India outfox Australia in 3rd T20I, win series 2-1: Takeaways
India sealed a nail-biting six-wicket win over Australia to pocket the three-match series 2-1. Lip-smacking performances from Cameron Green (52) and Tim David (54) piloted the visitors to 186/7. In-form spinner Axar Patel (3/33) was the show-stopper among Indian bowlers. Virat Kohli (63) and Suryakumar Yadav (69) put India in the driver's seat to prevail in the contest (187/4). Here are the key takeaways.
Green wreaks havoc in the must-win duel
Green, who scored a quickfire 61 in the first T20I, emulated a similar show in the decider. He clubbed Axar for three back-to-back fours and later ran a single to reach a 19-ball fifty. As per ESPNcricinfo, he now holds the record for the fastest T20I fifty against India. The hard-hitting all-rounder wound up with a 21-ball 52, tonking seven fours and three sixes.
Axar puts the Aussies under pressure
Axar faced heavy blows in the initial few overs despite which he emerged with the best figures for Team India. The slow left-arm orthodox claimed 3/33 in four overs. It was a memorable series for Axar, who pocketed eight wickets in the series at 7.87. He uprooted Aaron Finch and Jos Inglis twice, besides dismissing Green, David, Glenn Maxwell, and Tim David once.
Tim David has arrived!
David, who debuted for the Aussies in the first T20I, stamped an authoritative 25-ball 54. The prolific hitter smacked a six to reach the 50-run mark before Harshal Patel denied him further carnage. David delivered what was expected of him, having carved a name for himself in T20 leagues across the globe. He could be Australia's trump card in the T20 WC next month.
India's horror show in death-overs continue
India are yet to figure out a viable tactic to negate their rivals in death-overs From being 123/6 in 15 overs, India were hammered for 63 runs to tally 186/7. Australia managed 11 runs off Hardik Pandya before conceding only six in the 17th over. The visitors robbed 21, 18, and seven runs in the next three overs respectively to reach a daunting total.
Forgettable affair for Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had abysmal shows in the death-overs of late. The concluded outing was no different, where the veteran seamer conceded 21 runs in the 18th over. David made a mockery of his deliveries by bashing three back-to-back boundaries. Bhuvneshwar eventually conceded 1/39 in three overs. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah was whipped for 50 runs in four overs, his most expensive spell in T20Is.
SKY tames the Aussies
Surya, who hoarded a rip-roaring 46 in the first outing, smashed a 36-ball 69 in the coveted duel. Coming to the crease at a crucial juncture in the game, SKY shared a defining 104-run stand alongside Kohli to help India stay alive in the run-chase.
Kohli's love affair with Australia continues
Indian ace Kohli rose to the occasion, belting his eighth T20I against Australia. The Run Machine clubbed three fours and as many sixes to reach the 50-run mark and curtail the 187-run chase. Most notably, it was his fourth fifty-plus score in the last seven T20Is. Kohli looks like his vintage self which is a happening sign for India with T20 WC next month.
Axar wins Player of the Series award
Axar won Player of the Series award for a superb show across the three games. He finished with 8 scalps across the three games. He claimed two three-wicket hauls.