On Sunday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, India demonstrated their batting prowess as they chased 173 in just 15.4 overs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series against Afghanistan. This was made possible by the scorching fifties of Yashavi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube. The two left-handers and one particular Virat Kohli, who made his T20I team comeback after a 14-month absence, put on a powerful display. While Kohli refrained from turning his slow start into a major setback, he ensured that he proved his doubters wrong by playing at No. 3 with a refreshingly aggressive approach.
Yashasvi Jaiswal went out for 68, leaving Shivam Dube unbeaten at 63 as India completed the chase without much difficulty.
Following captain Rohit Sharma’s toss and decision to field after appearing in a record-breaking 150th T20I international, Axar Patel (2 for 17) and Arshdeep Singh (3/32) showed promise with the ball. Despite a fast-bowling Gulbadin Naib fifty, India held Afghanistan to a par total. But the brilliant batting display eclipsed the bowlers’ diligent work. The Indore crowd was ecstatic as 10 sixes and 15 boundaries sailed off the Indian batters’ blades.
For the second time in the series, Rohit Sharma was dismissed for a duck, but on his comeback to the game’s shortest format, the comeback man has experienced series victory. With five months remaining before the T20 World Cup, Kohli and Rohit were brought back to the team and played in T20Is for the first time since November 2022.
But as the competition for spots in the T20 World Cup heats up, particularly in the top order, Yashasvi Jaiswal did not hold back, reminding the selectors of his value at the top of the order. Yashavi destroyed the Afghanistan new ball bowlers, reaching his fifth T20I fifty in just 27 balls. When it comes to being Rohit Sharma’s opening partner, Yashasvi is undoubtedly ahead of the competition with a century and five fifties. Shubman Gill replaced Yashasvi, who was notable for missing the first Twenty20 International due to a groin strain, but the Gujarat Titans captain was unable to turn his start into a significant lead in the first T20I in Mohali.
Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal’s senior teammate, joined him at bat at No. 3, and after walking into bat, he delivered an unusually harsh blow. Due to his recent struggles outside the powerplay, there was talk that Virat Kohli would be asked to open when he returned to the T20I side. However, Kohli proved all his doubters wrong by hitting five boundaries for his 16-ball 29.
YASHASVI AND DUBE ON FIRE
Yashavi hit some massive sixes into the stands, going after both pace and spin. For his 34-ball 68, he hit five boundaries and six sixes. After Rohit Sharma was out early, young Yashasvi and seasoned captain Virat Kohli ensured that India had a strong powerplay as they added 57 runs in just 28 balls for the second wicket.
When facing Naveen-ul-Haq, Virat Kohli did not hold back; the star batsman hit him for a six and was out in the sixth over’s very next delivery.
Then, with their amazing hitting, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube took over and completely destroyed the Afghanistan bowling unit. In the tenth over, Shivam Dube hit Mohammad Nabi three times in a row into orbit, and India quickly reached 116 for 2 at the half. From then on, it was just a formality as Dube and Yashasvi put on 94 runs for the third wicket.
After Yashasvi was removed in the 13th over, Jitesh Sharma was unable to pose a threat to the scorers. However, India’s victory was never in doubt because Shivam Dube hit them clean.
Shivam Dube increased his series total to 123 runs in 2 matches, going undefeated for the second time in a row.
On Wednesday, January 17, India will play Afghanistan in the final Twenty20 International in Bengaluru, with the goal of completing a clean sweep.