India won the T20 International series against Australia with one game to spare after Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli helped their team chase down a target of 195 runs at the Sydney cricket ground on Sunday.
The visitors thus avenged their 1-2 ODI series loss. This was India’s 10th successive win away from home in T20 Internationals.
Needing 25 of the final 12 balls after fetching 12 in the 18th over, it was Pandya who brought the equation down to 14 in the last over with two fours. The all-rounder then hit two sixes to seal the match in India’s favour and also claim the player of the match honours. Pandya remained unconquered on 42 off 22 balls.
Skipper Virat Kohli also returned to form with a well made 40 from 24 balls. His quickfire innings featured a couple of fours and two sixes. One among them was a scoop shot of Andrew Tye which cleared the ropes. with ease. It was a rare moment where Kohli went across his off-stump, sat down on one knee, and picked the ball on the full, flat and over the fine-leg region.
Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers? ??
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 6, 2020
“It (scoop over fine leg) was a bit of funny moment, surprised myself there, I will send AB a text tonight and see what he thinks of it,” Kohli said in jest when asked about his shot at the post-match presentation.
While the duo will surely have a conversation with each other, De Villiers responded on Twitter where he approved Kohli’s effort.
After the game, a visibly pleased Indian captain applauded his team for their fighting spirit.
“We played really well as a team in T20 cricket. The fact that two of our established players are not playing and to win like this, makes me very proud of this team. Everyone has played 14 games recently (in the IPL) and they know their plans. Natarajan was outstanding and Shardul was good today. Hardik finishing off the game and Shikhar getting that fifty, it’s a whole team effort. The reason for him (Hardik) to come into our team in 2016 was pure ability, he now realizes that this is the time to establish in that (finishing) role and play match-winning knocks for us.”
Meanwhile, Australian skipper, Matthew Wade said It was good fun. Lot more fun till Hardik came out. May be a little bit short with the bat. Unfortunately we didn’t execute well towards the end with the ball. When you get a start like that you want to push but I was disappointed with the way I got out and the timing of my wicket as well. Zampa has been outstanding for the last few years. We just couldn’t execute it well in the end.