India vs Australia 2020-21: Hardik Pandya's blitz seals India's T20I series win, talking points analysed
First Published Dec 6, 2020, 5:45 PM IST
India have managed to seal the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series with this win in Sydney. This was also India's ninth consecutive win in the format, having come off a 5-0 clean sweep in New Zealand, earlier this year.
Visitors India clicked in every department, as they came up with a rocking performance, especially Hardik Pandya, to tame hosts Australia in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday. With this win, India sealed took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, besides registering their ninth consecutive win. Meanwhile, we analyse some of the talking points from the game.
Awarding Matthew Wade captaincy baffles some: The exciting thing that was noticed even before the match got underway was regular skipper Aaron Finch missing out due to an injury. At the same time, wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade was handed the role. While most had expected Steve Smith to take up the role, it was indeed a shocking decision by the Australian management, despite Smith's captaincy ban coming to an end, earlier this year.
D'Arcy Short's struggle with big shots continues: Australia's opener Short has been in a peculiar form of late. Although he was dismissed for mere nine tonight, he has been performing. Nonetheless, the intriguing factor is that he is struggling to hit the big shots and get going, as he needs to work upon his shot-hitting skills.
SCG continues to leak runs: The curious case of SCG continues even in the shortest format. While the ODIs saw an average score of more than 300, the free-flowing run streak at the venue seems to be troubling both the sides, as it is not usual SCG track, which generally assists spinners.
Australia moving in with eight bowlers puzzles fans: In another interesting observation, it was noticed that Australia moved in with as many as eight bowlers in the XI. Not sure if it was indeed needed, but keeping in mind the peculiar SCG track, along with India's strong batting line-up, Australian did have to. Nonetheless, it still did not work in favour of the hosts.
Shikhar Dhawan is becoming the new T20 king: A few years back, no one would have expected Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, to be as prolific and consistent in the shortest format, as he is today. Starting from the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season to now in Australia, Dhawan has been playing an integral part for the side, especially in T20s, therefore possibly making him the new T20 king.
Hardik Pandya back as the finisher: The closing stages of the game saw Pandya going all guns blazing, as he scored a 22-ball 42 and hit three fours, along with a couple of sixes to seal India's series win in style. What was evident from his innings that he is back to take control of the role of a finisher and can be reliable during the stage.
Match summary: Winning the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli elected to bowl first, citing the track to get better later. The Australians were off to a decent start, scoring regularly, as they posted a challenging total of 194/5, courtesy Wade's 58 and Steve Smith's 46. In reply, the Indians too were off to a flier, maintaining the race with the required rate. While Dhawan played a knock of 52, it did become crunch at the end, only for Shreyas Iyer and Pandya to see it out with some big shots and win by six wickets.
Brief scores: Australia 194/5 (Wade 58, Smith 46; Natarajan 2/20) lost to India 195/4 (Dhawan 52, Pandya 42; Swepson 1/25) by six wickets.
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