Gillette T20s v India
Composed Kohli guides India home
Unbeaten half century from Kohli ensures India level series against Australia in Sydney
Sam Ferris at the SCG
25 November 2018, 11:30 PM AEST
The result: Australia 6-164 (Short 33, Pandya 4-36) lost to India 4-168 (Kohli 61no, Dhawan 41) by six wickets
The match in a tweet: KING KOHLI! The master did it again with a superbly timed run chase to square the series and deny Australia their first T20I series win over India
Indian superstar Virat Kohli finishes the job and guides his side to victory to level the series at 1-1: https://t.co/SKzJqZd9Ap #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/GjKrIZznFV— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 25, 2018
When there's a run chase involving Virat Kohli and a white ball the result is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The masterclass started in the seventh over and although he was relatively sedate early on to reach 25 from 20 balls, you always felt as though India were the favourites with him at the crease. Even when India lost 2-0 and the required rate neared 12 an over, Kohli was a calm figure at one end and found the boundary precisely when he needed to. His half-century came from 34 balls, his 13th in T20I run chases – five more than any other player in history. He also hit the shot of the night, a lofted straight drive over long-off's head and 10 rows deep into the stands. Kohli's fifth and sixth boundaries in the final over delivered the win to level the series at 1-1.
Krunal Pandya had picked up just one wicket for 81 runs heading into Sunday's match but he added four more scalps in a mesmerising spell. The left-arm orthodox spinner claimed 4-36 from his four overs and tore through the heart of Australia's batting order. He started with opener D'Arcy Short, out lbw despite a review from the Australian, and trapped Ben McDermott first ball in similar fashion. His third and fourth victims – Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey – were caught on the rope looking to muscle the cagey tweaker.
The support act
Shikhar Dhawan got India's run chase off to a flyer, bursting out of the gate with a whirlwind 22-ball 41 that brought the huge Indian supporter base to their feet. His knock featured six fours and two sweetly-timed sixes, maximums that soared through the night sky and disappeared into the ocean of Indian fans in the SCG stands. Dhawan's stay ended when Mitchell Starc fired in a yorker that struck pad before bat and was gone lbw.
The consolation effort
For the second (completed) game in a row, Adam Zampa was terrific. He came into the attack immediately after the powerplay ended and delivered his captain Aaron Finch the big wicket of Rohit Sharma in a wicket-maiden no less. Zampa's slider to Rohit continued to angle into the right-hander after pitching and completely deceive the batsman. He finished with 1-22 from his four overs and showed what a crafty T20 bowler he is.
A wicket-maiden from Zampa to begin! https://t.co/SKzJqZd9Ap #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/ulO5xB6bpu— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 25, 2018
The big inclusion
When Starc got a phone call on Sunday morning from Justin Langer he didn't know what to expect. Fortunately for the left-armer it wasn't bad news. In fact, it was an invitation to play in the final T20I and an invite Starc gladly accepted. It had been more than two years since Starc played a T20 for his country and almost five years since he'd done so on home soil. Starc was the pick of the Aussie quicks with 1-26 from his four overs and hit speeds nudging 147kph.
Australia opened with regular pair Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short, but when the captain fell in the ninth over to the spin of Kuldeep Yadav, his Victorian teammate Glenn Maxwell strode to the crease. Reluctant to let Chris Lynn start against spin bowling, the Queenslander was bunted down the order to No.6, with Maxwell, McDermott and Carey earning an elevation. It also meant Marcus Stoinis was pushed down to No.7, and even 'The Hulk's' strength as a power hitter couldn't lift the Aussies to a defendable total.
Australia's score of 6-164 was the highest T20 international total without one batter hitting a six. The previous record was 162 by England against the Netherlands in 2009. India came nowhere near breaking the record – the visitors hit eight sixes.
If you were tuning into the coverage on Fox Cricket and didn't know where the game was being played, just by looking at the sea of blue in the stands and deafening roar of each Indian boundary you'd swear the game was in Mumbai not Sydney. The 37,339-strong crowd – the largest ever for a T20 international at the SCG – was remarkable. The noise the Indian fans made when their side scored a single, let alone when one of their batsmen hit a six, boomed around the historic venue. When Kohli came to the crease he was followed to the middle with loud chants of 'Kohli! Kohli! Kohli!'. If these are the type of crowds we can expect for the four-match Domain Test series it's going to be a fun summer.
The next stops
India remain in Sydney and return to the SCG on Wednesday for a four-day tour game against the Cricket Australia XI, while the Aussies disband to their state sides for the Round Five of the JLT Sheffield Shield.
Australia: D'Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed
Gillette T20s v India
November 21: Australia won by four runs (DLS method)
November 23: No result
November 25: India won by six wickets
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
India T20 squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.