India bagged the three-match T20I series 2-1 against Australia after winning the third and final T20I by six wickets on Sunday in Hyderabad.
In the series decider, India won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. In-form opener Cameron Green started off the game with in blazing fashion as he attacked the Indian bowlers to slam 52 off just 21 deliveries, an innings that featured seven fours and three sixes. The allrounder gave his team a blistering start and then the young Tim David drove the innings further.
Australia set 187 runs for India to chase. The men in blue had a little disappointing start as their opener KL Rahul went back after adding only a single and then their skipper Rohit Sharma, who looked in fine nick, also went back to the pavilion having scored 17 off 14.
Virat Kohli then stabilised India’s run chase but the highlight of the match was Suryakumar Yadav. He came out all guns blazing, scoring runs all around the park, giving his team the perfect momentum.
Following which India chased down the target.
Here’s a look at talking points of the game:
Suryakumar was just phenomenal. He played a magnificent knock of 69 off 36, including five fours and as many sixes. With a strike-rate of more than 190, SKY dazzled in Hyderabad. He struck a stylish six to get to his fifty in just 29 balls. The charismatic batter decimated the Aussie bowling attack as he walked back to the pavilion to a standing ovation from his teammates and the cheering crowd.
Kohli build a steady innings after India lost their openers Rohit and Rahul with only 30 runs on the board. He took the backseat as Suryakumar went after the bowlers. The duo stitched a century stand for the third wicket and once Suryakumar was dismissed, Kohli took over the baton and began scoring some quick runs. He made 63 off 48, including three fours and four sixes.
Axar Spins a Web
With Ravindra Jadeja injured, Axar Patel has a golden opportunity to prove his credentials. And he seems to be on a mission to do just that. In the Australia series, the left-arm spinner bowled phenomenally well. He bagged the man of the series award as with eight wickets to his name and was also the highest wicket-taker from either side.
Death Bowling Woes
India leaked 63 runs in last five overs. It’s an old story though. However, the weakness cost them dearly at the Asia Cup 2022 where they failed to make it to the final. Back then, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were absent as they recovered from injuries and it was expected the duo will the answer to India’s death-overs woes. However, so far, their return hasn’t addressed the issue.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal have been leaking plenty of runs. With T20 World Cup approaching, India would be desperate to find a solution.
David Shows His Power
Youngster Tim David has proven himself in this series. He scored a maiden T20I fifty on Sunday - 54 off 27 - justifying the hype and his selection in the Australian team. After the bowlers had taken control in the middle overs, David made up for it in the death overs. He was particularly harsh on Bhuvneshwar whom he hit for two sixes and a four in consecutive deliveries.
(With Agency Inputs)