India men’s cricket team came through on fan’s expectations, after the women team’s win at MCG. After an initial 90 run onslought by the Australian batsmen, Indian bowlers took consistent wickets to support powerful knocks by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
The pounding started early as India posted a strong target of 185 runs for Australia to chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India made a strong foundation for their innings with Rohit Sharma(60) and Shikhar Dhawan(42), taking the opening partnership to a 97-run stand. Dhawan departed in the 11th over, leaving behind a success symphony that Virat Kohli continued further.
Kohli checked-in with his quick-fire 59 runs. Having faced 33 deliveries, Kohli remained unbeaten till the end and added spice to the innings. Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni also contributed to the fireworks with his 14 runs, as India gathered 98 runs in the final 10 overs.
Australian bowlers James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell claimed one wicket each, and Rohit Sharma was run out as a result of a confusion between him and Kohli.
While chasing the mammoth target, Australian opener Aaron Finch surfaced as a ray of hope for Australia. His 74 runs off 48 balls stood alone on the scorecard as no other batsmen found rhythm. Shaun Marsh (23) struggled to show form as he came to bat. Dropped 3 times, Marsh, finally got caught by Hardik Pandya in the 12th over.
No Australian player remained on crease for long as Indian bowlers kept the pressure up. Ravindra Jadeja claimed two wickets for 32 runs and Jasprit Bumrah got two for 37 runs, whereas Ravichandran Ashwin, Pandya, and Yuvraj Singh contributed with one wicket each. Wicketkeeper Captain MS Dhoni starred in the win with a quick reaction stumping to take the wicket of Maxwell. He featured in another dismissal as the ball rebounded off his pads to dismiss Faulkner. Earlier, Andrew Tye, Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon made their T20 debut for Australia, with only Tye taking a wicket. Virat Kohli was named Man of the match for his quickfire 50. “I feel comfortable to bat on these wickets. We get a lot of Indian support here as well. Sealing the series at the MCG feels special,” said Kohli in the post-match conference. Skipper Dhoni also added his voice in praise of Indian fielders despite a number of missed catched. “Australa got off to a good start but our fielders did well to make them fall. Jadeja’s catch was excellent. Also, Hardik Pandya got a wicket that was very crucial for us,” concluded Dhoni.
Akash Khanna | FollowYourSport