Australia v India 3rd T20 was the perfect end to a month-long bilateral engagement between India and Australia. Shane Watson’s sparkling ton set the match nicely up. Indian bowlers regained control in the last 3 overs to restrict Australia to 197/5. Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma then gave India the ideal start to chase the massive total down. After a period of the attrition, during which the Australian bowlers seemed to be getting on top of the contest, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh managed to hold fort till the end for a tense last ball victory.
Setting the stage for World T20 2016
Rarely has an Indian team combination looked so well set while playing abroad. The T20 team that whitewashed Australia 3-0 remained unchanged in the all the 3 matches, and demonstrated perfection in all spheres of the game. While the bowlers managed to restrict the Australian batting to scores substantially below set targets, the batsmen were prolific in chasing down a mammoth 198 today, at Sydney. MS Dhoni recently pointed out the importance of going into major tournaments with a set combination of players. The T20 series against Australia might have handed him just that, going into the mega T20 event in March.
Improved bowling by India in death overs – The ‘Bumrah’ effect?
The skipper has very rightly pointed out that India’s marked improvement in performance on the tour during the T20 series ought to be attributed to the extra effort put in by the bowlers. Dhoni has explicitly emphasized on the impact that the arrival of young Jasprit Bumrah has created in the bowling unit. In today’s match it was the last 3 overs, which went for just 29 runs, that kept Australia down to a total below 200. The result of the match (where the result was nowhere in sight until the very last ball!) could have been wholly different had the Indians been off the mark in the death overs. This can indeed be considered to be a welcome sign for India, with a number of high-pressure games expected to come up in the upcoming World T20 2016.