The Australian cricket team picked up a consolation victory in the third T20I on Tuesday as they defeated India by 12 runs to avoid a T20I series whitewash.
Put in to bat by the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, Australia posted a competitive total of 186/5 in 20 overs, riding on some splendid batting efforts from the likes of Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell. The Aussies, in fact, lost their captain Aaron Finch in only the second over before a much-needed 65-run stand between Steve Smith and Wade steadied their ship.
After Smith was gone, it was Maxwell's turn to partner up with Wade and they ended up playing a match-winning 90-run partnership to take Australia out of bother. India, on the other hand, lost KL Rahul early but Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli looked comfortable in the middle. But once the former was gone, India lost wickets at regular interbals before falling 12 runs short of the target.
A win for Australia means India have lost their first T20I since December 2019, ending a run of 10 victories on the trot.
Aaron Finch's evident struggle against India
Captain Aaron Finch took the field after missing the second T20I owing to a hip injury. Much was expected from the Aussies skipper, but a miss-timed shot off Washington Sundar's delivery meant Finch walked off the field after playing just two balls. This was Finch's fifth duck in T20Is and second against India. Note that both of his ducks against the Men in Blue have come in his last five encounters and the wickets have been taken by a spinner; Yuzvendra Chahal in the 1st T20I, and Sundar in 3rd T20I. Furthermore, in what comes as a major shock, the 34-year-old has accumulated just 71 runs in his last five games against India, registering three single-digit scores.
|Aaron Finch in his last 5 innings vs IND in T20Is|
Quick stat: Like his captain Aaron Finch, all of Steve Smith's dismissals in this T20I series have come against spinners. Chahal has got the better of him twice, while Sundar once. Out of his 29 dismissals in T20Is, a whopping 14 have come against the spinners, which translates to 48.27 % of his dismissals.
Wade and Maxwell anchoring Australia
Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell anchored Australia's innings from 79/2 to take them to 169/3. Wade, on his part, scored his third T20I half-century, with two of them coming against India on the trot. The 32-year-old wicket-keeper batsman scored 17 fours in the T20I series, which is the most by an Australian and fourth-most by a batsman overall against India in a bilateral series.
|M Wade in this series vs IND|
For Maxwell, he scored his eighth T20I half-century. The all-rounder accumulated 54 runs in an innings which included three fours and three sixes. That means the 32-year-old has hit the joint-most sixes against India in T20Is. Here is the detailed bifurcation:
|Most 6s vs IND in T20Is|
|E Lewis (WI)||9||8||1||322||28|
|GJ Maxwell (AUS)||16||15||2||431||28|
|KA Pollard (WI)||14||10||1||292||26|
|C Munro (NZ)||12||12||1||426||24|
|SR Watson (AUS)||8||8||2||302||20|
Virat Kohli's game by numbers
Indian captain Virat Kohli was at his usual best on Tuesday, scoring a quick-fire 61-ball 85 at a strike rate of 139.34. This was Kohli's 25th T20I half-century, seventh against Australia, fifth in Australia, third at Sydney (most by any player at the venue), ninth as a captain and first in 2020.
An 85 in the 3rd T20I means Kohli now has the joint-most fifty-plus scores in T20I (25), level with Rohit Sharma, albeit in fewer games. Here's a detailed breakdown:
|Most fifty-plus score in T20Is|
|RG Sharma (INDIA)||108||100||15||2773||4||21||25|
|V Kohli (INDIA)||85||79||22||2893||0||25||25|
|DA Warner (AUS)||81||81||9||2265||1||18||19|
|PR Stirling (IRE)||78||77||6||2124||0||18||18|
|MJ Guptill (NZ)||91||87||7||2575||2||15||17|
Virat Kohli has now accumulated 1271 runs T20Is which is third-most by a captain in the format. England skipper Eoin Morgan sits at the top with 1289 runs followed by Faf du Plessis' return of 1273. The likes of Aaron Finch (1265) and Kane Williamson (1243) complete the top-five list.
A whopping 17 of Kohli's 25 T20I half-centuries have come in chases, and India have won 13 of them, with only four coming in a losing cause. Note that this was the first time India lost a T20I game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
|Kohli's fifties in losing cause in chases in T20Is|
|70||v New Zealand||Chennai||11-Sep-12||168|
|65||v New Zealand||Rajkot||04-Nov-17||197|
Feature image courtesy: AFP / David Gray