The Men in Blue beat the Aussies by six wickets in the deciding T20I at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday (September 25) to claim the three-match series 2-1. Chasing 187, the hosts were guided home by half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav and Kohli.
Taking to his official Instagram handle on Sunday, Sreesanth shared a video in which he is seen rooting for Kohli. From the clip, it appears that he was watching the match with some of his friends. The former fast bowler shared the video with the caption:
“@virat.kohli Kohli Kohli Kohli…keep going strong brother..🙏🏻💯❤️great to cu amount runs..alwys keep at it..”
While Suryakumar smashed 69 in only 36 balls, Kohli contributed a crucial 63 in 48 balls. The duo added 104 runs for the third wicket to lift India after the early loss of openers KL Rahul (1) and Rohit Sharma (17).
Despite terrific knocks from Suryakumar and Kohli, Australia’s bowlers fought back to take the match into the last over. Needing 11 off six balls, Kohli lofted the first delivery from Daniel Sams for a maximum, but was caught off the next ball.
Hardik Pandya (25* off 16), however, held his nerve to take Team India past the finish line. He hit the winning boundary, albeit in streaky fashion, off the penultimate ball. The all-rounder got a thick edge on a wide delivery outside off stump and the ball raced to the fence.
“The game shouldn’t have gone on that long” – Virat Kohli
Speaking after the match, Kohli admitted that the finish was tighter than they were expecting as India seemed to be cruising at one stage. In a video posted on bcci.tv, he opined:
“The game shouldn’t have gone on that long, we should have probably had 4 or 5 to chase in the final over. It was important to maintain my composure and get one boundary (hitting a six off the first ball).
“I’m happy with my contribution to the team, I took a break, went back to the nets, worked hard on my fitness and I think it’s coming off well. I want to keep contributing and doing my best for the team,” he added.
The 33-year-old also praised Suryakumar for playing a wonderful hand under pressure in a must-win game. Sharing his views on the in-form batter, he commented:
“He has the game to bat under any sort of situation and any condition. He has shown that already. He got a hundred in England, he batted beautifully in the Asia Cup. Here, he’s striking the ball as well as I have seen him strike. For the past 6 months, he’s been outstanding. He’s a guy who knows his game inside out.”
Suryakumar was named Player of the Match for his blazing half-century in Hyderabad, while Axar Patel (8 wickets) was named Player of the Series.