Aus vs Ind 2nd T20: India 3 for 184 (Rohit 60, Kohli 59) beat Australia 8 for 157 (Finch 74, Jadeja 2-32, Bumrah 2-37) by 27 runs
It was a remarkable Carbon copy of the first T20 between the two sides, with Virat Kohli starring with the bat and then MS Dhoni’s slower bowlers doing the damage to hamper Australia’s chase towards the end. The 3 match T20 series between the dominant hosts Australia and the struggling visitors India is done and dusted, with 1 match to go already. The visitors have shocked the hosts to take the series 2-0, thanks to a Man of the Series performance from Virat Kohli in both outings, and not to mention, a brilliant effort from the spinners who took the Australians by storm throughout both the chases.
The T20 seems to be their thing, and why would it not be for the winners of the first ever ICC World T20 in 2007. Both India men and India women have won their opening 2 T20 games against the Kangaroos, which means both have taken the series 2-0, with a game to go before the tour reaches its business end.
It has to be said that this 3 match T20 series has been an outstanding preparation for an Indian team in transition. Signs are indeed promising for the men in blue, and heading into the World T20 at home, whatever momentum they can take from their remaining T20 games prior to the mega event would come their way as Gold.
The Indians have enjoyed a stunnign comeback following their highly demoralizing tour that started off with 4 heartbreaking wins on the bounce. What better way for revenge than to silence your rivals from down-under with 3 wins in a row against them on their own backyward. People might argue that this was a second-string or depleted Australian side, but nothing can be taken away from the fact that MS Dhoni’s men have outclassed the home-side in each of their last 3 meetings.
India’s top order seems to be clicking just at the perfect of times, with the World T20 under 2 months away. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawarn rocketed their side to a lightening fast start, with 100 coming inside the first 11 overs. Dhawan’s dismissal did not stop Sharma from hitting freely, who reached his half century on only his 36th delivery.
Kohli displayed the usual Virat Kohli red-hot form we have been so used to of seeing throughout the tour. He went ballistic alongside Rohit, though the latter fell tragically to a horrible runout, striking doubts over whether the Indians would slump before reaching 200, because that was a score pretty much on the cards, given the brilliant start.
Kohli finished unbeaten with yet another half century, with featured 7 thumping boundaries and 1 massive six. His heroics were aided by a tiny little cameo by skipper MS Dhoni to make sure India finished strong at 184, considering they did have the adequate bowling firepower at their disposal to defend such a total.
The Australian chase started off just in the fashion the hosts needed to regain command over the series. Marsh and Finch absolutely mauled the Indian fast bowlers all over the park to reach 94 without the loss of a single wicket. Finch had already reached his half century off 27 deliveries, thanks to 8 smashy boundaries and 1 huge six.
It was then that the Australian collapse kicked off. First Finch seemed to be hobbling holding his hamstring, and it was quite evident that the Aussie skipper was in some discomfort. Marsh was bagged by a disciplined Ravichandran Ashwin, and in no time, Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell had joined him in the stands.
It took the hosts just 2 overs to slip From 94-0 to 101-3, allowing the Indian spinners to turn the game on its head in remarkable fashion. Jadeja’s stunning catch and bowl effort left a struggling Shane Watson begging, and it was all down to an injured Finch to try and rescue his side from anotherr slip up. Though, Finch’s injury got the better of him, with the opener failing to keep up to the pace, and hence resulting in his own runout.
Australia’s last hope was secured in the Faulkner and Wade duo, but Jadeja once again burst on the scene and booked the former with a clinical stumping from his skipper Dhoni. The run rate went well out of the reach of the Kangaroos in the end, who fell to a disappointing 27 run defeat at home. With their latest setback, the Aussie are have not only lost the series 2-0, but are in danger of a humiliating whitewash at home.
The two teams will now meet in the 3rd and final match of the series at Sydney, on January 31. For Australia, their 2-0 loss at home is more of a wake-up call ahead of the ICC World T20. Perhaps the Aussies are in need of paying a bit more respect to the T20 format, after arguably fielding their 2nd-string sides at Adelaide and Melbourne. A win in the final game wont give them back the series, but can surely gain them some much needed momentum ahead of a crucial return tour of New Zealand which starts next month.