The India vs. Australia encounter on the 27th of March at Mohali was a do or die encounter for both teams and a high pressure match as a birth in the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final was at stake. The Aussies won the toss and captain Steven Smith had no hesitation in deciding to bat as he wanted to put a total up on the board and allow the Indians to chase under pressure.
The Aussies got off to an incredible start with Khawaja playing a cameo and Finch providing good support to help Australia reach their 50 in just 4 overs. However the Indians pulled things back with some good bowling and outstanding fielding. Dhoni decided to experiment with Yuvraj Singh who has not had a bowl in the tournament so far but struck with his first ball to dismiss the Australian captain.
Australia initially was on target to get close to 200 but some good bowling towards the death ensured that they would only get 160. The Indians once again had a poor start losing both the openers cheaply and Raina followed shortly to put India under pressure. To make matters worse, Yuvraj Singh suffered an ankle injury that made it very difficult for him to run and Kohli was forced to give up going for the second run on a number of occasions.
Shane Watson who announced that he will retire after this tournament had a good game with the ball getting rid of Sharma and Raina. He would put his hand up again after taking a splendid catch to get rid of Yuvraj Singh. India had Dhoni and Kohli at the crease and a task of getting around 66 runs in 6 overs.
Kohli loves nothing more than chasing under pressure as his record has been phenomenal and once again he proved that is arguably the greatest chaser in the game. Kohli took James Faulkner apart in the 18th over to give India a sniff at victory and would later go on to hit Coulter-Nile for four fours in the19th over to put India firmly in command. Captain MS Dhoni hit a four of the first ball of the final over to take India into the semi-finals. Kohli was once again the man of the match as he scored more than half the runs for team India.
During the post-match interview, Kohli said “I would like to thank the crowd, it was unbelievable, the support helps you push through those tough times. You need challenges in every game; they improve you as cricketers. I don’t know what to say, I am overwhelmed”