3 best T20I wins for India against Australia
India are set to embark on a tour of Australia to play 3 T20Is, 4 Test matches and 3 ODIs. The first of the 3 T20I matches will be played on the 21st November at Brisbane. Both teams have been known for their bitter rivalry in the past across all formats.
On the eve of their tour of Australia, let us go down memory lane to enjoy India’s three best T20I wins against Australia.
#3 2007 World T20 semi-final at Durban
India met Australia in the crucial semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2007. India were led by a young captain MS Dhoni. For the first time, they were playing in a major tournament without their 3 stalwarts Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid.
Earlier in the tournament, India’s miraculous win against host South Africa knocked them out of the tournament. In the process, India reached the semi-final of the first T20 World Cup.
At Durban, Dhoni was once again lucky with the toss and he had no hesitation in electing to bat first.
India lost both the openers, Sehwag and Gambhir with the Indian score on 41. Yuvraj Singh, fresh from his world record performance of 6 sixes in an over of Broad, joined Robin Uthappa at the crease.
Yuvraj was greeted by a short-pitched delivery from Stuart Clark which sailed past him. The second delivery too was a pitched short, but this time Yuvraj was ready for it as he smacked it over deep square leg for a six. Yuvraj who was in terrific form in the entire duration of the World Cup started his innings with a six. Ominous signs for Australia.
In the next over, Yuvraj played a pick up shot off Brett Lee which sailed over deep backward square. To upset the rhythm of Yuvraj, the Australian Captain for this match Adam Gilchrist brought in slow bowler Andrew Symonds who was hit for a four and a six by Yuvraj. In between, Uthappa helped himself to a six off Symonds. He gave away 19 runs in his first over which shifted the momentum towards India.
Yuvraj took a liking to Stuart Clark who was once again hit for 21 runs in his last over. All those 21 runs came from the bat of Yuvraj. In that same over, Yuvraj completed his 50 off 21 balls.
At the other end, Uthappa clobbered Mitchell Johnson for two consecutive sixes, one over long-off and another over mid-wicket before he ran himself out in the same over for a well made 34. The situation was tailor-made for Dhoni to walk in with 5 overs remaining in the innings. Dhoni started off the innings in his typical fashion with 2 consecutive fours off Symonds.
The Australian Captain Gilchrist took a gamble in the 17th over by throwing the ball to Michael Clarke. That move paid off as Clarke removed the dangerous looking Yuvraj for 70 which came off just 30 balls at a devastating strike rate of 233. Dhoni took over from Yuvraj and scored 36 off 18 balls. India reached a formidable 188 at the end of 20 overs.
Australia started off their innings with the dangerous opening pair of Hayden and Gilchrist. Gilchrist started his innings in a typical fashion hitting 2 fours and 2 sixes before Sreesanth knocked his middle stump out of the ground.
The loss of Gilchrist slowed down the Aussies a little bit before they saw Joginder Sharma at the bowling crease. Joginder was milked for 18 runs in his first over and suddenly Mathew Hayden started feeling everything off the middle of the bat. The loss of Brad Hodge didn’t stop Hayden from playing his shots.
Both Hayden and new batsman Andrew Symonds was in a murderous mood as the 11th over of the innings bowled by Irfan Pathan went for 16 runs. Surprisingly, Dhoni brought on Sehwag to bowl the 13th over of the innings.
Hayden gleefully accepted the gift and raced away to his 50 and plundered 20 runs in that Sehwag’s over. In the last 6 overs, Australia needed 60 for a win. In a desperate attempt to break the partnership, Dhoni brought back his main strike bowler Sreesanth. With the fourth delivery of his new spell, Sreesanth, bowling from round the wicket, yorked Mathew Hayden.
But Andrew Symonds was still there at the other end. Australia needed 41 runs in the last 4 overs. New man Mike Hussey flat batted Irfan Pathan over long-on. However, Pathan made amends by removing the well set Andrew Symonds for 43.
Australia needed 30 from 3 overs. Harbhajan bowled the 18th over. He struck with his very first ball when Michael Clarke yorked himself. Harbhajan gave away just 3 runs as both Hussey and Haddin struggled to get going.
RP Singh followed it up with a 5 run 19th over. Haddin played a strange innings scoring 5 runs off 8 balls. Joginder Sharma bowled the last over with 22 needed for a win. After playing out 2 dot balls at the beginning of the over, Mike Hussey succumbed to the third ball leaving Australia to score a mathematically improbable 22 off 3 balls.
In the end, India won that close game by a slightly comfortable margin of 15 runs. Australia were very much in control of the situation until they lost the plot in the 18th and 19th over of the innings. But the Aussies never knew when the match slipped out of their grasp.
India went on to lift the first T20 World Cup beating Pakistan in the final by a narrow margin of 5 runs.