India vs Australia, 3rd T20I, SCG: Player Ratings
The sight that India in its entirety was waiting to see and behold, finally unfolded in the last over of the last game of the 2016 Australian tour, an over that saw India register a clean sweep in the 3-match T20I series, chasing down 198 that was set for victory off the last ball of the match.
Yuvraj Singh hit a four and a six when India needed 17 off the last over, and despite the fact that Yuvraj was nowhere close to being at his assailant best, the sight of the kookaburra leaving Yuvraj’s bat and landing next beyond the fence was the long-awaited gift that Indians had been waiting for, since Virat Kohli had top edged Mitchell Johnson in the 2015 World Cup Semi-Final.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and the Indian vice-captain annihilated the Australian bowling before that and successfully compensated for the Shane Watson’s maiden T20I century that had propelled Australia to 197/5 batting first. Suresh Raina culminated into the answer to India’s finishing problems with the culmination of the tour.
Here is how the players fared.
Usman Khawaja: 4/10
The threat of Usman Khawaja, that loomed large over the Indian team due his run-a-thon innings in the lead up to this game, was nipped before it could flourish, as after hitting two boundaries, he tried to prod at an Ashish Nehra delivery just outside the off-stump and gave an easy catch to MS Dhoni. He couldn’t capitalise on the brisk start that he got and got out for 14.
Shane Watson: 9.5/10
There could not have been a better comeback to international cricket for a senior member of a team, who had been sacked after the 2015 edition of the most prodigious Test series to be played in the history of cricket. Watson played the perfect captain’s knock, taking full advantage of the Indian-esque conditions at Sydney, and completed his maiden T20I century thereby helping Australia reach a commanding total of 197/5. The stand-in captain remained unbeaten on 124 runs off 71 balls with 10 fours and 6 sixes.
He also provided the breakthrough to his side by dismissing Dhawan, and also took a vital catch and mid-on to send back Rohit.
Shaun Marsh: 2/10
Marsh wasn’t at his fluent best in his innings today, as he got stuck at the crease unable to get the ball in the gaps, something that eventually led him to slog sweep across the line of a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery and get clean bowled for 9.
Glenn Maxwell: 2/10
Like the previous game, Glenn Maxwell got Glenn Maxwell out. The explosive batsman's haphazard tactics have been quite un-understandable at times, to say the least, and were on display yet again, as he tried to hoist Yuvraj Singh off the first ball of the left-arm spinner’s spell, and in the process, gave an easy catch to Suresh Raina at mid-off.
Travis Head: 7/10
After an unsuccessful outing, the BBL star came good today as he played the perfect supporting role to Watson’s marauding at the other end, and scored a couple of boundaries of his own, as he finished on 26 off 19 with one four and a six.
Chris Lynn: 5/10
The other youngster to make the Australia side riding on his impressive BBL performances, Lynn, played a decent cameo towards the end of the Australian innings making 13 off 9, but couldn’t provide the finishing touch in the final over, as he was snapped up by a diving Ravindra Jadeja in the deep.
Cameron Bancroft: N.A.
Andrew Tye: 2/10
Tye couldn’t carry his BBL form into T20I and he was torn apart by the Indian batsmen who plundered 51 runs off his 4 overs, that included the winning boundary that Raina hit off the last ball of the match.
Cameron Boyce: 7/10
The leg-spinner was more than impressive in his debut match and picked up two crucial wickets of Rohit and Kohli. The dismissals don’t speak as much of the bowler’s prowess as the way he bowled his quota did. In a run-fest, he returned with figures of 4-0-28-2, which was brilliant for a debutant.
Scot Boland: 2/10
Boland was unimpressive as he was taken for 31 off his 3 overs.
Shaun Tait: 4/10
Tait was taken for 24 in his second over, but bowled three good overs, before and after that, yet eventually went wicketless for 41 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan: 7/10
Dhawan, it seemed, had saved his most destructive form for the final game of the tour, as he took upon himself the onus of providing India with a strong start up front by smashing a 9-ball 26 with 4 fours and a six.
Rohit Sharma: 8/10
Rohit culminated the tour exactly the way he had started it- on a high. He scored 52 off 38 and built the partnership that proved out to be the backbone of the successful Indian chase- that of 78 runs with Virat Kohli. Rohit and Dhawan accumulated 24 runs off Tait’s second over.
Virat Kohli: 8/10
Kohli has already owned two successive tours to Australia, and he left no stones unturned even in his final outing as he registered his 12th T20I fifty and also became the first batsman ever to make 3 consecutive fifties in a 3-match T20I series. He made 7 scores of 50+ runs on the tour which is also the highest by an Indian batsman against Australia in Australia.
He dropped a relatively tough chance, though, to give a lease of life to Watson who was on 56 then.
Yuvraj Singh: 7/10
The much-anticipated comeback was finally put to reality in this game, as for the first time in three innings on this tour, and after nearly two years, Yuvraj Singh strolled out to bat for India. Many hearts were broken, though, initially, when it looked as if the ghosts of 2014 World T20 final started haunting India’s superstar, as he could find his rhythm and timing at all.
But it seemed like he had saved everything for the final over when India needed 17 off 6. The T20 maestro unleashed his fury in the most dramatic and surprising of manners by hitting a four and a six off the first two balls of the 20th over, thereby decisively turning the match in India’s favour. His scoreline of 15 from 12 looks ordinary but the six that he hit was more for every Indian fan that cheered for him than for his own self.
Suresh Raina: 8.5/10
The finisher’s conundrum was answered reasonably well today by the man India most expected to do it- Suresh Raina. He might not have looked aesthetically pleasing on the crease, edging a few and missing a few, but the fact that he led India over the line and did what was necessary to win India the game substantiates on the ability that the T20 veteran has. He finished unbeaten on 49 off 25 with 6 fours and a six, and also hit the winning boundary that sealed the 3-0 whitewash.
MS Dhoni: N.A.
Hardik Pandya: 5/10
Pandya’s struggles with the line that bowls continued as he gave away three wides, yet again in the same over, thereby disrupting the rhythm of the innings. Besides, he also went for 24 from 2 overs. However, his magnificent attempt at the boundary to save a six and keep it down to 2 runs came in very handy towards the end of the match.
Ravindra Jadeja: 5/10
Jadeja’s round-arm medium pace deliveries became a bit too predictable today, as, despite his stump to stump line, he was taken for 41 from his 4 overs with one wicket of Travis Head. However, he grabbed a brilliant running catch to send back Travis Head in the final over of the Australian innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 5/10
Perhaps the shorter boundary at one side of the SCG played on the ace Indian spinner’s mind as he bowled way too many deliveries outside the leg stump to the right-hander from around the wicket. In the process, he conceded wides, and also went for some crucial boundaries. Although, he also saved a boundary putting a brilliant slide near the ropes and saved two vital runs for the team.
Jasprit Bumrah: 6.5/10
While Bumrah didn’t impress in the powerplay overs, he was absolutely top class at the death. The two overs that he bowled towards the end of the innings saw every alternate delivery being a yorker or somewhere close to yorker length, thereby making it impossible for the batsmen to get underneath and score boundaries. He finished with figures of 4-0-43-1, but it was the death bowling that stood out.
Ashish Nehra: 7/10
Nehra used all his experience towards the death and complemented Bumrah with full-length deliveries and low full-tosses thereby restricting the run-scoring in the final overs. He was the most economical of the Indian bowlers with figures of 4-0-32-1.