Hardik Pandya, who was named man of the series for his excellent batting in the three-match T20I series against Australia, decided to hand over his trophy to left-arm pacer T. Natarajan, in a poignant gesture. Pandya hammered 78 runs in 50 balls at a strike rate of 156, including an unbeaten 42 from 22 in the second T20I to take India to victory from an improbable position.
India clinched the T20I series against Australia with a methodical six-wicket triumph at Sydney on Sunday. Set to chase 195 for victory, India got home courtesy a splendid cameo of 42 not out from 22 balls by Hardik Pandya. With 14 needed to win off the last over, Pandya dispatched debutant Daniel Sams over the ropes twice to seal an impressive win for India. Apart from Pandya, opener Shikhar Dhawan (52 from 36), skipper Virat Kohli (40 from 24) and KL Rahul (30 from 22) also made significant contributions. While Shreyas Iyer only made 12 from five, his two boundaries were also crucial as it came at a pivotal point in the chase.
Team India leg-spinner Yuvzendra Chahal began the day by finding himself out of the playing eleven for the first T20I against Australia. He ended it as man of the match. If you did not follow proceedings at the Manuka Oval on Friday, you wouldn’t believe what transpired. Chahal came in as concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja and picked up 3 for 25 to sink Australia’s chase of 162. Earlier, Jadeja blazed away to an unbeaten 44 from 23 to lift India to a competitive total.
Despite a stiff resistance from Australia in a challenging chase of 302, India clung on to clinch the third ODI at Canberra and thus avoid a 0-3 whitewash. Batting first after winning the toss this time, India crossed 300 for the third time in as many games. Skipper Virat Kohli contributed an efficient 63 before a sizzling 150-run sixth-wicket stand between Hardik Pandya (92 not out from 76) and Ravindra Jadeja (66 not out from 50) saw India dominate Australia for the first time in the series.
In an action replay of the first ODI at Sydney, Australia thumped India in the second one-dayer on Sunday. Batting first after winning the toss, the Aussies posted a mammoth 389 for 4. The total was build around another 62-ball ton from Steve Smith. All the others who batted in the match also crossed the fifty mark. Openers David Warner (83) and Aaron Finch 60) added 142 for the opening wicket. Marnus Labuschagne (70) and Glenn Maxwell (63 from 29) also chipped in with crucial contributions.
Australia trounced India by 66 runs in the first ODI at Sydney on Friday. Batting first after winning the toss, the Aussies posted a mammoth 374 for 6 on the board courtesy tons from skipper Aaron Finch and Steve Smith, and a scintillating cameo of 45 from 19 from Glenn Maxwell.
Star Australian batsman Steve Smith feels the absence of skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma is not likely to hurt India much in the upcoming series as they have quality replacements available. While Rohit will miss the entire limited-overs series and at least two of the four Tests, Kohli will return to India after the first Test for the birth of his child.
Team India will miss the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli for three of the four Tests in Australia. Kohli will take part in the opening Test in Adelaide, India’s first Day/Night encounter Down Under. After the conclusion of the match, Kohli will head back to India to be with wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.
The Indian cricket team is currently in Australia for a long tour Down Under, which will feature three ODIs as many T20Is and four Tests. However, head coach Ravi Shastri conceded that Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma, both recovering from injuries, will need to reach Australia in the next few days.