India beat Australia by six wickets in the third and final T20I to clinch the three-match series 2-1 at Hyderabad last week.
The Indians didn’t get the start they wanted as KL Rahul (1) and skipper Rohit Sharma (12) fell with just 30 on the board. But Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav took up the challenge as they slowly clawed their way back. Kohli did the bulk of the scoring initially before Suryakumar joined the party.
The Australians, who till that time looked on top, began to wilt under pressure. After 10 overs, the Indians were 91 for two - five runs more than the Australians at thatstage of their innings. Once Suryakumar warmed up, Kohli played the second fiddle. The Indians opened up after the seventh over as runs came in a steady flow. Suryakumar raced to his half-century off 29 balls with four fours and three sixes. When he departed in the 14th over, he had got himself 69 off 36 balls with five fours and an equal number over the fence. Kohli went on to complete his half-century off 37 balls with three fours and three sixes.
Earlier, the Australians were off to a blazing start with Cameron Green hitting a swashbuckling 21 ball 52 with seven fours and three sixes as the visitors got 66 in the powerplay. After his departure, the Australians lost their way as the Indians clawed back. From a strong 62 for two, the visitors collapsed to 84 for four in the 10th over. At the half-way mark, they were 86 - adding just 24 in the last six overs.
Glenn Maxwell (6) didn’t last long as he was run out by Axar Patel when trying to steal a second. Steve Smith (8) too failed to contribute much as he was stumped by Dinesh Karthik off Yuzvendra Chahal.
Josh Inglis (24) and Tim David repaired the damage with a 31-run stand for the fifth wicket before Patel struck twice in his last over to put the Indians on top again. It was left to David and Daniel Sams to take the visitors to a respectable total. David raced to a 27-ball 54 with two fours and four sixes, while Sams remained unbeaten on 28 off 20 balls.
India’s death-overs woes continued as Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 21 in the 18th over, Jasprit Bumrah 18. If not for Harshal Patel’s stingy last over in which he gave only seven runs, the Australians would have got more on the board.