India vs Australia, 2nd T20I, Top Performances: Rohit Sharma’s 46* off 20, Axar Patel’s 2-13 and Adam Zampa's 3-16 are top three performances. India beat Australia by 6 wickets and level the 3-match series 1-1.
Brief Scores: Australia 90/5 (Wade 43*, Finch 31, Axar 2-13) lost to India 92/4 (Rohit Sharma 46*, Zampa 3-16) by six wickets
Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma – 46* (20)
India bounced back in style to level the three-match T20I series against Australia in the curtailed 2nd T20I game at Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur. A wet outfield at the VCA Stadium meant the game was delayed and subsequently was reduced to 8-overs per side. On what was a belter of a track, both teams found run-scoring easy where over 180 runs were scored in 15 odd overs.
In the end, it was India who emerged victorious beating the Aussies by 6 wickets with 4 balls to spare.
The major talking point of the 2nd T20I game in Nagpur revolves around Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner started from where he left off in the 1st game (where he took 3-17). The 28-year-old player removed two of Australia’s batting line-up’s powerhouses - Tim David and Glenn Maxwell - keeping India’s target less than 100.
Axar Patel is the main positive for India this series, as they are searching for an able replacement for injured Ravindra Jadeja. The Gujarat all-rounder is striking the right chords and seems to be on track to fill the void created by the absence of Jadeja.
India make it 1-1 after chasing down 91 in under 8 overs
Australia, riding high after a scintillating performance in the Mohali T20I where they cantered home comfortably in a 209-run chase, were inserted in to bat by Rohit Sharma in a shortened game. Last match hero for Australia, Cameron Green went back early courtesy a run out by Virat Kohli for a personal score of 5. Australia skipper Aaron Finch looked at ease scoring a stroke-filled 31 off 15 balls until he was castled by a brute of a yorker from comeback man, Jasprit Bumrah.
Though Finch was going all guns blazing, Aussies lost wickets in quick succession with Axar Patel being the wrecker-in-chief sending back both Glenn Maxwell and Tim David. But Matthew Wade who made an unbeaten 45 off 21 balls in the last game, shined once again for the visitors scoring 43 from just 20 deliveries.
This steered Australia’s total to 90/5 which looked distant at one stage when Finch was dismissed. Wade’s form before the World Cup will be heartening for the team and they will hope that the wicketkeeper batter will continue to be an asset for them in the near future.
In response to Australia’s 90/5, India’s openers made merry as they scored 20 runs off the very 1st over. Both KL Rahul and skipper Rohit Sharma, in particular the latter, were in smashing mood in this game. The duo made best use of the 2-over powerplay, collecting 39 runs off just 17 balls eventually. Adam Zampa’s spell of 3-16 including the wickets of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav off consecutive deliveries gave Australia hopes, but Rohit’s unbeaten 46 from 20 proved to be too much for them. Finally, Dinesh Karthik (10 off 2) finished it off for India to clinch the game.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the 2nd T20I between India and Australia.
Rohit Sharma leads from the front with a destructive 46* from 20 balls
India captain Rohit Sharma showed why he is considered one of the most dangerous white-ball openers in world cricket. Though he doesn’t have too many big scores against his name of late, Rohit has always managed to give his team a solid start.
This wasn’t a usual T20 chase, where the batters would get 20 overs as the game was reduced to 8 overs. Rohit didn’t have the liberty to take time to settle down for a couple of deliveries as the asking rate was already a daunting 11+ right from the start. The batter hit 4 sixes and as many fours to take India home by a margin of 6 wickets.
Axar Patel jolts Australia’s batting line-up with 2/13
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel is having a great time in the ongoing series against Australia. Coming off the back of an impressive spell of 3/17 the other night in Mohali, Axar took 2/13 in the rain-affected Nagpur T20I. Axar accounted for the dangerous duo of Tim David and Glenn Maxwell off successive balls in his 2-over stint.
This jolted Australia’s momentum as both these batters could take the game away from the opposition if they find their rhythm. The Aussies ultimately managed to reach 90/5 in 8 overs.
Adam Zampa’s superlative spell of 3/16 went in vain for Australia
If it was Axar Patel who made a difference for India with the ball, it was Adam Zampa who kept the Aussies in the hunt to pull off the target defence. After breaking a solid and threatening 39-run opening stand between Rohit and Rahul, Zampa dismissed Virat Kohli for the 3rd time in T20Is and followed it up by sending backing the in-form number 3 ranked T20I batter, Suryakumar Yadav, for a duck.
Aussies had a sniff to come back in this contest, but Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik sealed the game in India’s favour.
What’s to Come
With the series level at 1-1, the series is headed for a stunning showdown at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad on September 25.