India and Australia were both prepared to face each other in Hyderabad for their 3rd and last T20I match, i.e., the series’ decider game. India wanted to maintain the momentum in the T20 format. After the 16-over mini battle in Nagpur, India gained confidence and focused on winning the decider to seize the T20I series against Australia. Rohit knew playing against Australia in the final match wouldn’t be easy as they bring a different challenge. After winning the toss, Rohit invited the guest to play first. India slightly changed the team as they brought Bhuvneshwar back into the team. On the other hand, Australia included Josh Inglis instead of Sean Abbott tonight.
The Australian team showcased its batting depth and how prepared they are for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The opening five over were fast-paced action. When the match started, Cameron Green fired a 19-ball fifty (quickest against India). After that, the hosts strongly returned. The final ball of the fifth over was bowled by Bhuvi, who removed the threatening Green by sending one outside of his striking zone. After that, the middle overs saw the Indian spinners put the brakes on as their aggregate bowling numbers were 8-0-55-4. India would have been the happier team when the score read 123-6 at the end of the fifteenth over. However, Tim David and Daniel Sams ensured the guests had a good ending. The former completed just 25 deliveries before registering his first fifty for Australia. The older bowlers were penalized after they gave up 39 runs in two overs, punishing Bhuvi and Bumrah (18th and 19th). By delivering a fantastic final over, Harshal ensured that Australia didn’t reach 190. Australia set a target of 186 runs for India tonight.
In response to the massive score of Australia, Indian openers looked confident while walking on the ground. Still, Rahul was dismissed early by Daniel Sams on the final delivery of the first over. It was a short-of-length ball for Rahul, who tried to heave it away over the mid-wicket but got the top-edge, making the ball touch the sky. Wade kept his eyes on the ball and dived forward to send Rahul back to the dressing room.
Rohit and Kohli gave some initial charge to the Australian bowlers. Rohit hit two 4s and a 6 but got caught by Daniel Sams on an excellent delivery by Pat Cummins in the fourth over. Cummins made Rohit cramped on the pull, and the Indian captain got caught on the deep backward square leg. Post the dismissal of both openers of India, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav consistently maintained the run rate while adding runs to the scoreboard with 4s and 6s.
SKY was ruthless for the guest with his bat, and Virat-SKY together put India in the dominating position. India didn’t slow down the scoring pace after the powerplay, putting much-needed pressure on Australian bowlers to bowl weak deliveries in between overs. SKY punished Adam Zampa’s over with two consecutive sixes in it. Suryakumar got his magnificent fifty of 29 balls with a six on Zampa’s ball. However, he was dismissed by Hazlewood in the 14th over. It was a slot ball that SKY hit quite well, but it went directly into the hands of Aron Finch, ending the ruthless, audacious innings from the Indian batter.
However, Virat didn’t let the Australian bowlers settle anywhere in the match and kept releasing the pressure from the team with his 2s, 4s, and 6s. On the 4th ball of the 16th over, Kohli bagged his 33rd T20I fifty tonight.
Kohli-Pandya both played a mature inning and added crucial runs in the death overs. India needed 11 off the final 6 balls. Kohli had a strike and hit a six on the first ball of the final over but on the next one, he muscled it off the back foot and Aron Finch dismissed him with a good catch. India needed 5 runs of the 4 balls when DK walked in and got a single to transfer the strike to Hardik Pandya who later on handed over the win to the team with a boundary.
India hunted down Australia in the series’ decider and won the match convincingly with 6 wickets.
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