India skipper Virat Kohli once again came back to haunt Australia, scoring a blazing fifty to make the difference in the third T20I in Sydney. The 30-year old slammed an unbeaten fifty to guide India to an impressive six-wicket win.
India had an unimpressive start with the ball. Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short gave Australia the foundation for a big total by adding 68 runs for the first wicket. However, spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya put a break to Australia’s charge by sharing five wickets between them. Kuldeep picked up one while Krunal ended up with a career-best 4 wickets. As a result, Australia could only manage to post 164 for 6 despite looking well set to cross the 180-run mark at one stage.
In reply, India were off to a blistering start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fired on all cylinders right from the start. The duo added 67 runs in just 5.3 overs to set the tone for the chase. Australia then managed to remove both the openers in quick succession to revive their hopes. Some tight overs in the middle and KL Rahul’s wicket turned the match on its head.
However, skipper Virat Kohli remained till the end, scoring a fine fifty to take India home in the final over. He was well supported by Dinesh Karthik as the duo shared an unbeaten stand of 60.
And now thanks to his knock of 61 off 41 deliveries, Kohli has achieved yet another milestone. The India star now has 476 runs in 14 matches against Australia. It is a record when it comes to most runs scored by a cricketer against a single opposition in the T20Is. Kohli surpassed New Zealand’s Martin Guptill who has 463 runs in 15 matches against the same opposition.
The half century was also Kohli’s 19th in T20Is and he is currently tied with Rohit Sharma for most fifties in T20Is. The fifty was Kohli’s fifth against Australia in T20Is – joint most by a player against a team along with Kusal Perera (vs Bangladesh).
Kohli also scored his 13th fifty in T20I chases which is most by any player.