MS Dhoni was under the pump going into the T20 series in Australia having lost the ODI series 4-1 and receiving a lot of flak from ex-cricketers who believed he should relinquish the captaincy to Virat Kohli.
Dhoni has silenced his critics with a T20 series win in Australia giving India its 3rd series win down under and two out of those three series, Dhoni captained the side. Dhoni not only captained the side very well but also looked like the Dhoni of old, when he came out to bat as he played his swashbuckling shots and looked a lot more confident than at the start of the ODI series.
The series win is ideal preparation for India’s lead up to the T20 world cup which starts in March and will be played in India. The side will take confidence from this overseas win and will play a series against Sri Lanka at home before playing a T20 Asia cup. India’s batting and bowling units look to be in great form with the top order firing throughout the series down under.
R Sharma, S Dhawan and V Kohli have been in great form and have laid the platform for India to notch up big scores. Australia started well and was in a commanding position after 10 overs but the Indian spinners pulled it back and in the end the pressure got to the lower order and caused yet another collapse.
To be fair to Australia, they were without their top players as David Warner, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh and George Bailey have all been rested in view of their test tour to New Zealand in February. The side looked a little bit depleted as three players made their debut at the MCG and in the end the lack of experience played a big role in this defeat.
In a statement, man of the match Virat Kohli said “”I love coming to Australia. There is good pace, there is good bounce, I love the challenge, and we get good Indian crowds as well. Nothing different from back home I am very happy I could contribute at an important time. We sealed the series today. Shikhar took a bit of time getting into the one-day series, but he is showing how dangerous he is. And Rohit, once he gets going, there is no better sight. The way they went after the bowling it can demoralise sides.”
Dhoni will want to win the 3rd T20 at the SCG which takes place on the 31st of Jan and complete a 3-0 whitewash and silence his critics for good.