Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], September 24 (ANI): As India registered a thrilling six-wicket win over Australia in the second match of the three-match series, captain Rohit Sharma, who was adjudged as Player of the Match, said he was too surprised by his power hitting form in the game.
Rohit's unbeaten 46 off 20 balls helped India chase a massive 91-run target to level the series 1-1 in the second T20I at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur.
"I was quite surprised as well actually. Didn't expect to hit it like that, glad it came off. For the last 8-9 months I have been playing like that. You can't really plan too much in such a shortened game," Rohit Sharma said in a post-match presentation.
Praising the bowlers who gave an early blow to the Australia team in rain-curtailed eight over match, Rohit said that making a comeback after a back injury was tricky for Harshal Patel.
"The bowlers had something to bowl to and we bowled well. The dew started coming in later, which is why we saw a few full tosses from Harshal. Coming back after a couple of months, the back injury can be tricky. I am not going to talk too much about how he bowled. Got us the crucial wicket. As a team, we are not going to analyse too much. Just want him to come and enjoy it. Axar can bowl in any stage, gives me an advantage of using the other bowlers in different situations too - maybe use the pacers in the middle overs if he bowls in the powerplay. I would like to see his batting as well," he added.
He praised Dinesh Karthik -who is famous for being the finisher- packed the game in the last over with a six and four.
"Glad DK could finish well. Been a while since he had some time in the middle. There was this thought if we should get Rishabh in but I thought Sams is going to bowl off-cutters, so I thought let DK come in and he is playing that role anyway for us. Groundsmen have been here since 1.30 pm to get the outfield ready," he further added.
Talking about the match, chasing a gigantic 91-run target India needed a flying start as skipper Rohit led from the front to take the attack to the opposition scoring 20 runs in the opening over with the captain hitting two sixes and his fellow opener KL Rahul hitting one six over midwicket off Josh Hazlewood.
The India skipper looked unstoppable hitting 10 runs to Pat Cummins in the second over of India's innings.
Australia then introduced Adam Zampa into the attack and he cleaned up opener KL Rahul for 10. Virat Kohli then joined Rohit Sharma to take India's total beyond the 50-run mark in the fourth over.
Zampa then came in the fifth over to clean up Kohli for 11. In the very next ball, he got the dangerous batter Suryakumar Yadav for a golden duck as he trapped his leg before the wicket.
India needed a partnership and Hardik Pandya walked in to give company to his skipper the duo batted brilliantly and the equation became 23 runs needed off the last 12 balls.
Cummins brought Australia back into the game as he sent Hardik packing caught by Finch. In-form Pandya got out cheaply for 9. But captain Rohit ensured that India needed only 10 runs off the last over.
Dinesh Karthik went on to hit one six and one four off the first two balls to wrap up the match with four balls to spare and that helped the hosts wrap up the match in just 7.2 overs registering a six-wicket win.
Earlier in the day, put into bat Australia in an eight overs per side match visitors got off to a decent start scoring 10 runs off the first over. Axar Patel was introduced into the attack in the second over of the match and in his over India got the breakthrough as Virat Kohli ran out opener Cameron Green. Just two balls later left-arm spinner got the prized scalp of dangerous Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck.
Yuzvendra Chahal was introduced in the third over but he went for 13 runs. Axar struck for the second time in the fourth over as he dismissed Tim David for 2 as he cleaned him up.
In the next over comeback bowler, Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Australian captain Aaron Finch for 31 off just 15 balls. Matthew Wade and Steve Smith then got a partnership and took the Australian team's total beyond the 50-run mark in the sixth over.
The Wade-Smith duo batted brilliantly and scored 19 runs in the eighth over as Australia piled up a mammoth 90/5 in 8 overs setting hosts a gigantic 91-run target to stay alive in the three-match series. (ANI)