IND vs AUS T20Is: It is 1-1 and honours shared
Virat Kohli shuts down possibility of Australia winning T20I series with sublime batting at SCG; Krunal Pandya gets it right with his left-arm spin
India need just a tick over eight runs an over. There is a hush around the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Indian fans start to get nervous. India have just lost both their openers in the space of eight balls. The target of 165 starts to look like a bit of the mountain, but in the middle is Virat Kohli.
Kohli remains calm
For the next few overs, the crowd of 37,339 are on the edge of their seats. Kohli remains calm as he pushes and nudges the ball into the outfield. There is rarely a shot in anger, but the control of his willow is sublime. Many players tend to attempt a big shot in such scenarios, but this is Kohli in the zone, a run chase, in front a crowd chanting his name and against an opposition that he loves to thrive against.
It takes him 14 balls to finally hit his first boundary. He knows he has broken the shackles and wants to make it count. Two of the next six balls disappear over the fence and the match is in control. The crowd is ecstatic and Kohli eventually finishes unbeaten on 61 from 41 balls to ensure India level the T20 series 1-1.
India's Krunal Pandya celebrates after claiming the wicket of Australia's Ben McDermott in Sydney yesterday
Dhawan clicks again
While Kohli was masterful during the run chase, it was the electrifying start by Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma that laid the foundation for the run-chase. Dhawan carried on his impeccable touch from the Gabba by torturing the Australian pace bowlers during the powerplay. Dhawan and Rohit Sharma took 22 runs from the fifth over bowled by Marcus Stoinis.
The onslaught led Aaron Finch to turn to Mitchell Starc for this third over in the powerplay. Starc removed Dhawan (41 off 22 balls) and then Rohit was knocked over by Adam Zampa. At 67-2, the match seemed to be swaying towards Australia, but in walked Kohli and did what he does with perfection.
Earlier, India could have restricted the Australians to around 150, but there were several fielding blemishes and a dropped catch from Rohit that ensured the hosts posted a competitive total. Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short had flayed the Indian seamers. It took a superb spell by Kuldeep Yadav and even better performance by Krunal Pandya that changed the dynamics of the match during the middle overs. Pandya finished with figures of 4-36 from his four overs.
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Virat Kohli's gesture towards Steve Smith wins hearts during IND vs AUS