Krunal Pandya's 4/36 is the best figures by a spinner in Twenty20 Internationals in Australia. (Image credit: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya had a mixed tour of Australia before the start of the third Twenty20 International in Sydney. In the first match against Brisbane, the left-arm orthodox spinner was smashed for 55 runs in four overs, the third-most expensive figures for an Indian bowler in this format. In Melbourne, he had figures of 1/26 from four overs as he got the big wicket of Glenn Maxwell. In Sydney, he put in a magnificent performance and created a new record as Australia reached 164/6 at the end of 20 overs. His figures are remarkable considering that he did not get off to a good start in this game.
The first ball of Krunal’s spell saw Rohit Sharma dropping skipper Aaron Finch and he ended up conceding 12 runs in his first over. However, he had his revenge in his second over as he trapped D’Arcy Short (33) and Ben McDermott (0) in successive deliveries. Both batsmen fell to the sweep as India fought back. In his second spell, he struck first ball as Glenn Maxwell (13) mistimed a pull shot straight to long on and his fourth wicket resulted in Alex Carey (27) hitting the slog sweep straight to Virat Kohli.
Krunal’s figures of 4-0-36-4 created a new record. These are the best figures by a spinner in Twenty20 Internationals in Australia, beating the previous mark of 3/10 set by Australia's Glenn Maxwell against England in 2018 in Hobart. Overall, in T20I contests in Australia, Krunal has the second best figures for all visiting bowlers, with Nuwan Kulasekara of Sri Lanka having the best figures of 4/31 in Geelong in 2017. No bowler has yet taken a five-wicket haul Down Under in this format.
Virat Kohli would be looking to gain momentum from Krunal’s spell as India look to keep their unbeaten streak in Twenty20 Internationals alive.