In Stats: India Become Most Successful Team After 100 T20Is
The Indian team celebrated the occasion of its 100th T20 International match with a comprehensive win over Ireland on Wednesday, 27 June. After being put in to bat, India amassed 208-5 and then restricted the hosts Ireland to 132-9 to win by 76 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
With the win in the first match at Malahide, India now have 63 wins – which is the most any of the six other international teams had registered after they had played 100 T20Is. It is worth recollecting here that the BCCI was the last among the full members to embrace the format; despite being late in warming up to the format at the international level, India have consistently dominated the format.
The platform for India’s win was set up by the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who stitched together a 160-run partnership – the biggest partnership against Ireland.
During the course of their association in this match, Dhawan and Rohit became the first Indian pair – and only the second opening pair overall in T20Is – to accumulate 1000 runs or more as a pair in T20Is.
Early in the innings, Dhawan was quick off the blocks while his opening partner Rohit took time to settle down. By the time the powerplay ended, the left-handed Dhawan had raced to 30 off 15 balls, while Rohit had scored 24 off 21 balls.
Dhawan brought up his half-century in the eleventh over; he reached the milestone in style, hitting the left-arm spinner George Dockrell into the stands at midwicket. The left-hander carried on to score 74 before he was dismissed in the sixteenth over. During the course of his innings, Dhawan surpassed the 6000 T20-run milestone – becoming the sixth Indian batsman to reach that mark.
Dhawan has been in a rich vein of form this year – particularly in white ball cricket, and the numbers back that claim; with his 74 in this match, the year 2018 has become his most productive year in the 20-over format.
As the Indian innings progressed, Rohit Sharma too found his bearings and accelerated steadily.
The 32-year-old had a fairly ordinary IPL season – managing only 286 runs in 14 innings in the IPL season, and must have been under some sort of pressure (with the in-form KL Rahul being forced to warm the benches). However, he applied himself well – and played the typical Rohit Sharma 50-over kind of an innings; he took his time to get going, but once he was set, he was destructive.
After scoring at just over a run a ball in his first 20 balls, he accelerated to a strike-rate of 142 and 213.6 in the later stages of his innings.
The 31-year-old had the opportunity to score his third hundred in T20 Internationals and his 5th in the 20-over format overall, but threw it away when on the brink. After applying so well through the innings – and aided by two dropped catches, he attempted an ugly heave when on 97, only to miss the ball altogether and have his stumps rearranged.
Wrist Spinners Rule
And then when it was India’s turn to defend the runs on the board, the two wrist spinners took over and imposed themselves on the Irish batsmen. Yuzvendra Chahal was introduced into the attack in the seventh over, and Kuldeep Yadav in the tenth over; both spinners wasted little time and struck in their respective first overs.
Chahal had Andy Balbirnie stumped to break a 41-run partnership, while Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Simi Singh in the tenth over to break yet another blossoming stand. Chahal added two more wickets to his kitty in the final over to finish with figures of 3-38, while Kuldeep returned career-best figures of 4-21 – his four-over spell included a maiden over.