India vs Australia, 2nd T20I: Report card of Virat Kohli and company
Australia completed a 2-0 sweep of the two-match series against the Men in Blue.
India slumped to their first bilateral T20I series defeat at home since 2016 when they suffered a seven-wicket loss at the hands of Australia in the second match at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Opting to bowl first, Australia managed to restrict India to a score of 190 runs in their stipulated 20 overs despite a quick-fire knock of 72 from skipper Virat Kohli and some valiant efforts by opener KL Rahul (47) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (40)
In reply, Glenn Maxwell brought up his third T20I hundred--scoring 113 off just 55 balls-- as Australia chased down the target with two balls to spare.
With the win, Australia completed a 2-0 sweep of the two-match series against the Men in Blue.
Let us have the look at the report card of the Indian players from the second T20I:
1) KL Rahul
Top-order batsman KL Rahul, who notched up a quick-fire 50 off just 36 balls in the opening T20I, continued his momentum in the series-decider as he brought up a 26-ball 47 to provide India to a solid start.
The opener smashed consecutive sixes off Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins deliveries, but he failed to convert his good start into a bigger knock and was caught by Richardson of Nathan Coulter-Nile's delivery. With two back-to-back decent innings, Rahul has somewhat given a strong message to the national selectors ahead of the ICC World Cup.
2) Shikhar Dhawan
After being rested for the opening T20I, opener Shikhar Dhawan was recalled for the series-deciding second T20I. However, he failed to provide a good start to India yet again and went back to the pavilion after scoring just 14 runs off 24 deliveries.
The Indian southpaw ended up giving an easy catch to Australian opener Marcus Stoinis after a poor inside out stroke off Behrendorff delivery.
3) Virat Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli was the shining light for the hosts in Bengaluru as he smashed an unbeaten knock of 72 off just 38 balls to bring the Men in Blue close to the 200-run mark. His blistering knock was laced with six sixes and two boundaries while he also smashed Nathan Coulter-Nile for a hat-trick of sixes before folding India's innings for 190 runs.
4) Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant once again failed to click with the bat and was dismissed for just one run off D’Arcy Short's delivery. The wicketkeeper-batsman got frustrated by Short's back-to-back three full-length deliveries and slogged with all his might down the ground next ball--only to hand a catch to Richardson.
5) MS Dhoni
Former Indian captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni provided good support to Kohli from the other end as he played some outrageous strokes to notch up 40 runs off 23 balls. Considered as one of the best finishers in the world, Dhoni not only smashed three boundaries and as many sixes in his knock but also shared a century stand with Kohli before falling victim to Pat Cummins.
6) Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik, who had the last chance to impress national selectors after being dropped for the upcoming ODIs, came to bat for India when less than one over of the play was left. However, he smashed two deliveries off the first two balls he faced to finish with eight runs.
Karthik, who faced just three boundaries and went back to the pavilion after scoring a single in the first T20I, will now have to rely on the Indian Premier League (IPL) to boost his chances of securing a World Cup berth.
7 ) Vijay Shankar
All-rounder Vijay Shankar did not bat for India but he was given a chance to open the attack. Though he performed well with the ball by taking big wickets of Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short, he proved to be quite expensive for India conceding at least nine runs an over.
8 ) Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya, who returned with impressive figures of one for 17 in his four overs in Visakhapatnam, failed to add any wickets to his account in the second T20I. He first conceded 11 runs in his first over before making amendments and giving away just 13 runs in the next two. However, Pandya was smashed by a six from Maxwell in his expensive final over of 10 runs.
9) Jasprit Bumrah
Having finished with the brilliant figures of three for 16 in the opening T20I, Bumrah once again proved to be the most economical bowlers for India in Bengaluru. Though he too went wicketless in the match, he tried his best to restrict Australia to a five-run penultimate over. However, he conceded 12 runs in his third over as Maxwell and Peter Handscomb comfortably helped Austalia cross the mark.
10) Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal was the most expensive bowlers for the Men in Blue as he finished with the poor figures of 0/47. The leg-spinner was smashed by Maxwell for 34 runs in his 15 balls. Chahal will surely look to make amendments in the upcoming ODI series against Australia in order to stand any chance of making it to India's World Cup squad.
11) Siddharth Kaul
Pacer Siddarth Kaul kicked off his first over well by giving just four runs to the Australians and removing Marcus Stoinis. However, he leaked 30 runs in his final two overs to finish with figures of 1/45 in 3.4 overs.
The two sides will now head into the five-match ODI series, beginning March 2 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.