T20I: Captain Surya eyes extending lead as Australia aims leveling series

By BD Naraayannkar

Thiruvananthapuram, (UNI) Suryakumar Yadav-led Team India will be looking to further extend their lead, while Australia will eye to level 5-match T20I series at Greenfield Stadium here on Sunday after their defeat in the last match at Visakhapatnam.

Team India got off to a great start as skipper Suryakumar belted a magnificent 80 runs in 42 balls, which was a very crucial innings as he walked in with India in a dicey situation with the scorecard reading 22/2. He unleashed the carnage with nine boundaries and 4 sixes, taking India right to the doorstep of victory.

Ishan Kishan and Rinku Singh also played stellar roles, with the No.3 cracking a controlled half-century in the company of Suryakumar and Rinku seeing off India chase 209-run target with a last-ball six, which was not accounted to, as it was called a no-ball by the third umpire.

Ishan smashed 58 off 39 balls, and was the perfect foil to Suryakumar’s eccentricity at the other end. He lent a much-needed support to the skipper as he went bang-bang against spinner Tanveer Sangha’s leg-breaks.

Despite savouring the maiden victory in his maiden captaincy stint, Suryakumar will face yet another challenge as the wounded Australia may bring in the over-worked Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa into the mix, who were rested after a long World Cup event.

In this scenario, fans are expecting another cracker of a contest. Both the teams would like to plug the mistakes in the bowling department. However, India pacer Mukesh Kumar has been impressive, and bowlers of both the sides would like to emulate him.

India would also like to improve their catching and fielding if they really want to keep the Aussies under check, especially their opener Josh Inglis who crunched 11 boundaries and 8 sixes, notching up his maiden ton off 47 balls to equal the record held by Aaron Finch set against England at Southampton in 2013 for the quickest T20 hundred by an Australian.

Steve Smith, who opened for the first time in a T20 international, hit 52 from 41 balls before he was run out in unfortunate circumstances. He would be praying for good luck in tomorrow’s match.


India: Suryakumar Yadav (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad (VC), Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.

Australia: Matthew Wade (C), Aaron Hardie, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

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