as the Aussie fast bowlers started delivering beauties and scoring boundaries was difficult. With the demolition-man Suryakumar gone Kohli and Pandya got into some kind of a spot—India needing 32 in 3, then 21 in 2 and finally 11 in the last over. Before getting out in the second ball Kohli did an immense service by hitting the first ball of the last over by Sams for a six and the target got tantalizingly reduced to just 5 in 4 balls. Dinesh Karthik came in and scored a single off the third ball. Pandya failed to connect a outside-off wide fourth ball and with the wide not given the equation got a little tough with 4 runs in 2 balls. Luckily, Pandya managed to nick another wide ball and the lone slip fielder missed it. It went to a four in the third man area and India won the match by 6 wickets and the Mastercard T20I Series against Australia 2-1, thus providing the much-needed impetus for the team to go to Australia next month for the World Cup.

 


The defending World T20 Champions Australia would’ve much liked it to go home with a series victory to prepare well for the tournament in their own turfs. Apart from the match being a very close one that could’ve gone in either direction there were huge positives for Australia though: it fought all-out to win the first match and could’ve won the next two also; their pace and spin bowlers coming good most of the times to put the hosts under pressure; their batting depth remaining perfect as ever to help the team come out of any adversity; and the revelation that Cameron Green as an opener proved for the team and the management. This exciting new-age power-cricketer has become a tremendous prospect for Australia in the coming World Cup and his sparkling performance has put up question marks for the retention of quite a few stalwarts including even the legendary Steve Smith in the playing T20 eleven in the World Cup. Refreshingly enough, Green has debuted successfully in all the three formats during the last two years only. In this match he notched up his second half century (52 in just 21) and also bowled beautifully and economically.

 


The last five-over woes continue to rattle India though with their bowlers conceding too many runs in those death overs consistently in the last few internationals. Of course, the main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah has come back to the team, but it’d be unrealistic to expect him to strike immediately after almost rusting for weeks. More hopefully, now in the company of Bumrah the other class pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is set to pick up soon. For the second time, spinner Axar Patel stole the show by capturing three vital wickets apart being part of the crucial runout of Glen Maxwell. This time he was joined effectively by Yuzvendra Chahal who removed Steve Smith early. Their efforts reduced Australia to a precarious 117/6 in 14th over when Tim David came to the rescue with a brilliant innings of 54 in 27 balls. Daniel Sams did a cameo of 28 in 20 balls to aid David and the team. Next, India meets South Africa at home too in the last three-match T20I Series before the start of the World Cup. Pandya is supposed to be rested for that Series; we pray against more experiments and the only exception should be Rishabh Pant who was dropped for the third match.


(Photos from bcci.tv)

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