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Australia vs India: 3rd T20I- Who Said What

Krunal was adjudged the Player of the Match for his four-wicket haul.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The third T20I between Australia and India turned out to be a closely-fought affair. However, the visiting team held their nerves and won the match by six wickets with a couple of balls to spare. With the stupendous victory, the Men in Blue also managed to draw level in the series after luck didn’t quite smile on India in the first two encounters in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Aussies post a respectable score

Australia won the toss and had no hesitation whatsoever to bat first. D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch got them off to a blistering start with an opening stand of 68 runs from 51 deliveries. Kuldeep Yadav got rid of the Aussie captain for 28 runs to draw first blood. In the next over, Krunal Pandya nipped out Short and Ben McDermott to well and truly push the opponents on the backfoot.

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey smacked four boundaries in his knock of 27 runs, but he became Krunal’s fourth victim. Prior to that, the Baroda all-rounder accounted for Glenn Maxwell’s wicket as well. A few handy contributions from the lower-order batsmen- Chris Lynn, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Courter-Nile- propelled Australia to a fighting score of 164/6 in the 20 overs.

Virat and Karthik hold their nerves

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma took the bowling by the scruff of their necks and put forth an incredible stand of 67 runs from 33 balls. Mitchell Starc caught Dhawan, who scored 41 runs from 22 balls, in front to give Australia a breather. Leg-break bowler Adam Zampa cleaned up Rohit for 23 and all of a sudden, India had two new men- Virat Kohli and KL Rahul- in the middle.

Rahul was the third wicket to fall as Glenn Maxwell dismissed him. Rishabh Pant gloved one straight to the keeper off speedster Andrew Tye. With the required rate hovering around 10, Kohli showed an unflustered mindset and scored his 19th half-century in T20Is. Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, played calculative strokes and India managed to evade another overseas series defeat.

Aaron Finch, the Australian captain, said

They batted extremely well in the powerplay. Always tough to bring it back from 1/67. The way that we fought was brilliant. Rohit and Dhawan are totally different styles of batsmen which is tough for bowlers. That’s why they’ve been such a good opening combination. Still fair bit of work to do but we’re going in the right direction which is nice. Feeling good for the Tests. Will get down to Brisbane and prepare for 5-6 days.

Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, said

Things become pretty easy when those two (Shikhar and Rohit) guys do the job for us. We thought the wicket slowed down with the old ball. That’s how T20 cricket goes. You lose momentum, you gain it. DK did really well at the end. Maxi and Zampa both bowled well, especially Maxi who has a gut feel of the batsmen. Overall, skill wise, we were better on the day than Australia. When our openers get into the zone they’re difficult to stop. I come in at three and attempt to take us home. With the ball, we were more professional today. I thought it was a 180 wicket. Weather is uncontrollable. These are things you have to accept as a sportsman. A level series is a fair reflection of how the teams have played. Tonight also the fans were really loud and motivated us to the win.

Krunal Pandya, the Man of the Match, said

Feels great to contribute to a win. Was preparing myself after that first game where I went for runs. All the wickets were my favourite because I wasn’t getting any wickets and they were hammering me in the first game. Best part of our team is that they back each and every player

Shikhar Dhawan, the Man of the Series, said

Guess they love me a lot and I’ll make them cheer more *thigh-slaps* Tremendous to see Indian support. I’m sure they’ll support us for the Tests too. It was fun. As a batsman, when you score it always feels good. It’s good that we were able to draw this series.

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