India captain Virat Kohli had set the stage for a challenging total of 190-4 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, smashing 72 not out off just 38 balls. He was given excellent company by keeper MS Dhoni who was at his vintage best, hitting 40 off 23 balls with three hits to the boundary and as many over the ropes.
But all that paled in comparison to Maxwell’s unbeaten innings of 113 off 55 balls which took Australia to a series win with two balls to spare. Here are the talking points from the second T20.
KL RAHUL IN FINE FORM
KL Rahul is in fine form and made the most of it, playing fluent drives over covers and flicks through mid wicket to race to 47 off 26 balls. His strokemaking made up for the struggles of fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan who crawled to 14 off 24 balls.
But just when Rahul looked set to cut loose, he played an upper cut to Nathan Coulter-Nile and was caught at third man.
KOHLI AND DHONI TAKE OVER
Skipper Kohli kicked the innings into overdrive as he smoked Coulter-Nile to three successive sixes in the 16th over. For once, Dhoni kept the tempo up from his end as the T20 veterans added exactly 100 runs for the fourth wicket.
Both batsmen reached the 50 sixes landmark in T20 cricket. Kohli’s shot to finish the innings – a check drive down the ground off Pat Cummins for a six – showed how good a pitch it was. The slow knock by Dhawan and the six-ball one from Rishabh Pant came back to haunt India.
AUSSIES FALTER AT THE START
India bowlers did very well with the new ball, with Siddarth Kaul castling Marcus Stoinis and captain Aaron Finch mistiming a pull off Vijay Shankar. At 22-2, Australia were not in great position chasing nearly 10 an over.
But D’Arcy Short (40 off 28) steadied the ship in the company of Maxwell to take the innings deep. Their 73-run stand put the advantage back in Australia’s court.
MAXWELL TEES OFF
Most runs by a player in a 2-match T20I series:— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 27, 2019
211 runs - Glenn Maxwell vs SL, 2016
169 runs - GLENN MAXWELL vs IND, This series#INDvAUS
The Big Show has enough experience of the Chinnaswamy Stadium from his multiple stints in the IPL. He knew sixes can be easily hit at the small ground square of the wicket. With 60 needed from 30 balls, Maxwell targeted leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the game-changing moment of the match – sweeping the leggie over square leg for a six and following that with a reverse swept maximum.
There was no stopping Maxwell as he raced to 113 off 55 balls with seven fours and nine sixes. It was the third T20 ton for Maxwell – the first Australian to do so.
India, meanwhile, paid the price for going in with just five bowling options yet again as Chahal (0-47) and Kaul (1-45) were taken to the cleaners.
Know more about Sport360 Application