The current and former India skippers dealt primarily in sixes as the hosts racked up a mammoth 190-5 in their 20 overs after being made to bat first by the Aussies.
Both the batsmen brought up a half-century of sixes in the T20Is during the course of their innings as the visitors were made to toil at Bengaluru.
Kohli struck six sixes during his unbeaten innings of 72 off just 38 deliveries while Dhoni slammed three of them in his 40-run knock.
It was Dhoni who started the fireworks on Wednesday as he became only the fourth Indian batsman after Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina to bring up 50 T20I sixes. The wicketkeeper batsman had faced plenty of flak for turning down eight singles in India’s loss in the first T20 but he was a man on a mission on Wednesday with a strike-rate of over 173.
Most sixes in an innings for Virat Kohli in International cricket:— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 27, 2019
7 sixes vs Australia, 2013 (Jaipur ODI)
6 sixes vs Australia, Today
The previous most he hit in a T20I was 4 sixes vs Sri Lanka in the WT20 2014 Final. #INDvAUS
Kohli followed the veteran soon after with the India skipper taking apart Nathan Coulter-Nile. Kohli struck the Aussie pacer for three consecutive sixes in the 16th over and finished off India’s innings in fitting style with a last-ball six off Pat Cummins.
The six sixes struck from Kohli’s bat is the most the India superstar has ever collected in a single T20I innings.
Kohli and Dhoni shared a 100-run stand for the fourth wicket with their explosive knocks helping India amass a staggering 117 runs in the final 10 overs of the innings.
Rohit, who was rested in Wednesday’s clash, remains the king when it comes to sixes for India in the format with 102 of them to his name and is second in the all-time list.
The India limited-overs deputy skipper trails West Indies icon Chris Gayle (103) and New Zealand stalwart Martin Guptill by just the one six. Kohli now has 54 sixes to his name while Dhoni has 52.
Having found opportunities hard to come by in the limited-overs formats for India in recent years, Ajinkya Rahane has bemoaned his lack of a consistent run in the squad.
The right-handed batsman has not played an ODI for India since February, 2018 although he remains a regular in the Test setup.
With the ICC World Cup in England just over a couple of months away, time is running out for Rahane to stake his claim for a role in the ODI squad and the batsman feels he has not been given ample opportunity to do so.
“I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it’s important to speak the truth,” Rahane told The Hindu in an interview.
“I have always believed the team comes first and respected the management and the selectors’ decision. I will continue to do that. But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognised.
“The point is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That’s the least I am asking.”
While Rahane has not featured in the ODI squad for over a year, India chief selector MSK Prasad had recently declared that the batsman remains in contention for the World Cup squad.
However, the Mumbai man has not been picked for the upcoming ODI series against Australia and it looks unlikely at this stage that he can force his way back into the side. Rahane though, is not letting himself get bogged down with negativity.
“If I feel let down, my mindset will turn negative and so, I don’t really think that way. If you see the last three-four series, my average was around 45 to 50. After I was dropped, I went back to domestic cricket and feel I have done reasonably well,” he stated.
“But every individual needs confidence and positive vibes like ‘yes, you are there and you are doing it for the team’. I think everyone knows that if someone is backing you, the player gets the confidence to play fearless and positive cricket.”
Rahane has so far played 90 ODIs for India over the course of his career and has manged to score 3, 767 runs at an average of over 35 and a strike-rate of nearly 79.
Virat Kohli and his men trail 0-1 in the two-match series and have it all to do following their narrow three-wicket loss in the first T20 at Vizag.
Australia, on the other hand, are chasing a first T20 series win over India in over a decade.
Will India strike back to level the series or will Aaron Finch and his men take the bragging rights ahead of the upcoming ODI clashes? Find out by following the ball-by-ball updates from Bengaluru below.