Rookie paceman gives Aussies winning feeling
A FAST-bowling masterclass from international rookie Jason Behrendorff has given Australia a shot at an upset T20 series victory over India.
The tourists levelled the series at 1-1 with an eight-wicket thumping of the hosts in the north-eastern city of Guwahati. Behrendorff dismissed India's entire top four within 12 balls, including Virat Kohli for a second-ball duck.
If Australia can win Saturday's series decider in Hyderabad, it will salvage an unlikely victory after being comfortably beaten 4-1 in the ODIs.
Behrendorff's 4-21 off four overs was the catalyst for India's total of 118, which was easily hunted down by Australia with 27 balls to spare.
Moises Henriques batted beautifully for his 62 off 46, as he combined with Travis Head (48 off 34) to take the game away from India in Guwahati. Behrendorff swung the ball at pace as he ran through India's top order which he said was an amazing feeling.
"To get the boys back up and about after a pretty tough time in the one-dayers it's very special," Behrendorff said.
After getting smashed for two boundaries by Rohit Sharma in the first three balls of the match, the West Australian paceman responded by trapping him lbw with his next delivery.
Kohli also fell in the first over, with Behrendorff taking the catch off his own bowling to claim the vital wicket of the Indian skipper. Behrendorff had three scalps in eight balls when Manish Pandey (six) nicked one to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, while a stunning outfield catch from stand-in captain David Warner made Shikhar Dhawan (two) his fourth victim.
"To get the ball up there, swing the ball, hit guys on the pads and nick blokes off, those are the things we talk about in our meetings," Behrendorff said.
The chase was on shaky ground with Australia 2-13 after openers David Warner and Aaron Finch departed early.
But Henriques, who was promoted to No. 3, and Head put the tourists in control. Henriques smashed four fours and four sixes, while Head found the boundary six times, clearing the rope once.
Kohli said India had been disappointing with the bat on a wicket which was starting to stick.
"It was difficult for them as well, but after the dew set in, they got away," Kohli said.
"The effort is to do that as a team, but we speak about when the situations are not in our favour is when we have to put 120 per cent on the field."