Before the start of this two-match T20 series, almost every cricket pundit thought that India will emerge as victorious. However, what followed was nothing short of phenomenal. The Australian team came with set plans and knew what they were doing. And it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they have scripted their own fate.
The second T20 International between India and Australia turned out to be a closely-fought affair. In the end, the visitors, led by Aaron Finch, won the match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore by seven wickets courtesy of a sensational batting display from Glenn Maxwell. With the stupendous triumph, the Aussies clinched their maiden T20I series in India to create history. On the other hand, Virat Kohli also lost his maiden series on home soil.
The toss favoured the Australian skipper for the second time in this series, and he asked the opposition to have a bat first. The pitch had a slight green tinge to it, which resulted in skiddy pace.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan took India off to a blistering start courtesy of a 61-run stand off 43 balls. However, Dhawan couldn’t time the ball properly and crawled to 14 from 24 balls before falling prey to left-arm pacer Jason Behrendroff. At the other end, Rahul was in a different zone altogether and he racked up 47 runs from 26 balls with three fours and four sixes. Unfortunately, he perished to Nathan Coulter Nile in the eighth over.
Rishabh Pant flattered to deceive yet another time and became D’Arcy Short’s victim. Then Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni took the onus upon themselves and accumulated 100 runs for the fourth wicket. The Indian captain got to his fifty in 29 balls and remained not out on 72 from 38 balls with a couple of fours and six mighty sixes. Dhoni notched 40 from 23 and India raced to 190 for four in their 20 overs.
The visiting team didn’t make the greatest of starts as skipper Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis departed cheaply. Runs were hard to come by initially, but Australia didn’t panic. Short put on a handy 40 runs from 28 balls to inject momentum into the innings. At the other end, Glenn Maxwell went berserk and took the attack to the opposition. Most importantly, the right-hander blended caution with aggression.
He got to his half-century in 28 balls and then went on to storm to his third T20I century in a mere 50 balls. Maxwell didn’t spare anyone and kept surging ahead. He was severe on Siddarth Kaul as the Indians looked in utter bewilderment. With nine runs needed in the last over, he smacked a four and a six off Kaul to take the Aussies over the line with two balls to spare. Maxwell finished with 113 runs of 55 balls. His innings was laced with seven boundaries and nine aerial shots.
The two teams will now play a five-match ODI series, which is scheduled to start on March 2 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. This remains to be seen if the result would be any different to T20 series.
IND: 190/4 in 20 overs (V Kohli 72*; J Behrendorff 1/17)
AUS: 194/3 in 19.4 overs (G Maxwell 113*; V Shankar 2/38)