Final game of the series was a dead rubber as India had already clinched the series by winning the first two games of the series. It was a nail biting encounter with India prevailing on the very last ball of the innings. Shane Watson and Virat Kohli were declared the ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Series’ respectively, as India completed a clean sweep.
It was the first occasion where Australia didn’t falter after the first 10 overs. This victory helped India to grab its 3rd series triumph on Australian soil. The first came in World Championship of Cricket under Sunil Gavaskar’s captaincy in 1985, and the second in CB Series in 2008.
In the match which went down to the wire, the top 3 (batsman) clicked for India but the last 3(bowlers) didn’t. So we at EssentiallySports bring you five talking points from the final encounter of the series.
The debutant captain Shane Watson made five change in the team: Khawaja in for Finch, Bancroft in for Wade, Head for Faulkner, Boyce for Lyon and Tait for Hastings.
Some may have criticized him for this move but his innings of 124 of 71 balls with 10 hits to the fence and 6 over it, silenced all his critics. Dropped by Kohli on 56, he went on to capitalize on the chance and got his century in just 60 balls. Watson became the second Australian to score a T20I century when he swept Jadeja into the short leg-side boundary. His score of 124 happens to be the highest score by a captain in T20 internationals and the second highest score by a batsman in T20 internationals, behind Aaron Finch’s 156 against England.
It is also the first time that a century was hit against India. He bowled well too as he gave away just 30 runs in his overs and picked up the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan.
Glenn Maxwell is slowly but eventually becoming Yuvraj Singh’s bunny after Kevin Pietersen as Yuvraj picked him in the second game as well.
Usman Khawaja who hasn’t got out on a score below 50 since October last year, edged a bowl from Nehra. Khawaja’s score before this match, take a look: 70, 104*, 62, 144, 56, 109*, 121, 174, 9*.
Travis Head and Chris Lynn , the pros from the Big Bash League haven’t impressed with their batting either and have been unable to convert the starts into something big with scores of 26 and 13.
Today in the absence of Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh looked to be the aggressor at the beginning of the innings but failed when he got out for 9. It was a one man show as Watson stole the limelight with his 124.
It has been an average tour for Shikhar Dhawan where he had his ups and downs. But today Shikhar Dhawan took apart the Australian bowling, putting them under pressure with his hitting which took his strike rate to an impressive 288.3. He took on ‘the fire breathing’ Shaun Tait . The not so accurate wild thing went for 24 runs in that over. He was finally caught of the bowling of Shane Watson for 26 of just 9 deliveries with 4 fours and a six . He laid the foundation for the Indian innings with his whirlwind innings.
The Indian opener, Rohit Sharma has enjoyed batting in Australia. He won the Man of the Series during the ODIs for scoring over 400 runs. And yet again during this match he scored another half century of just 35 balls, his second of the series. He has been unstoppable and hit 5 fours and a six during his innings of 52 of 38 balls. He was out to a tired shot against Cameron Boyce.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli scored 50 of 36 balls with 2 fours and a six and got out in a unlucky way. Kohli has been exceptionally good on this tour with scores of 50 plus in each match barring one, be it t20s and ODIs. Both the players took up the anchor role for India throughout the series.
The Australian leg spinner got the wickets of dangermen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Most of the Indian fans had their hearts in their mouths when he got rid of the men in form and for the moment tilted the momentum in Australia’s favour. The Big bash league find who has only donned Australian colours for t20 internationals ended his spell by giving just 28 runs in a high scoring game.
Raina who hit the winning boundary went on to the score 49 from 38 balls with 6 fours and a six. He guided the innings after Kohli’s dismissal and even shielded Yuvraj Singh who was batting for the first time on this tour. This is the reason why he is rated so high on the power meter because he kept his cool and got the runs quickly thus not allowing the asking rate going beyond hand . Despite being under pressure, Raina who couldn’t do much with the bat in the last match in which he went out in the middle, got the remaining runs and won the match for his country.
When Yuvraj took the single of the last ball of the penultimate over, everyone was disappointed as they wanted Raina to face the last over. But in the last over we saw vintage Yuvraj who reminded us of old times by hitting a 4 and a 6 on the first 2 balls of the over.