Majestic Maxwell powers Aussies to a 2-0 win as Kohli suffers his first home series loss as captain
Glenn Maxwell scored an unbeaten hundred (113 not out off 55 balls) and hit the winning runs in the last over of the second Twenty20 International (T20I) to help Australia beat India by seven wickets in Bengaluru on Wednesday. With this win, the Kangaroos clinched the series 2-0. For India captain Virat Kohli, this was the first series loss as a skipper at home across all formats.
With a series win at stake, Australia opted to field for the second time in a row. India made three changes to their side by resting Rohit Sharma and bringing back Shikhar Dhawan to open alongside Rahul. Vijay Shankar replaced Mayank Markande while fast bowler Umesh Yadav made way for Siddharth Kaul.
Opener K L Rahul again gave India a blistering start, scoring 47 off 26 in front of his home crowd before being dismissed. Rishabh Pant (1) once again failed to make most of his opportunities as he mistimed one off chinaman D’Arcy Short and Richardson pulled off a sensational diving catch at long-off.
From thereon it was the Kohli and Dhoni show as they completed a 50-run partnership off 29 balls and then went on stitch a 100-run stand. While Kohli remained unbeaten on 72 off 38 balls, Dhoni blasted 40 off just 23 balls. Dhoni’s quickfire knock featured three fours and three sixes. Batting first, India scored a competitive 190/4 where Kohli contributed with an unbeaten 72 off 38 balls.
Australia failed to get off to a good start as they lost Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis early on with the scoreboard reading 22/2. But from thereon, D’ Arcy Short (40) and Maxwell forged a crucial 73-run stand which enabled the visitors to get back into the match. The presence of dew also did not help the Indian bowlers as they struggled to control their line and lengths. All the Indian bowlers conceded runs at more than seven and a half per over with Yuzvendra Chahal being the most expensive of the lot (47 in his four overs).
However, Maxwell’s innings snuffed out India’s hopes as the visitors chased the target with two balls to spare. Maxwell plundered the Indian bowling attack smashing as many as nine sixes before going to register his third century in the shortest format.
Prior to this match, Australia had never beaten India in a T20 series, home or away. They had beaten India way back in 2008 at Melbourne in a one-off game.