Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], September 26 (ANI): Team India on Sunday surpassed arch-rivals Pakistan to become the team with the most T20I wins in a calendar year.
The Men in Blue accomplished this feat after their win over Australia in the third and final ODI in Hyderabad.
Chasing 187 set by Australia, half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav (69) and Virat Kohli (63) helped Men in Blue achieve their 21st T20I win in 2022, the most by a team during a calendar year.
The record was previously held by Pakistan, who had won 20 T20I matches in 2021.
India has had a lot of match practice for themselves in the shortest format ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played from October 16-November 13 this year.
They started off this year with a 3-0 win over West Indies in the T20I series back in February. In the same month, they beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in a home T20 series.
In June, another T20I home series against South Africa happened and the series ended in a 2-2 draw after the final match was washed out due to rain.
India continued their winning ways in the shortest format with a 2-1 win in T20I against England in their own territory in July. In the same month, they had also defeated Ireland 2-0 at their home.
In July-August, Men in Blue toured the Caribbean, where they defeated West Indies by 4-1 in five-match T20I series.
This was followed by a rare blot on India's resume in T20Is this year, as they failed to defend their Asia Cup title in August-September this year, finishing third in the Super Four phase.
After this Australia series, they will play a three-match T20I series against South Africa at home, which will start from September 28 onwards.
India will start its T20 WC campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23.
India could not even qualify for the final four last year as they crashed out of the tournament in the Super 12 phase.
Coming to the third T20I against Australia, visitors Aussies posted 186/7 in their 20 overs. Cameron Green (52 off 21 balls) helped the Aussies get to an explosive start.
But following that, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (1/22) and Axar Patel (3/33) helped Men in Blue make a comeback, restricting Aussies' run flow and leaving them struggling at 117/6 in 13.5 overs.
Then a 68-run stand between Tim David (54) and Daniel Sams (28) helped the visitors reach 186/7 in their 20 overs. Axar was India's star with the ball and continued his good run in the series. Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel also got one wicket each.
Chasing 187, Team India lost openers KL Rahul (1) and skipper Rohit Sharma (17) quickly, leaving them struggling at 2/30. Then Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav stitched a quickfire 104-run stand in 62 balls, with Yadav smashing Aussies all over the park and Virat anchoring the innings after scoring some quick runs in his first 20 balls.
Yadav's dismissal for 69 off 36 to Josh Hazlewood broke the stand. Following that, Virat brought up his half-century and looked to finish off the game, but was caught by skipper Aaron Finch on a Sams delivery for a well-made 63 off 48. Hardik Pandya (25 off 16 balls) finished the game for India with a four, with one ball to spare. Team India finished their innings at 187/4, winning the game by six wickets.
Sams (2/33) bowled well for Aussies. Hazlewood and Pat Cummins also took a wicket each.
Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged as 'Man of the Match' for his fifty. (ANI)