Team India continued to assert their authority in bilaterals at home as they scripted a remarkable comeback to trounce Australia in the recently-concluded three-match T20I series.
On the back of some superlative batting performances by Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli, India managed to chase down 186 in the third T20I. They won a high-octane encounter by six wickets in Hyderabad on Sunday (September 25).
With just five games (three T20Is against South Africa and two warm-up matches) remaining prior to the T20 World Cup, the Rohit Sharma-led unit will want to build on their impressive performance against the Aussies.
The three-match series saw many of the Indian players perform in unison and come good for their nation. Barring one or two players, there were several individuals who stood out and did their best to help India clinch the entertaining series.
On that note, let's take a look at the three best Indian players from the IND-AUS T20I series.
#3 Hardik Pandya
Perhaps India's most valuable player in white-ball cricket currently, Hardik Pandya continued his merry run with the bat in the T20I series against Australia.
There's no denying that having Pandya in the first XI enhances the balance of the team substantially. Batting at No.5, he continued to muster runs quickly and pounced on the great starts provided by the top-order.
Pandya started the series off with an exceptional batting display in Mohali, registering his highest individual T20I score - 71* off just 30 balls. The premier all-rounder smashed seven boundaries and five maximums during the innings, which helped the Men in Blue post a giant total of 208/6 in the first T20I.
After failing to remain unbeaten to finish the game off in the second T20I, Pandya provided the finishing touches and sealed a series-deciding win for the hosts in the last fixture in Hyderabad.
Pandya's quality to remain imperturbed during the final stages of the game took the nation over the line. It was his four on the penultimate ball of the game which helped the team successfully chase down the target of 186 in the third match.
Pandya failed to take any wickets in the six overs he bowled in the series. However, ended the series as India's second-highest run-getter with 105 runs at an immaculate strike rate of 190.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav
Topping this year's batting charts with 682 runs in just 20 T20Is, Suryakumar Yadav has been an extremely vital cog in India's T20I setup.
Suryakumar's array of shots has been incredibly fruitful for his side and his proactiveness in the middle phase has reinforced India's new batting approach.
The Mumbai lad was on song during the three T20Is against Australia, finishing the series as the second-highest run-getter with 115 runs at a strike rate of 185.5. With his magnificent strokeplay and counter-attacking gameplay, Suryakumar dominated the Aussie bowlers and clobbered nine sixes across three games - the most by any batter in the series.
Suryakumar played a handy knock of 46 (off 25 balls) in the opening T20I, where he stitched an important partnership with KL Rahul after the side were dealt two early blows. While he missed making an impact in the next game, the batter made up for it and put on a masterful show on Sunday.
Suryakumar, alongside Virat Kohli, was the main architect of India's thrilling win in Hyderabad as he made a resounding 36-ball 69. A player for every situation, Suryakumar overshadowed Kohli in their 104-run partnership with some outrageous batting. He never let the run rate soar up and was also adjudged as the Player of the Match.
#1 Axar Patel
Probably the biggest positive for the Rohit Sharma-led unit from the series, Axar Patel grabbed his opportunity to the fullest and has all but certainly sealed his spot for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
When India lost Ravindra Jadeja to injury, it appeared that their odds were now less favorable. However, with Axar's coming-of-age performances in the three games, it has ensured brighter things to come for the Men in Blue.
The left-arm spinner bowled exceptionally well throughout the rubber and proved to be Rohit Sharma's go-to bowler whenever India were in need of wickets. Australia's batting faltered under Axar's restrictive bowling as the Gujarat-born all-rounder ended the series as the most economical bowler, with an economy rate of just 6.3.
Axar's best bowling figures went in vain, as his 3 for 17 didn't prove to be enough for the hosts to restrict the Kangaroos in the opening game.
Axar then continued his impressive showing when he was India's pick of the bowlers in the truncated eight-over game. He outfoxed two of Australia's most dangerous hitters in Glenn Maxwell and Tim David and gave away just 13 runs in his two overs.
With the opposition batters coming out with all guns blazing in the last T20I, Rohit used Axar in the powerplay once more and the wily spinner delivered for his skipper. He sent skipper Aaron Finch back before scalping two more wickets in the space of five deliveries.
Axar claimed eight wickets in a series where no other bowler could take more than three wickets. Rightfully, he was named the Player of the Series for his outstanding bowling exploits throughout the three games.