In a captivating fourth Twenty20 international match, India clinched a decisive 20-run victory over Australia, taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. The game, played on December 1, 2023, at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur, India, was a testament to the skill and strategy of the Indian team.
Rinku Singh’s explosive performance was a highlight of the match. His rapid 46 runs off just 29 balls significantly contributed to India’s total score of 174-9. This remarkable batting display came despite the Australian fast bowlers’ late-game efforts to stem the run flow after choosing to field first.
Axar Patel, with his exceptional left-arm spin bowling, was instrumental in India’s win. He returned impressive figures of 3-16, effectively restricting Australia to 154-7. Patel’s bowling prowess was pivotal in dismantling the Australian batting lineup, including key wickets like that of opener Travis Head, who had started strongly with a 16-ball 31.
India’s newly-appointed captain, Suryakumar Yadav, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, emphasizing the players’ fearless and expressive approach. Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi also made a significant impact, claiming a wicket in his very first delivery and finishing with 1-17.
Despite Australia’s efforts to rally, their chase was continuously hampered. Tim David’s attempt to counterattack was thwarted by fast bowler Deepak Chahar, who claimed two vital wickets, including David’s. Australian skipper Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 36 was commendable but insufficient to overcome India’s total.
Earlier in the innings, Rinku Singh formed crucial partnerships, most notably a 56-run stand with Jitesh Sharma, who himself played a brisk 19-ball 35. The Australian bowlers, including Ben Dwarshuis and Jason Behrendorff, eventually checked India’s surge, denying Rinku a well-deserved half-century.
Australia, missing several of their ODI World Cup stars, fielded a team that had only Travis Head from the World Cup-winning squad. The absence of key players like Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis was felt in the team’s performance.
With the series now decided, the focus shifts to the final T20 match, scheduled for December 4 in Bengaluru. This match offers Australia a chance to salvage some pride and for India, the opportunity to further assert their dominance in the series.