India routed Australia by six wickets in the third and final T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground to equal the three-match series 1-1.
The hero for India proved to be Krunal Pandya, who picked 4/36 to stop Australia at 164/6 in their 20 overs. Shikhar Dhawan gave India a flying start with his 41, as he and Rohit put on 67 runs for the first wicket. The match was then finished off by Virat Kohli with a masterful 61* with aid from Dinesh Karthik, who made 22*.
Krunal Pandya was given Man of the Match award and said, “Feels great to contribute to a win. Was preparing myself after that first game where I went for runs. All the wickets were my favorite because I wasn't getting any wickets and they were hammering me in the first game. Best part of our team is that they back each and every player.”
Aaron Finch felt that Australia was 15-20 runs short and said, “They batted extremely well in the powerplay. Always tough to bring it back from 1/67. If we had few more runs, would've had a chance. The way that we fought was brilliant. Rohit and Dhawan are totally different styles of batsmen which is tough for bowlers. That's why they've been a great opening combination. Guys had a plan, just didn't execute in the middle overs with the bat. Still fair bit of work to do but we're going in the right direction which is nice. Feeling good for the Tests. Obviously a totally different format. Will get down to Brisbane and prepare for 5-6 days.”
Shikhar Dhawan received the Man of the Series award for scores of 76 and 41 and said, “Guess they love me a lot and I'll make them cheer more *thigh-slaps* Tremendous to see Indian support. I'm sure they'll support us for the Tests too. It was fun. As a batsman, when you score it always feels good. It's good that we were able to draw this series.”
And finally, Virat Kohli said, “Things become pretty easy when those two (Shikhar and Rohit) guys do the job for us. We thought the wicket slowed down with the old ball. That's how T20 cricket goes. You lose momentum, you gain it. DK did really well at the end. Maxi and Zampa both bowled well, especially Maxi who has a gut feel of the batsmen. Overall, skill-wise, we were better on the day than Australia. When our openers get into the zone, they're difficult to stop. I come in at three and attempt to take us home. With the ball, we were more professional today. I thought it was a 180 wicket. Weather is uncontrollable. These are things you have to accept as a sportsman. A level series is a fair reflection of how the teams have played. Tonight, also the fans were really loud and motivated us to the win.”
(Inputs from Cricbuzz.com)