India have turned their fortunes around in remarkable style on their tour of Australia. After having lost the ODI series 1-4, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team, who have a 2-0 lead, will be aiming to whitewash Australia in the third and final Twenty20 match in Sydney. Catch all the live updates here (NEWS | VIDEOS | PHOTOS)
At the start of the Australian tour, there was gloom and doom in the Indian camp. The bowlers had lost direction and were leaking runs, the batting was too dependent on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli while. The fielding too was below par. In all, it seemed India’s tour Down Under would become a lesson in disaster.(India Aim for Clean Sweep)
However, come the Twenty20 series and suddenly, the tables have been turned dramatically. Australia’s batting, bowling and fielding have completely crumbled. Catches have been dropped, only six wickets taken in two matches and a batting that has floundered against spin.
Heading into the final match in Sydney, the venue for India’s turnaround on the tour, the advantage is firmly with them. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team will be eyeing a whitewash and ensure that they head into the Twenty20 season with tremendous confidence.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Total Control
Following India’s historic victory at Melbourne, Dhoni remarked that he felt in total control. In the ODI series, he was struggling because his bowlers were leaking runs consistently. In the Twenty20s, the bowlers have executed their plans to perfection and this has given the Indian team a shot in the arm.(Dhoni Rules Out Experimentation)
“As a captain, I feel more in control if the bowlers are executing their plans well, whether they are spinners or fast bowlers,” Dhoni said.
Combined with disciplined bowling, the batting looks in great shape. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli continue to have a golden summer. Kohli has already hit six fifties on this tour, prompting Sunil Gavaskar to say that Kohli is batting like he is from a different planet. Such has been the dominance of Rohit and Kohli that the other batsmen like Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya have not gotten a chance. However, Dhoni has ruled out any scope for experimentation
Australia in Total Shambles
The bowling is in poor shape, the fielders have dropped chances while the batting continues to struggle. With the absence of many key players and most players preferring the tour of New Zealand, Australia’s Twenty20 series is in jeopardy.
With the constant changes in the team, there is no settled composition. During the last two games, Australia’s bowlers ran out of ideas as they conceded over 180 both times. While batting, after a decent start, they have floundered in the middle overs against spin.(Watson Rues Struggle vs Spinners)
The Melbourne loss also resulted in their skipper Aaron Finch suffering a hamstring injury. This has ruled him out of the Sydney match and Shane Watson will captain the team. With six changes done during the Melbourne Twenty20, Australia might make more changes in the team
After the end of seven limited overs matches on this tour, Australia are currently 4-3 on the head-to-head count. However, should India win the Sydney match, they will have achieved a whitewash and not Australia. A win on Sunday means that India will head into their home Twenty20 campaign, which includes the World Twenty20, high on confidence.