India vs Australia: Yuzvendra Chahal equals Jasprit Bumrah in a T20I record
Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal equalled Jasprit Bumrah as India’s joint-leading wicket-taker in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) on Sunday.
Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal equalled Jasprit Bumrah as India's joint-leading wicket-taker in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) on Sunday.
Chahal achieved the landmark in the second T20I between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) by dismissing Steve Smith in the 18th over in the first innings. Chahal and Bumrah have 59 wickets each in the T20Is. While Bumrah picked 59 wickets in 49 innings, Chahal did so in five innings less.
Among Indian bowlers, only four have clinched a five-wicket haul – Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja. Chahar holds the record of best figures in a T20I innings for India – 6 for 7 in 3.2 overs ahead of Chahal with 6 for 25 in 4 overs, which the off-spinner had recorded in 2017 against England at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
After losing the three-match One-Day International (ODI) against Australia, India have sealed the T20I series by winning the first two games. In the first T20I, Chahal was not included in the XI after he had made just one breakthrough in the first two ODIs. However, after Ravindra Jadeja was hit on the helmet in the opening T20I in Canberra, Chahal was sent in as a concussion substitute.
The off-spinner finished the game as the Player of the Match, courtesy of his figures of 3 for 25 in his quota of four overs. His spell ensured derailed Australia's chase as the hosts eventually fell short by 11 runs.
Sending Chahal as a concussion substitute did not go well with many former cricketers as they claimed that India used the substitute without following the desired protocol, pointing out the fact that Jadeja didn't undergo a concussion test after he was seen limping in the final over.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch did not raise questions on India's concussion substitute but stated that his side lost because they leaked too many runs in the final few overs.
"Their doctor had ruled Jadeja out with a concussion and you can't be challenging a medical expert's opinion. We probably leaked a few too many runs at the end and then in the middle phase struggled to hit boundaries," added Finch in the post-match interview. When quizzed about his hip injury, Finch revealed that it worsened as the match progressed.
Meanwhile, with the T20I series victory, India skipper Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to win a T20I series in South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia (SENA countries). Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni won the T20I series in South Africa and Australia, but could not do so in New Zealand and England.
Kohli led India to T20I series wins in England and South Africa in 2018 and earlier this year, he helped India whitewash New Zealand 5-0 in the shortest format. With the latest T20I series win Down Under, Kohli completed the iconic quartet.
It was India's ninth consecutive T20I win and captain Kohli was proud of his side at the end of the game in Sydney on Sunday.
"We played really well as a team in T20 cricket. The fact that two of our established players are not playing and to win like this, makes me very proud of this team. Everyone has played 14 games recently (in the IPL) and they know their plans. Natarajan was outstanding and Shardul was good today. Hardik finishing off the game and Shikhar getting that fifty, it's a whole team effort.
The reason for him (Hardik) to come into our team in 2016 was his pure ability, he now realizes that this is the time to establish in that (finishing) role and play match-winning knocks for us. He plays with all his heart and he certainly got that competitive nature about him and also has the skill to execute that at the highest level. That's (next game) gonna be very exciting. In the tough moments, when so many people backing you, the next game is going to be exciting," said Kohli at the post-match presentation at the SCG.
The third and final T20I is scheduled to be played on Tuesday in Sydney.