Indian skipper Rohit Sharma’s six-hitting brisk innings with an unbeaten 46 led India to notch up a 6-wicket win to level the series over Australia in the rain-interrupted second T20I at Nagpur. Rohit Sharma smashed four sixes and as many boundaries as he single-handedly chased the target for India with four balls to spare.
Earlier in the game, India won the toss and decided to bowl first, but the match was reduced to eight overs a side due to rain.
India began the game well claiming early wickets from Australia. Australian opener Cameron Green was run out by Virat Kohli in 1.3 overs by just giving 5 runs. Indian all-rounder Axar Patel claimed the wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Tim David earlier in the game. With Patel’s outstanding spell, Maxwell went out on duck. Tim David only scored 2 runs. It was Aaron Finch (31/15) and Matthew Wade (43/20) that pushed Australia to a reasonable total.
Chasing the target was all in the hands of captain Rohit Sharma. He played through the innings and sealed a comprehensive win. India witnessed a flier courtesy of Rohit who was only looking at sixes. Along with KL Rahul, Rohit assembled 30 runs in the two overs of the powerplay.
But Adam Zampa was brought in as a villain and Zampa claimed the wicket of KL Rahul (10/6) in the first over. He continued chasing wickets and then dismissed Virat Kohli (11/6) and Suryakumar Yadav (0/1) before completing five overs. Zampa turned the game for Australia but India was still ahead of the required rate.
The Rohit got the support of Hardik Pandya to consolidate the inning. But Hardik lost it on 9 (9balls) in a short ball by Pat Cummins. Australia was still in the game as India needed 14 runs in 7 balls.
There comes the finisher Dinesh Karthik. He needed just 2 balls to close out the game. With a four and a six, Dinesh Karthik finished the game superbly for India. Rohit Sharma stayed until the end unbeaten on 46 in just 20 deliveries to take his team to victory. With the exceptional efforts of Rohit Sharma, Axar Patel, and Dinesh Karthik, India levelled the 3-match ODI series 1-1. However, the credit goes to the skipper Rohit who has powered India to a 6-wicket win with 4 balls to spare in the D/L method. By displaying a range of shots, Rohit became the player of the match.
Australia did not start well in the power play. Despite picking major wickets, they found themselves behind the game. Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowler, claiming 3 wickets and conceding just 16 runs in 2 overs.
“Rohit Sharma played brilliantly. I got two balls, so I just tried my best there. To play such shots against the new ball, against top-class new ball bowlers, is not easy. It shows why Rohit is such a big player in world cricket, not only Indian cricket. His ability to play against fast-bowling is second to none and that is what makes him truly special,” said Karthik after the game.
Rohit Sharma stood out with the blade and Axar Patel with the ball. They have a solid squad and it is all about making the most of the momentum, Karthik added.
Rohit says he was quite surprised by the way the ball was hitting the bat and he is glad about the way it went.
Even though it was a short encounter, the 2nd ODI was an exciting one. Now the focus shifts to the match decider in the third and final T20I which is going to be played at Hyderabad on 25th September, Sunday.
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