Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 61 runs off 41 balls as India successfully chased 165 with two balls and six wickets remaining in third T20I against hosts Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) to level the three-match series 1-1.
After put in to bowl first, Krunal Pandya’s 4/36 helped India to restrict Australia at 164 for six.
While chasing the target, the tourists were off to a flier with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan making mincemeat of the bowling attack. The duo ran amok as India raced away to 67 in 33 balls.
Australia struck in the nick of time with returning pacer Mitchell Starc, playing his first T20I in two years, getting the wicket of Dhawan, who tonked six boundaries and two sixes in his 22-ball 41.
Spin was introduced in the next over with leg-spinner Adam Zampa into the attack. The move worked as Rohit failed to judge the quicker delivery and ended up edging it onto his pad and then the stumps. Rohit followed his partner adding 23 runs from just 16 balls, with one boundary and two hits over the fence.
With two new batsmen at the crease – Kohli and KL Rahul – Australia managed to slowly creep into the game.
Rahul, who was looking good after smashing a huge six, once again failed to capitalise on the opportunity and departed after lobbing it down to Glenn Maxwell at long-on off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Rishabh Pant was out for a duck after he misjudged the slower one off Andrew Tye.
India were in a spot of bother at 108/4 when Pant departed and hoped they don’t fritter away the fine start by the openers.
Kohli too was taking time to settle down. However, once he got his eye in, and received good support from Dinesh Karthik (22* off 18) at the other end, not even Tye nor Zampa could stop him in the run-chase.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Great game of cricket tonite. Good fight from Aust but Kohli is the best all round batsmen in world cricket and the most orthodox. All batsmen should take note of how he plays.
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) November 25, 2018
Wonderful innings from Kohli, great at finishing the job and a good win for India. Some of the batters though will be disappointed at not making use of the opportunities. #AusvInd
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 25, 2018
Kohli….just too good tonight.#AUSvIND
— Jason Gillespie 🌱 (@dizzy259) November 25, 2018
Aussie hopes of winning stymied by @imVkohli’s brilliance. Taste of things to come in the Tests? But that’s in the future. For now, well played under pressure to square the T20 series
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 25, 2018
— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) November 25, 2018
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 25, 2018
— Madhav Sharma (@HashTagCricket) November 25, 2018
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 25, 2018
India go on to square the series in the final T20I and it's captain Virat Kohli once again to the rescue. Quite excited for the Test series which is going to be the real battle. 🇮🇳 #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/GIejpqhvhX
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) November 25, 2018
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 25, 2018
India has NEVER lost the last T20i of a three match bilateral series… #AusvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 25, 2018
— bhaavna arora (@BhaavnaArora) November 25, 2018
That match—and particularly the run chase—was a helluva lot of fun. After Dhawan’s stunning shot-making Australia fought really hard to take it deep on a tricky pitch. It was the perfect situation for Kohli though; he now averages 120.62 in successful T20I run chases. #AUSvIND
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) November 25, 2018
Virat Kohli has remained Not Out 14 times when chasing in T20Is and India won the match every time. #IndvAus
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) November 25, 2018
Virat Kohli — batting at No.3 — the position he owns — wins it for India.
Kohli in chases in T20Is
Master of chases
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) November 25, 2018
Krunal Pandya – Man of the Match: 4-0-36-4 #AUSvIND
Shikhar Dhawan – Man of the series – scores of 76 and 41 in 2 games pic.twitter.com/RcdRYyJNHA
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) November 25, 2018