Australia vs India Sydney T20I: Virat Kohli’s feat and other stats highlights

Virat Kohli has now jumped to the fourth spot in the top T20I run scorer's table. Picture courtesy: Wikimedia commons

By Suvajit Mustafi

Run chase. White ball. Virat Kohli. The very ingredients required for a smiling India. Such was this November Sunday. Amid the blue waves in Sydney, Kohli pulled off another masterclass to ensure India had levelled the T20I series 1-1.

Will the series result please India? Not quite.

India had whitewashed Australia 3-0 in the 2015-16 tour. The expectation was the same when the Indians took on the Australian brigade sans David Warner and Steven Smith. Tactical errors and needless experiments led to the Brisbane defeat and rain helped Australia escape in Melbourne. Sniffing the metal, Australians summoned their superstar Mitchell Starc for the final game.

Starc did add zing to the Australian bowling on Sunday. In fact, Kohli started against Starc with three dots, and the fans got to witness a miniature version of the duel between two cricketing giants. The outcome of the upcoming Test series will largely depend on this battle.


Earlier in the day, Australia’s women’s team had won the World T20 in West Indies. Starc’s better half, Alyssa Healy was adjudged the Player of the Tournament. Enough inspiration for the men’s side to make amends for the disastrous year. A year that has been a dark one for their cricket. The men’s side had seized many moments on Sunday including toppling the Rohit-Shikhar hurdle before stumbling onto Kohli…

Entertainment came at galore as the superstars in blue and yellow produced dazzling cricket. Let’s take a peek at some interesting statistical highlights.

India break winning streak: The 1-1 result sees an end to India’s seven-series winning streak. The run had begun last year after they beat New Zealand at home. This is also the first time that India didn’t win a three-match bilateral T20I series. They had won all of their previous nine!

Third-most number of wins in a calendar year: India finished 2018 with 14 wins in T20Is. This is the third-most number of victories by a team in a calendar year in the international T20I cricket. Pakistan havef won 18 this year, which is a record. India had won 15 in 2016.

Highest T20I team total without a six: Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are some of the biggest hitters in the game. It was one of those rare games where all of these gentlemen played and despite that Australia didn’t manage a single ‘six’! Australia’s 164 for 6 is now the highest score in T20Is without a six being hit.

India. Australia. T20Is. Sydney: No other team apart from India has defeated Australia at SCG in T20Is. Australia enjoy a good record at this venue in the shortest format. They have beaten England in 2007, New Zealand in 2009 and 2018, and the West Indies in 2010. They had also lost to India at this ground in 2016. India had clinched a last-ball thriller. Even then Kohli had struck a fifty.

The curious case of Krunal Pandya: The senior Pandya was smashed around the ground by Maxwell in the first T20I of the series on Wednesday. His figures of 4-0-55-0 were the worst for any spinner in a T20I, in Australia. Four days later, Krunal wreaked havoc in the Australian batting, dismissing Short, Maxwell, Ben McDermott and Alex Carey to register figures of 4-0-36-4 — the best figures for a spinner in T20Is, in Australia.

Sublime Dhawan: Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged the Player of the Series. His last four T20I innings read: 41 (22), 76 (42), 92 (62), and 43 (41). Dhawan finishes 2018 with 689 runs — the most international runs in a calendar year by any batsman in the history of the format. Dhawan’s runs have come at 40.52 and at a strike rate of 147.22.

Kohli joins Rohit: This was Kohli’s 19th T20I fifty. Only Rohit had 19 scores over fifty in T20Is, out of which four are centuries. Kohli is yet to score a T20I hundred, but has the most fifties in this format.

Kohli goes past Baz: Kohli has now jumped to the fourth spot in T20I runs table. During his knock at SCG, he went past Brendon McCullum’s tally of 2,140 runs.

Most runs in T20Is:









Martin Guptill (New Zealand)








Rohit Sharma (India)








Shoaib Malik (Pakistan)








Virat Kohli (India)








Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)









Kohli’s supremacy in this format is well reflected in those numbers.

Most runs against an opponent: Kohli now has 488 runs against Australia in T20Is. This is the most runs by a player against any opponent in this format. Kohli went past Guptill, who has 463 runs against Pakistan.

The Chase Master: Kohli has remained unbeaten in run-chases 12 times, and on all occasions, India have won. Even Dinesh Karthik has stayed not out nine times during chases and India have won on as many events.

With 1,231 runs at 82.06, Kohli has most runs in T20I chases. His average shoots up to over 120 in successful run chases in this format.

Dinesh Karthik’s 2018: Karthik is the senior most player in the Indian side. His international debut came in November 2004, yes even before MS Dhoni’s. Karthik had won India their first-ever T20I, in South Africa, in 2006. He was also a part of Dhoni’s World T20 winning squad in 2007. Despite all that, Karthik had just played just 13 T20Is till the start of 2018.

He played 14 this year, 13 of them for India and one for the ICC World XI. He also led the high-profile Kolkata Knight Riders to the third spot in this year’s IPL. Karthik finished the year with a T20I average of 60.33 and a strike rate of 152.10.

Pant flops: Statistician Umang Pabari points out that Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to register a golden duck in T20Is.

In other news, Kuldeep Yadav continued to be India’s unsung hero. The Chinaman bowler troubled the Australian batters and finished the series with figures of 12-0-66-4.

The focus now shifts to the bigger arena, the Test series. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy starts in Adelaide next month. India are yet to win a Test series in Australia and this will be their 12th attempt and this might be their best chance.

(Suvajit Mustafi is a Mumbai based cricket writer. He can be contacted via Twitter and Facebook.)