Thiruvananthapuram: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave a telling manifestation of their talent with twinkling fifties, the catalyst of India’s 44-run win over Australia in the second T20I here on Sunday.
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Opener Jaiswal led the charge of India’s young brigade with a sparkling 53 off 25 balls, guiding India to a massive 235 for four in the company of Ishan (52 off 32 balls) and Gaikwad (58 off 43 balls). Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (3/32) then muffled the Australian top-order with two quick blows, and the visitors were eventually limited to 191 for nine despite aggressive knocks by Tim David (37 off 22 balls) and Marcus Stoinis (45 off 25 balls).
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AdvertisementAustralia needed to score at 11.8 runs per over to hunt down India’s total. Openers Matthew Short and Steve Smith made an urgent beginning, procuring 31 runs in the first two overs. But Bishnoi jettisoned Short in the third over and Josh Inglis, who made a hundred in the first match at Visakhapatnam, in the fifth over as Australia slipped to 39 for two. It soon transpired to 58 for four after Smith fell to Prasidh and left-arm spinner Axar Patel gobbled up Glenn Maxwell, as the Indian bowlers produced a disciplined effort. However, Australia found some fight through David and Stoinis, who pummelled the Indian attack for 81 runs for an entertaining fifth wicket stand that came in just above seven overs. Both David and Stoinis are capable of clearing the fence at will, and the Aussie duo did exactly that. David hammered pacer Mukesh Kumar for 19 runs in the 10th over as Australia made 104 for 4 in the 10 overs and looked good for a comeback. But Bishnoi bagged the crucial wicket of David, who lifted him to Gaikwad at long-on. Stoinis too did not last long as his attempted heave off Mukesh ended with Axar near the straight boundary. From that point, an Indian victory was a mere formality. But for all that, the Indian camp should profusely thank three young, talented batters – Jaiswal, Kishan and Gaikwad. Australian captain Matthew Wade’s decision to bowl first keeping in mind the dew factor did not pay off as his bowlers faltered against the Indian troika. The ball came off the pitch a tad slow but the Aussie bowlers were wayward, offering width to Indian batsmen. They were happy to oblige, especially Jaiswal. He took on Sean Abbot in a breathtaking fashion. The Australian pacer rightly took the pace off his deliveries but he erred in the line and length, offering a chance for the Indian opener to free his hands. In the fourth over, the left-hander punished Abbot with a sequence of 4, 4, 4, 6, 6 for 24 runs, coming through two square cuts, a late cut and two pulls as India motored on in the Power Play segment which produced 71 runs. Jaiswal brought up his fifty in 24 balls, but he could not extend the innings as a rather wild slash off pacer Nathan Ellis was grabbed by Adam Zampa at backward square leg. But that did not really affect the Indian innings as Gaikwad combined with Kishan, who made his second fifty in as many matches, to garner 87 runs for a bruising second wicket alliance. After the return of Jaiswal, the visitors might have hoped to slow down India’s march, but the right-hand-left-hand combination never allowed them to dictate the pace of the match. India touched 101 for 1 after 10 overs. India progressed at around 11.5 runs per over in the middle phase of the innings despite spinners Zampa and Tanveer Sangha bowling relatively better spells. Kishan reached his half-century in 29 balls with a massive pulled six off leg-spinner Sangha over mid-wicket. Gaikwad, whose lofted shot over bowler Zampa’s head was a treat to watch, too reached his fifty off 39 balls with a double off pacer Ellis. It might appear an industrious innings, but Gaikwad’s solidity allowed others to launch into the Australian attack. Kishan too could not build on his innings as he lost balance while trying to wallop Stoinis out of the ground, hoicking a simple catch to Ellis in the deep. However, Rinku Singh chipped in with his customary cameo (31 off 9 balls) and ensured that India finished strongly. The left-handed Rinku robbed 25 runs off the 19th over bowled by Abbot as he leaked 56 runs off three overs in total. The final over bowled by Ellis went for 20 runs as India reached a total that remained out of Aussies’ reach.