Virat Kohli's 19th fifty helped India extend their unbeaten run in Twenty20 International bilateral series. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli displayed his class in a tense chase at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Australia. Chasing 165, the Indian cricket team skipper blasted his 19th Twenty20 International fifty as India sealed a six-wicket win to level the three-match series 1-1. After a loss in Brisbane and a wash-out in Melbourne, the Sydney game witnessed India playing a magnificent game to extend their unbeaten run in bilateral Twenty20 International series to nine. Speaking after the end of the game, Kohli said the result was a ‘fair indication’ of India’s potential to do well in Australia.
“Still fair bit of work to do but we're going in the right direction which is nice. Feeling good for the Tests. Will get down to Brisbane and prepare for 5-6 days,” Kohli said.
The Indian skipper hailed the contributions of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Both openers blazed away to 67 in 5.3 overs that laid the platform for India’s chase. Dhawan fell for a blazing 41 off 22 balls while Rohit fell for 23.
“When our openers get into the zone they're difficult to stop. Things become pretty easy when those two guys (Rohit and Shikhar) do the job for us,” Kohli said.
‘Hope to stop Kohli’
Kohli’s fifty in Twenty20 Internationals continued the Indian skipper’s consistent performances against Australia. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey was hopeful that the hosts had the answers to the Indian skipper’s form ahead of the four-Test series beginning on December 6 in Adelaide.
“We've seen him do that before and he did it again tonight. Hopefully in Tests, it will be a different story? We've got some good pacer bowlers and Nathan Lyon. It will be a really good summer of cricket,” Carey said.
Australia added Mitchell Starc into the Twenty20 International side which was the left-arm pacer’s first T20I at home since 2014. Carey said he really looks forward to the Tests where Starc can form a lethal trio along with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
“I thought he bowled really well tonight. Dhawan obviously got him away for a couple of fours and that happens in T20 cricket but I thought he came into the side and he was really excited to play this game. He hasn't played too many T20 games. I thought he had a real impact. He's played a lot of cricket now. He's a real professional, looks after his body, come off a Shield game and into a T20 game now. I'm just as excited as you guys to watch him take on India along with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins and obviously Lyon. He'll be fine,” Carey said.
The Australian wicketkeeper said the hosts were 15 runs short and the SCG wicket was a typical 180-like wicket. “We would have loved to put 15 more runs on the board tonight and I guess who knows in Melbourne as well. It was quite a difficult wicket in overcast conditions and could have gone either way,” Carey added.