Twitter Reactions: Hardik Pandya's belligerence at the death helps India seal the T20I series against Australia

The 46-run stand between Iyer and Pandya provide decisive as India went up 2-0 in the series Down Under.

Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Pratyay Tiwari
PRATYAY TIWARI

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After two straight losses in the ODI series, the successive victories in the last ODI and the first T20I at Canberra meant that India rode into the second T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a decent bit of winning momentum. With a practice game going on between India A and Australia A only a few miles ago in the morning, both the teams had made some changes in the personnel.

Australia was already grappling with fitness issues as their skipper Aaron Finch picked up a hip injury, and when Matthew Wade came out at the toss, it was clear that he was missing from their ranks. Having won the toss, Virat Kohli invited the hosts to bat first.

Australia dominates the Powerplay again

Coming to play multiple responsibilities (that of opening and leading), Matthew Wade did his job perfectly as he took Australia to a flying start, bringing both Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar in the line of fire. The Indians lacked the guile with the ball and Wade pounced on to the opportunity in such great style that the absence of Warner and Finch was barely felt.

The 46-run opening stand, where D’Arcy Short ensured to pass the strike to the free-flowing Wade, was brought to an end by a spectacular catch Shreyas Iyer off T Natarajan as Short holed straight to deep midwicket. Meanwhile, Wade raced off to a stunning fifty that included 10 boundaries and six. However, he perished on 58 in a rather ludicrous run out dismissal.

Smith and Maxwell’s middle-phase brilliance 

In at No. 3, Steve Smith opened his wide repertoire of strokes as he, alongside Glenn Maxwell, swung pressure back on the Indians. The duo briskly added 45 for the third wicket and ensured to rotate the strike with equal ease.

However, after racing off to 22 of 13, Maxwell was undone by a slower ball from Shardul Thakur as he was caught at backward point. Despite the wickets, Australia managed to consistently maintain a run rate of around 10 as Moises Henriques entered to join Steve Smith (46 from 38). Some later acceleration from Henriques (26 from 18) and Marcus Stoinis (16 from 7) the duo le Australia to post 194 at the loss of 5 wickets.

India’s quickfire start

Indian openers – KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan – were in the groove from the word go as the duo added 50 in just 5 overs. However, the 56-run stand was brought to an end when the former was deceived by a knuckleball from Andrew Tye, which he deposited straight into the hands of Swepson at deep point. Indians ensured that they did not lose wickets in heaps as Dhawan and Virat Kohli added 39 for the second wicket.

Soon after completing a well-made 50, Dhawan departed in an attempt to slog Zampa, only to find the fielder at deep square. Sanju Samson showed some intent in his 15-run knock, which included a six and a four, although he was dismissed by Swepson, as the right-hander slammed a short of a length delivery to long on. Virat Kohli looked promising for his 40, but his dismissal meant that the team was in a spot of bother.

That is when Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya joined hands to steady the shaky ship of the team. Pandya, doing what he does the best, slammed a match-winning 42 off just 22, which included 3 fours and 2 sixes (in the ultimate over). The 46-run stand between Iyer and Pandya provide decisive as India went up 2-0 in the series Down Under.

Here is how the Twitter reacted:

https://twitter.com/calferguson12/status/1335550315232313346?s=20