Indian skipper Virat Kohli (61 not out) led from the front as he scored a match-winning half-century to guide the visitors to a six-wicket victory over Australia and level the three-match rubber 1-1 at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney on Sunday. It was a must-win situation for the visitors after the hosts Australia had won the first T201 at Brisbane while the second game was washed out at Melbourne. The Indian skipper, who hit the winning runs, came in the sixth over when India were 67/1 and made sure his team crossed the line well in time to deny the hosts a series win. Also Read - Cricket: Rahul Dravid Predicts 3-2 Scoreline in Team India's 'Best Chance' to Win in England
Kohli’s knock was laced with four boundaries and a couple of huge maximums. Kohli, along with Dinesh Karthik knitted a crucial 60-run partnership for the fifth wicket that eventually helped the men in blue to cross the line in the final over. Chasing a 165-run target, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma lit up the early stages of the run chase with some awesome strokeplay. The duo hammered Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Stoinis for 20 and 22 runs in the fourth and fifth over respectively as India’s scorecard read 62/0 after five overs. Also Read - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma-Less Team India Will Tour Sri Lanka in July For 3 ODIs And 5 T20Is, Confirms Sourav Ganguly
As India maintained their perfect-record of seven consecutive series victories in the shorter format, many former cricketing greats hailed Team India’s performance and also heaped praise on the ‘chase-master’ Kohli. Here are some of the best Tweets:- Also Read - Cricket: David Warner And Michael Slater Deny Reports of 'Physical Exchange' in Maldives Bar
Earlier, Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc gave some respite to the hosts by breaking the 67-run partnership as the pacer picked Dhawan before the wickets in the sixth over. Leggie Adam Zampa then struck to dismiss Rohit (23) with India’s scorecard reading 67/2.
Lokesh Rahul (14) and Kohli then tried to rescue India, adding 41 runs for the third wicket before the former, while trying to clear the fence off a Glenn Maxwell delivery, was caught at long-off.