The 3rd T20 between India and Sri Lanka on the 14th of Feb at the Visakhapatanam stadium was a grand finale as both sides were tied on 1-1 before the third and final T20 could begin. India won the toss and sent Sri Lanka into bat and immediately took the advantage as ace spinner R Ashwin struck twice in his first over.
While the wicket offered assistance to the spinners but no means was it a minefield but the inexperienced Sri Lankan batting line up were not willing to be patient and put together a partnership. They put themselves under pressure by not rotating the strike and stringing together a partnership.
The Indian spinners had a field day at the office with R Ashwin picking up 4 wickets, R Jadeja picking up 1 and Suresh Raina picking up 2. The Sri Lanakans were bowled out for a modest total of just 82 runs and there was only going to be one winner in the end.
The Indians wasted little time in chasing down the target and lost just the wicket of Rohit Sharma as S Dhawan hit 46 and A Rahane hit 22 to steer India to victory. Dhoni was extremely pleased with the series win and stated that this victory will give the team enormous confidence in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. The Indian captain did not change his team throughout the three match series and did not want to experiment before the world cup.
In a statement, Dhoni said “”We are always a top contender when it comes to shorter formats. Also with the World Cup to be held in India we know the spinners will come into action. It gives us the added benefit. Also the exposure of having played the IPL over here. Out of the eight seasons we have played seven seasons in India. We have got a lot of players, especially ones who are the part of the team, who have got very good experience of playing in India.”
India’s trump card R Ashwin was named the man of the match and also man of the series for his fantastic performance with the ball. His performance and consistency will be a key factor if India is going to win the T20 World Cup.
The only concern for the Indian team is the fact that their middle order hasn’t been really tested but Dhoni will be hoping to give the middle order a little more exposure during the Asia cup which starts in a few days time.