Virat Kohli in action against Australia© AFP
Virat Kohli anchored India’s innings with a 63-run knock off 48 balls as the side chased down 187 runs against Australia in the third and deciding T20I to clinch the series 2-1. India were tottering at 30 for 2 at one stage in the chase, but a 104-run partnership between Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for the third wicket kept India in the hunt at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The Rohit Sharma-led side eventually went on to win the game by 6 wickets on the penultimate ball of the innings.
Suryakumar scored 69 runs off 36 balls and Kohli was playing second fiddle when the former was taking on the Australian bowlers. However, when Suryakumar got out, Kohli changed gears — which included a six on the first ball of Pat Cummins‘ final over — to guide India closer to victory.
After the match, Kohli revealed his batting strategy during the chase.
“When Surya started hitting it like that, I kind of looked at the dugout as well and Rohit (Sharma) and Rahul (Dravid) both told me, ‘you can just keep batting on’ because Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) was striking it that well. It was just about building a partnership. I just used my experience a little bit, stayed back and as soon as he went away I tried to take on the first couple of balls and got a six off Pat Cummins and that set me up again,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.
When Kohli was dismissed, India needed five runs to win off the final four balls. New batter Dinesh Karthik took a single on the very first ball he faced and Hardik then played a dot ball before smashing the next one for a four and seal the game for India.
Earlier, Tim David played a 54-run knock and Cameron Green smashed a 21-ball 52 as Australia posted 186 for 7 in 20 overs. Axar Patel once again starred with the ball picking 3 for 33 in his four overs. India had won the toss and opted to field in the game.
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