Hyderabad, Sept. 25: In a thrilling finish, India clinched a six-wicket victory over Australia to clinch the three-match T20I series 2-1 on Sunday. In front of a packed stadium at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Rohit Sharma's side played out another thrilling contest against the world champions to maintain their 100% record in bilateral T20Is at home.
International cricket returned to Hyderabad after almost two years and the fans were not disappointed. After Australia posted a challenging total, India chased it down in a thrilling finish. With the win, India have now won 21 T20 Internationals this year.
After being sent into bat, a see-saw of an innings which saw Australia get off to a flyer, lose a flurry of wickets in the middle before finishing strong - saw the visitors post a challenging 186/7. Opener Cameron Green took control early along with skipper Aaron Finch added 44 off just 21 for the opening stand. Green was the architect as he raced to 37 off just 15 for the first-wicket partnership, while Finch enjoyed the best seat in the stadium.
But India's lead wickettaker on the day - Axar Patel - came to India's rescue as he handed the breakthrough in the powerplay. Patel removed the opposition skipper for just 7 off 6 to put the brakes on Australia's innings. A flurry of wickets in the middle put India back in control. The visitors struggled to build on the strong start as Green (52 off 21) fell shortly after his half-century.
Axar Patel ticked all the boxes as a direct hit saw Glenn Maxwell give away his wicket for just 6 off 11. India looked well in control, before Tim David came to the crease and put the pressure back on India. David stitched together a strong seventh-wicket stand with Daniel Sams as the duo took Australia towards a strong total.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again went for runs in the death as the pair added 68 off just 34. David, who top-scored for the visitors, scored a blistering maiden T20I half-century as he brought it up off just 27 deliveries. His knock was studded with two boundaries and four huge maximums scored at a strike rate of 200 as he guided Australia to a strong total. Though Harshal Patel removed him in the final over, to keep the score from reaching the 200-mark. Sams remained unbeaten on 28 off 20 as India was set a target of 186.
While Patel led the attack with figures of 3/33, Bhuvi, Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal picked up a wicket each. Returning from injury, Jasprit Bumrah along with Bhuvi were the mose expensive bowlers for the hosts.
Unlike Australia, India got off to a shaky start as opener KL Rahul departed for just 1 as Sams handed Australia a strong start. As Rahul skied it, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade took a stellar catch running behind to hand India the early blow. Skipper Rohit Sharma who got off to a strong start failed to capitalise as Cummins handed the visitors the big wicket of the captain. Within the first four overs, India had lost both openers.
Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav put India back on track as the pair put up a century-stand for the third-wicket. Mid-way through the innings, India needed 96 off the last ten overs, with the required runrate just under ten.
Suryakumar Yadav brought up his half-century in style with a maximum. Sky's seventh T20I came off just 29 deliveries as he along with Kohli kept India's chase on course.
A stellar catch by Finch at the long-off boundary, saw Yadav's stunning innings come to an end. Hazlewood handed Australia the much-needed breakthrough as he broke the masssive third wicket stand of 104 off 62. Sky departed after a blistering 69 off 36, studded five boundaries and five sixes, that had the crowd on its feet throughtout.
With India needing 53 off 35, Hardik Pandya joined Virat Kohil in the middle. After Yadav departed, Kohli took over charge bringing up his 33rd T20I off 37 deliveries. From the final five overs India needed just 44 runs to wrap up the win and series.
Needing 11 off the final over, Kohli dispatched the first delivery off for a huge six before he found Finch to lose his wicket after a blistering 63 off 48. Sams picked up the wicket, but the first six of the over had eased the pressure on India. With five needed off four, India's designated finisher Dinesh Karthik came to the crease. In another thrilling finish, Hardik finished it off with a boundary on the penultimate delivery to take India home.
Here mykhel brings you the post-match comments, full list of awards, player of the series, player of the match of the India vs Australia 3rd T20I:
Full List of Awards:
Energetic Player of the Match: Matthew Wade
Player of the Match: Suryakumar Yadav
Energetic Player of the Series: Virat Kohli
Player of the Series: Axar Patel
Rohit Sharma, Winning Captain: It's (Hyderabad) a special place. We've had a lot of memories here with the Indian team and also when I played for Deccan Chargers. Great to come here for the decider and everyone put up their hands and it was great effort. The biggest positives of the series was different individuals stepping up and getting the team out of trouble, whether it was with the ball or whether it was with the bat. When you sit and watch that as a management it feels good. In T20 cricket, the margins of error is very less. Sometimes it doesn't come off, you take your chances. Then you learn from your mistakes. A lot areas to improve. I like to see our death bowling coming to the party. I know the two guys (Bumrah and Harshal) are coming into the game after a long time and against a team like that is not easy. They're coming in after two and a half months of no cricket, they'll take some time. We've got another series coming up, so hopefully they'll get back into the groove
Aaron Finch, Losing Captain: It was a really good series. We held our nerves in the middle and the way we fought back was incredible. The series Green had was big. We thought it was a decent total. But we understand the wickets get better as the game gets on. But you need to pick up wickets. You can't rely on containing India. At times we were a bit sloppy, with execution with bat and ball. But to play against a world-class team has been great for the side. (On Green) He's a super young player, the way that he took the game on. He has shown his class. He has not played a lot of T20. A lot of positives.
Virat Kohli: That's why I am batting at number three. Need to utilise my experience and give the team what they want. I had to take down Zampa. (On Suryakumar) The way Surya was batting, I looked at the dugout and both Rohit and Rahul told me to keep batting. He has the game to bat in any condition, he's shown that already. For the last six months he's been outstanding. He got a hundred in England, then batted well in Asia Cup. To play the shots at the right time is such a good skill to have, and he does that. I made up my mind to go after him (Zampa). He tries to control my scoring. I knew he was attacking my stumps, so was outside the leg stump. The game shouldn't have gone for that long, should have finished earlier. I have enjoyed batting ever since I came back. Today also I came in an hour and half before the team. I am excited and happy with my contributions.
Suryakumar Yadav: The way I was going it was much-needed. I wanted to play my shots and finish the game off. Thoughts have always been the same. I always like expressing myself from ball one, even if I get out at ball one. (No. 4) Just loving it there. (T20 WC) It'll be challenging and a lot of responsibility. You have to be smart.
Axar Patel: When you do well and the team wins you feel good. I'm doing what I've been doing in the IPL, bowling in the powerplay and doing it for India feels really good. I feel whatever line and length I'm bowling, I back my bowling and strength and execute my plans. Even if the batsman hits a good shot, I back myself.