New Delhi, Dec 22: Team India and its star performer Virat Kohli had a memorable 2016 in Twenty20 format. Men In Blue were the semi-finalists of the ICC World T20 2016 as they were outplayed by West Indies who went on winning the title.
MS Dhoni and his men played maximum (21) T20I games in the year 2016 and won 16 of them. MS Dhoni and Company were also crowned the champions in the Asia Cup T20I, this year.
Team India's batting master class Virat Kohli, who sits comfortably at the top of ICC T20I Rankings for batsmen, was in supreme form in the year.
This is how Team India performed in T20I in the year 2016:
Vs Australia (in Australia): Played - 3, won - 3.
Vs Sri Lanka (in India): Played - 3, won - 2, lost - 1.
Asia Cup T20 (in Bangladesh): Played - 5, won - 5.
World T20 (in India): Played - 5, won - 3, lost - 2.
Vs Zimbabwe (in Zimbabwe): Played - 3, won - 2, lost - 1.
Vs West Indies (in USA): Played - 2: Lost - 1, No Result - 1.
Here are 5 best T20I wins registered by Team India in the year 2016:
1. 3rd T20I: India complete 3-0 clean sweep over Australia
After losing the ODI series 4-1, Indians came back strongly to clean sweep the T20I series and set the tone for the long T20 season that followed.
MS Dhoni and Company coupled by Virat Kohli's batting masterclass defeated Australians in their own backyard and cleared their intentions ahead of the Asia Cup T20 and World T20.
India's top batting order put Shane Watson's unbeaten 71-ball 124 not out in the shade as they clinched the third and final match of the series by 7 wickets to blank Australia 3-0 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Watson's superb maiden century powered Australia, batting first, to a handsome 197 for five. In reply, India rode on blistering batting from their top four batsmen - Shikhar Dhawan (26 in nine deliveries), Rohit Sharma (52 in 38), Virat Kohli (50 in 36) and Suresh Raina (49 not out in 38) - to overtake the target in the final over.
With India needing 17 in the final over, Yuvraj Singh hit pacer Andrew Tye for a six and then a four off the first two deliveries to pave the way for the last-ball heroics by Raina.
2. Bowlers, Virat Kohli set up win against Pakistan in Asia Cup
India recovered from three early jolts, inflicted by a devastating spell from Mohammad Aamir, before notching up a five-wicket victory against arch rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup T20.
Aamir (3/18) rocked the Indian top-order with a fast and furious 4-over spell but the small target of 84 was not good enough to stop the 'Men In Blue' who knocked off the runs with 27 balls to spare.
Indian bowlers had demolished the Pakistan batting line up with a superlative show as they bundled out the arch-rivals for a paltry 83 in only 17.3 overs after opting to field.
But it required the calm and class of Virat Kohli (49) to take India home without further setbacks. Kohli's 51-ball innings had seven boundaries and he looked cut above any batsman, in that game.
What was supposed to be a cakewalk turned out to be a brief nightmare for the Indians. Openers Rohit Sharma (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) were beaten by sheer pace of Aamir leaving India under trouble.
But it was Kohli, who showed why he is among the best in the world. He shielded Yuvraj from Aamir by taking bulk of the strike. His footwork was precise and played close to the body. Once the menacing Aamir's spell was over, Kohli had ensured India were out of the trouble waters.
By the time, the right-handed batsman was adjudged leg-before off Mohammad Sami?'s bowling, India were eight runs short of victory. It was Dhoni, who cover drove Wahab to finish off the match.
3. Lift Asia Cup T20 against Bangladesh in Bangladesh
India clinched the Asia Cup trophy for a record sixth time after beating hosts Bangladesh by eight wickets, riding on Shikhar Dhawan's scintillating 44-ball 60 in a rain-truncated final.
Pacers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah like every match, gave India vital breakthroughs in the five Powerplay overs.
However, Mahmudullah Riyadh's fiery 13-ball 33 took hosts to competitive 120 for five (15 overs).
Chasing a target of 121 in a match reduced to 15-overs-a-side, Dhawan came good when it mattered the most as he hit nine fours and a six adding 94 runs with Virat Kohli (41 not out) with India winning with seven balls to spare.
In the last two overs, India required 19 runs. If the partisan 25,000 supporters harboured any hopes of a comeback, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (20 not out in 6 balls) dashed it with a lethal six over deep mid-wicket off Al-Amin and another terrific blow over deep extra cover before finishing the match with another six. There were no celebrations from the Indian team as the crowd were left spellbound in disbelief.
4. Dhoni shines as India edge Bangladesh by 1 run in last-ball thriller
Title favourites India survived a mighty scare before pulling off an incredible 1-run victory over Bangladesh in a nerve-wracking low-scoring thriller to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the ICC World T20.
Defending a modest 146, India looked down and out for the better part of the match before pulling their acts together in the final two overs to restrict Bangladesh to 145 for 9.
With 1 needed for tie and 2 to win, it was the inspirational skipper MS Dhoni Dhoni, who brought smiles with his daredevilry and innovative thinking.
He took his right gloves off when Hardik Pandya came in to bowl the last delivery with two runs required.
Pandya bowled a fuller delivery wide off Shuvagato Hom who missed it and Dhoni caught it with only his inners on.
As Mustafizur Rahman started sprinting from the other end, the 34-plus Indian skipper beat his younger opponent in a short sprint to whip off the bails to lead to an unbelievable finish as the entire Chinnaswamy Stadium erupted in joy.
Sights of MS Dhoni's sprinting run out will be deeply rooted into the memories of both Indian as well as Bangladesh fans.
The win was a perfect Holi gift for the fans by the Indian team and helped the host nation reach one step closer towards semi-finals.
5. Kohli's masterclass takes India into WT20 semi-finals
After restricting Australia to 160 for 6, India's batting masterclass Virat Kohli (82 not out) provided the spark with a superlative display of batting to help title favourites overhaul the target with five balls to spare in a thrilling showdown at the IS Bindra Stadium, at Mohali.
Defending a target of 161, Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, removed Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina as India tattered at 49/3.
All hopes were pinned on team's premier batsman Kohli, who made it a habit of chasing down targets in testing times in the year 2016.
The innings required a push with the hosts reaching 65 in 10 overs, needing 96 off the last 60 balls for a famous win.
India turned the game on its head in the last four overs with the flamboyant Kohli unleashing a flurry of shots to take the game away from the Australians much to the delight of the capacity home crowd.
It was the 18th over bowled by James Faulkner which went for 19 runs and that swung the game in the home team's favour.
Let down by a poor start, India were left to get 39 in the last three overs but Kohli got the team home to 162 for four in 19.1 overs. His 82 not out came from 51 balls, studded with nine fours and two sixes.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18*) hit the winning runs - a four - to the wild celebrations at the Indian camp as well among the vociferous crowd.
6. Special Mention for T20I against WI in USA:
Team India may have lost this match but it certainly was one of the best T20 International games ever played for it had all the ingredients of being a blockbuster of a game against reigning World T20 champions.
Chasing a mere unachievable target of 246 in 20 overs, India fell short by just one run. With 2 runs required to win off the last delivery skipper MS Dhoni, was outplayed by Dwyane Bravo, and India lost the game.
But, this match will be remembered for the batting masterclass by young KL Rahul who slammed an unbeaten maiden century. Karnataka's Rahul struck the second fastest century in T20I to guide India to an almost improbable win before the last ball twist changed the fortunes of the men in blue.