New Delhi: It was yet another solid start from the Indian openers, blistering knock from the man-in-form Virat Kohli, and a fantastic spinning web that got the better of Kangaroos. India not only defeated Australia in the second T20 International, but also clinched the series 2-0.
Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss at Melbourne Cricket Ground and straightaway opted to field — hoping to get early breakthrough. The moist in the pitch did trouble the Indian opener Rohit Sharma in the first couple overs: he took 10 balls to open account. But thereafter, there was no looking back. Sharma (60) and Dhawan (42) laid the perfect foundation for a big score.
In a deja vu to the first T20 International, Kohli resumed his batting with attacking mode on from the very first ball. He swivelled a quick 59 off 33-balls, and made sure his team had a mammoth total to defend. A couple of late fours from the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also aided Australia’s misery, which in first place had dropped Smith for the bigger fish: the T20 World Cup.
The second innings, according to the 1.2 billion Indians, started on a bad note. Currently the best ICC T20 batsman, Captain Aaron Finch took on the experienced Ashish Nehra and youngster Jasprit Bumrah in the same fashion. Indeed, the luxury was short-lived. Once Shaun Marsh departed, the Australian team fell out of the game; tried to bounce back, but were curtailed by the regular fall of wickets — most falling prey to the spinning web of Ashwin-Jadeja-Yuvraj.
Bumrah, the boy-with-a-peculiar arm action, was impressive in the last ODI and T20 against Australia. He didn’t fail this time either. He has showcased excellent mettle and an ability to bowl yorkers in death overs — the kind of which Mahendra Singh Dhoni had been waiting for long.
The Men in Blues would be elated. They have been piling up runs in all encounters against Australia this tour, and finally it is paying off. One can’t help, but gleam with pride, when he looks at the scoreboard. With brilliant opening stands, in-form Kohli, spinning duo, and Bumrah in team, India for sure would look to emerge victorious third time in this T20 series.
By: Mayank Mohanti