India vs Australia: Yuvraj Singh’s epic knock in the World Cup 2007 semi-final, the highlight as we look at the top 5 memorable knocks between both the teams in T20Is.
After a fascinating ODI series, India and Australia are currently playing the shortest format of the game. Team India have already began well by winning the first match of the series. Even, historically, Team India have an upper hand with a better win percentage in T20Is.
While T20 Internationals are not that regular between any sides, but when India and Australia collide in any of the formats, there is always something to look forward to. In the build-up to the series, we will revisit some of the memorable knocks in T20Is from India vs Australia encounters in the past.
Virat Kohli – 82*(51) at Mohali, 2016
This was a huge occasion on an early summer evening in Mohali. ICC World T20 usually doesn’t have a quarter-final in the format but this was the virtual one between India and Australia. Whoever had won would have gone through to the semis at Mumbai. Chasing 161 runs to win, India were struggling to keep themselves afloat as most batsmen were not timing the ball.
But Virat Kohli played on a different pitch that day. Virat Kohli picked up his real mojo in the second half of the innings. Some of his flicks and off-side shots were astonishing to watch. That day, he was just playing with Australian field placements with his gap finding abilities.
Not only boundaries, but he and MS Dhoni also put together a partnership which included extensive running between the wickets – arguably the best Indian cricket has ever seen. His knock of 82* from just 51 balls helped India chase down the target and qualify for the semis. Later on, Virat Kohli admitted that this was his best innings in the format.
Yuvraj Singh – 70(30) at Durban, 2007
This knock of Yuvraj Singh is still being considered as one of the best in the format. After missing the previous game against South Africa, Yuvraj Singh had some unfinished business in the semi-final of inaugural WT20. He was hitting everything from the middle the moment he stepped on to the field.
After losing both the openers cheaply, India were in need of a partnership. There was something else in the air that day in Durban. Yuvraj Singh was literally breathing fire into the Australian bowling attack. And to treat an attack that consisted of Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson with that disdain was no mean feat.
His pick-up flick shot off Brett Lee straight into Kingsmead stands will remain thumbnail of this knock. India piled on 188 batting first mainly due to Yuvraj’s fireworks, which Australia failed to crack in a nail-biting semi-final. In the 13 years of T20 rivalry, this knock remains at the top of the list of most memorable knocks.
Glenn Maxwell – 113*(55) at Bengaluru, 2019
How it is possible that we do a countdown of brilliant T20 innings and Glenn Maxwell madness is not part of that? Well, if you are an India fan, look away as this won’t be happy memories for you. This brilliant knock came at Bangalore in the 2nd and last T20I of Australia’s tour of India in 2019.
Australia were leading by 1-0, and India set a target of 191 runs for Australia to register a series win. After a couple of early wickets, Glenn Maxwell joined D’Arcy Short in the middle. Right from the word go, the Victorian was in his elements. Maxi played it very smart that day against the common Maxwell wisdom.
He Chose specific match-ups, and went hard against them. He particularly punished Siddarth Kaul and Yuzvendra Chahal while he played Jasprit Bumrah according to the merit. Some of his on-side shots over the mid-wicket were breathtaking, to say the least. Although India lost, the Bengaluru crowd was left enthralled with this Maxwell masterclass.
Shane Watson – 124*(71) at Sydney, 2016
We are going back to 2016 again when India toured Australia for limited-overs series. After losing the ODI series convincingly, India already had an unassailable lead in the T20I series when both teams reached Sydney for the third and final match of the series. It was the veteran of Shane Watson that came to the party that night for Australia.
Opening with Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson went all guns blazing right from the ball one. Even though, Shane Watson has played many great T20 knocks but this innings will remain always special for his fans as this came towards the tail-end of his international career. This Watson blitzkrieg included 10 fours and 6 towering sixes into SCG stands. In terms of sheer domination, this innings takes the cake as out of Australia’s team total of 197, more than 60% of runs came from Shane Watson’s bat.
Rohit Sharma – 79(46) at Barbados, 2010
Even after Rohit Sharma made useful contributions in India’s WT20 win in 2007, he was yet to cement his place in the Indian lineup in 2010 when he was playing his 3rd T20 world cup. Team India were taking on Australia in their first Super 8 clash at historic Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Australia put on 184 runs on the board batting first, and India were up against it on a difficult surface. Remember, we are talking about the days when playing on bouncier pitches was still haunting the Indian batsmen. As expected, India were off to a terrible start in the chase as Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait went bang-bang with the new ball.
Then came Rohit Sharma, who was still learning the arts of batting at this level. There were already talks about his ability but it was this innings that gave glimpses into his future. This knock of 79 runs was the lone fighting hand from India’s perspective as others capitulated against an in-form Australian side. His 6 maximums included some of the majestic pull shots which were pretty rare those days.
Thanks for reading! Which of the above-mentioned top knocks of India vs Australia in T20Is did you like the most? Please, let us know in the comments.
Dharmik is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics. He is an avid Cricket lover who fell in love with the game when Australia won the ’99 WC at the age of 6.