Following on from India’s 2-1 T20I series victory against Australia, we’ve taken a look at performances from both sides and picked a combined team of the series.
Matthew Wade (wk)
145 runs @ 48.33, SR: 154.25
Wade made the most of a rare opportunity at the top of the order by helping Australia to avoid a whitewash with a crucial 80 off 53 balls in the final T20I, having recorded a quick-fire 58 in vain the previous game.
81 runs @ 27, SR: 128.57
After a single-digit score in the first T20I, Dhawan quickly bounced back. He played an important role in setting up a platform to victory in the second T20I, hitting 52 off 36 balls.
81 runs @ 27, SR: 126.56
Opening the batting in all three innings, Rahul played an important knock in the first T20 that held his side’s innings together, with 51 off 40 balls. Rahul scored 30 of a 56-run partnership with Dhawan in the successful second T20I chase, but was out for a duck in the final game.
Virat Kohli (c)
134 runs @ 44.66, SR: 142.55
Kohli’s masterful 85 off 61 balls in the final T20I, with no other batsman scoring over 28, wasn’t quite enough to guide his side over the line, but the India skipper underpinned the successful chase in the second game with 40 off 24 deliveries.
82 runs @ 27.33, SR: 117.14
Following on from an excellent ODI series, Smith’s 46 off 38 balls in the second T20I set Australia up for a competitive final total. He subsequently added 24 in a 65-run partnership with Wade in the third and final game but didn’t quite replicate his outstanding run in the ODIs.
78 runs @ 26, SR: 150.00 | 1 wicket @ 39.00, ER: 9.75
Batting at number four, Maxwell showed his class and hitting ability with 54 off 36 balls in the final T20I. In the chase, he took the crucial wicket of KL Rahul in the first over and recorded the second-lowest economy rate of the match from his three overs.
78 runs @ 39.00, SR: 156.00
Pandya played a starring role in the second game with 42 off 22 balls at the business end of the chase. He started cautiously, picking the gaps in the field alongside Kohli, before taking over the mantle and launching a full-on assault to win India the game. Pandya briefly threatened to replicate the feat in the series finale, contributing two sixes in scoring 20 off 13 balls as India ultimately fell short.
61 runs @ 30.50, SR: 152.50 | 3 wickets @ 10.33, ER: 6.20
A triumphant return to Australian colours for Henriques. Took 3-22 in the opening T20I and followed it up with a score of 30 off 20 balls that threatened to bring Australia back into the game. With the exception of Natarajan – who makes the team later on – the specialist quicks from both sides struggled to make an impact, so we’ve gone a bit funky and fudged an XI together by including Henriques at No. 8.
5 wickets @ 13.80, ER: 6.90
Selected off the back of a fine start to the Sheffield Shield season, where he took 23 wickets in just three games, Swepson carried his form into the T20I series. Took a wicket apiece in the opening two games, before an excellent 3-23 from four overs helped to seal victory for Australia.
4 wickets @ 29.25, ER: 9.75
Chahal had an up-and-down series. He took the Player of the Match award in the first T20I, recording impressive figures of 3-25 as a concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja. The 30-year-old then struggled in the subsequent two games and was uncharacteristically expensive; he was hit for 51 runs from his four overs in the second T20I.
6 wickets @ 13.83, ER: 6.91
Described as “outstanding” by his captain Kohli after the series, which he ended as leading wicket-taker, Natarajan was a threat to the Australian batsmen throughout.
The seamer took the crucial wickets of Maxwell, D’Arcy Short and Mitchell Starc in the first game to record figures of 3-30, before taking 2-20 in the second T20I when every other Indian bowler went at an economy rate of over eight.