Axar Patel’s mandatory three-fer, Suryakumar’s mavericks, and Hardik’s heroics at the end ensured India’s series victory over Australia.
India and Australia both returned to the starting lineups from the first Twenty20 match as the second game required some adjustments due to the reduced overs.
India won the toss and chose to bowl first as the ground was known for chasing down totals.
Australia came out with all guns blazing, striking at nearly 15 per over after the powerplay. Axar Patel once again got the better of skipper Finch in his opening over, capitalizing on his towering stature and exploiting the Australians’ recurrent problems against left-arm spinners.
Wickets fell in fast succession as the Indians retreated after fielding limitations were eased, and the run rate eventually fell. Axar was brought back in the middle overs and suffocated them together with Harshal before Tim David assumed control. The hard-hitting t20 international hero battled the seamers late in the game, and his quick-fire half-century helped his team to a big total of 186.
The return of the King Kohli
Who else? The king himself. It is undeniable that the king has found his feet and appears more hungry than ever. After the initial burst of the two openers, Kohli played second fiddle to Suryakumar, who was in his element. In an attempt to play the situation, Surya got out after a century stand. Surya made a counter-attacking 36-ball 69, while Kohli took 8 overs for his well-compiled score of 63.
Once again, Surya and Virat were the cornerstones of the Indian innings as they proved to be a formidable pair. Surya has enjoyed his role at number 4 since he made his debut. They’ve had some good stands together. Virat and Surya, who would have thought?
From foes to friends: A SKY-Kohli tale
Surya’s dismissal meant it was time for India’s iceman, Hardik Pandya, to do what he does best. The Australians attempted to strangle him for room by bowling wide yorkers and packed fielders on off-side with an additional third man and a short third. Hardik had used his intelligence to scoot across the field and smoke one of those deliveries over long-on before bisecting the packed offside fielders to win the series. His 16-ball 25 proved to be mactchwinning.
The series victory also marked India’s 21st T20I win in the calendar year, the most ever recorded by a team in men’s T20Is. Pakistan had held the record until now with 20 T20I wins in the year 2021.
India drew level with the Thailand women’s team, which recorded 21 victories and four losses in 2019.
Player of the series
Axar Patel was the player of the series as he ended his outing with 8 wickets to his name in 3 games.
Cameron Green is the series’ revelation, having not only two fifties but also demonstrating his ability to fill in with some overs as he firmly pushes his case for the World Cup.