Team India have won yet another T20I series by beating Australia in the second T20I at Sydney by six wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead. The Men in Blue have now made it 10 wins in a row in completed T20Is which is their longest winning streak in the format.
A win over Australia is always a sweet experience for the Indian side as the two nations are fierce rivals who have had many great encounters over the years in the shortest format. The icing on the cake was that the victory for Team India came at their opponent’s den, always considered a fortress.
During some of these encounters, a few Indian batsmen have played innings that are still remembered by cricket fans and will be etched in their memories for a long time. Here we will take a look at the three highest individual scores made by Team India players against Australia in T20Is.
Team India were on a limited-overs tour of Australia in early 2016. Having lost the ODI series 4-1, the Men in Blue were itching to make a winning start to the T20I series. Batting first, Team India were given a brisk start by their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. However, after adding 40 runs, both fell in quick succession and Virat Kohli found himself at the crease.
After consolidating the innings, Kohli began to take charge and started batting with his usual intensity. He knew exactly where the fielders were and was able to thread the gaps for runs. Once he was well set, he began to change gears and took the attack to the Australian bowlers.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 90 runs off just 55 balls that included 9 fours and 2 sixes. He scored his runs at a brilliant strike rate of 163.63. It was due to his fantastic innings that Team India were able to post a daunting total of 188-3 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Australia fell short by 37 runs and Kohli was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant performance. His 90* remains the highest individual score for Team India against Australia in T20Is.
Team India faced off against Australia in a virtual quarterfinal of the 2016 T20 World Cup. Australia batted first and put up a competitive total of 160-6 in their 20 overs. Chasing 161 to win under the pressure of reaching a World Cup semifinal was never going to be easy. The Men in Blue did not make a great start to the chase as they lost 3 wickets for just 49 runs. It was again down to Virat Kohli to bail Team India out of this tough situation.
Kohli took a bit of time to get settled in and tried to consolidate the Indian innings, making sure that they did not lose any more wickets.
Although he was not finding the boundaries at regular intervals initially, he was running hard between the wickets and converting the 1s into 2s. Kohli took the game deep and when he felt the time was right to shift gears, he was able to find the boundaries frequently.
Kohli began to toy with the Australian fielders towards the end and found the gaps very easily. He scored an unbeaten 82 off just 51 balls including 9 fours and 2 sixes at a fantastic strike-rate of 160.78. It was due to his brilliant knock that Team India made it to the semifinal.
This was an innings where a young Rohit Sharma came of age as a batsman. Team India were playing Australia in a group game of the 2010 T20 World Cup. Australia batted first, and thanks to brilliant half-centuries from Shane Watson and David Warner, they were able to post a mammoth total of 184-5 in their 20 overs.
Needing 185 runs to win, a good start was a must for Team India. But things did not pan out that way as the Australian pacers began to run through the Indian batting line-up. They peppered the Men in Blue with short-pitched bowling which was their weakness.
One player that was not at all worried about the short-ball ploy though was Rohit Sharma. While wickets kept on tumbling at the other end, Rohit went steady.
At one stage, team India were 7 wickets down for just 50 runs and Rohit knew that it was all down to him to try and keep his team in the game. So he began changing gears and took the Australian bowlers to the cleaners.
The more the Australians bowled short to him, the more he relished it and deposited it into the stands. Rohit scored 79* runs off 46 balls, that included 4 fours and 6 huge sixes, at staggering strike-rate of 171.73.
Although India got bowled out for 135 and lost the game by 49 runs, they had found a fine player in Rohit who was going to become a mainstay of their playing XI for years to come.