India made it 9 wins on the trot in the T20I format with a thrilling 6-wicket victory over Australia in the 2nd T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli starred with the bat, while T Natarajan’s superb spell proved to be the difference-maker with the ball. With the win, India also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match T20I series.
Here are India’s player ratings from the 2nd T20I against Australia.
Rahul gave India a good start in the powerplay before he was deceived by a knuckle ball for 30 off 22. He should’ve kicked on and gotten a big score, but it was another promising innings from him at the top of the order.
Dhawan survived a close LBW shout to play a fluent innings. Confident in his strokeplay and severe on the bad balls, the southpaw recorded his 50 off 34 balls but fell shortly after off Adam Zampa. Had he carried on and made 80-90, India might have been able to overhaul the target with more ease.
Unlike recent games in the T20 for, Kohli looked to take the attack to the opposition and didn’t get bogged down at the start of his innings. He played a couple of delightful shots including a cheeky scoop for six, but fell to Sams trying a premeditated dance down the pitch for 40. The Indian skipper’s bowling changes and fielding were far from acceptable (once again), which brings his rating down a bit.
Sent in as low as No. 6, Iyer made the most of the 5 balls he faced. The birthday boy smashed a 111 metre-six off Zampa before finding the boundary in the same over, and made a case to be retained in the team even when Manish Pandey returns to fitness. He also took a good catch to dismiss D’Arcy Short.
Samson showed great promise in his innings, but as has become the norm in his short international career, he threw away his start. After coming in at No. 4, he holed out in the deep for 15 off 10 against the bowling of the accurate Swepson.
Pandya has been India’s brightest light in the white-ball leg of the Australian tour, and he proved his worth to the team once again with a 22-ball 42. He kept his cool under pressure even though he wasn’t striking it as well as he’d have liked to, and took India over the line almost single-handedly. The 27-year-old was horrible in the field, as he dropped a catch, misfielded multiple regulation balls and barely held on to another catch.
Sundar was a tad too short in the powerplay, and Wade took a particular liking to him. He should’ve had the Aussie captain caught at cover, but Kohli shelled an absolute sitter at cover. The off-spinner made a decent comeback in his last two overs, but he’s in the team to restrict runs and he failed in this regard.
Chahar had a poor outing in this game. Without much swing on offer, the pacer didn’t have the pace to trouble the Aussie batsmen and ended up conceding 48 runs in his 4 overs. Often too predictable with his slower ones and bouncers, he might find himself out of the XI for the final T20I.
Included in the squad as a replacement for Jadeja, Thakur was thrown into the playing XI immediately. He was decent in his 4 overs although he conceded 39 runs, and picked up the wicket of the dangerous Glenn Maxwell.
Natarajan was the best Indian bowler on display. Mixing it up with slow balls, bouncers and yorkers, the left-armer dismissed D’Arcy Short and Moises Henriques while conceding just 20 runs. He has taken to international cricket like a fish to water.
Coming into this game on the back of a Man of the Match performance, Chahal sorely disappointed. Despite his first two overs going for over 20, Kohli used the leggie at the death, where he was picked apart by Henriques and Smith. He finished with figures for 1/51, although he did achieve the distinction of becoming India’s joint-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket (alongside Bumrah).