India win T20 series against Australia, clinch top spot in ICC rankings

  • Siddhartha Sharma, Hindustan Times, Sydney
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2016 19:24 IST

India finished the Australia tour on a high note as they won the third and final T20 at Sydney to clinch the series 3-0. A superb start by openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, the middle order push by Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina ensured India chased down 197.

Top order in great shape: Shikhar, Rohit and Kohli are in such good form that they pick their spots well. They don’t look to settle in but go after the bowling, forcing the bowlers on the back foot.

READ: India win Sydney T20 by 7 wickets, clinch series 3-0

The highlights:

Piping hot Watson: Skipper Shane Watson knew the only way to put the India batting under pressure was to post a big score on board. He looked in devastating form from the start. He picked his spot early and pulled, cut, drove and lofted with perfection. His slight movement in the crease enabled him to be in a better position to execute his shots. Even when Hardik Pandya began bowling wide, Watson took an off-middle guard. Once he began dictating terms, he knew the bowlers would try and bowl yorkers. He took them on the full and kept dispatching them for big shots.

Virat puts it down: Pandya could have had Watson’s wicket had Kohli pouched the Australian’s flat drive at sweeper. Watson was on 56 and he went on to make 124 not out. It proved costly as Watson flattened the bowling after that.

Feeding a hungry Watson: No India bowler except R Ashwin applied himself. Ashwin showed that when he bowled on middle-leg, Watson at best swept him for ones and twos. Ravindra Jadeja kept firing it in and made it easy for Watson.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates Shaun Marsh’s dismissal with skipper MS Dhoni. (AP)

READ: Sydney T20 first innings highlights: Watson ton takes Aussies to 197/5

Boyce proves handy: The leg-spinner landed two huge blows, getting both Kohli and Rohit. The two wickets broke the momentum and the asking rate went up. Had wicketkeeper Bancroft not missed the stumping off Raina, Boyce could have been Australia’s man of the match.

Raina the enforcer: Losing two set batsmen, it was up to Raina to finish it off. He improvised and looked to explore the gaps at the SCG. He is the best T20 finisher and showed that he is an asset.

Yuvraj comes into his own: It almost seemed Yuvraj was repeating the Asia Cup final act all over again. The first nine balls showed the pressure he was under. But he came into his own in the final over as he hit 11 runs off three deliveries.

India's Virat Kohli left, and Yuvraj Singh walk with their winners trophy after winning the T20 series against Australia 3-0 in Sydney. (AP)

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