India Beats Australia In Third Twenty20 International

31/01/2016 11:53 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Andrew Tye of Australia reacts during the International Twenty20 match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 31, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Well, Australia is nowhere near as good as we thought we were at Twenty20 cricket. That's the inescapable lesson after India chased down Australia's big total on the last ball of the third Twenty20 International at the SCG on Sunday night.

Oh, and India will win the World Twenty20 on home soil in March. That's the other unavoidable conclusion after a dominant 3-0 series win over Australia. Seriously, who's going to beat India? On spinning Indian wickets? Not Australia, that's for sure. Or not this bunch of second-stringers anyway.

Maybe if the likes of Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Josh Hazlewood were available, we might have half a chance. But due to a nonsensical piece of scheduling, those players are over in New Zealand preparing for a One Day and Test series.

India takes international Twenty20 seriously. Australia, as we've pointed out twice this week, not so much. At least no Australian batsmen were mic'd up on Sunday night. That was one small sign that this was a match the home side did not want to lose.

And they nearly didn't. Batting first, Australia performed much better with the bat than they had done in their two previous unsuccessful chases. Led by a vintage Shane Watson who made 124 off 71 balls, Australia notched 5 for 197. The way they made the runs, you could tell it was a good pitch. The score felt like it was about par. game on.

India raced out of the blocks so quickly, you felt like crying "false start". They lost their first wicket for 46 after just 3.2 overs and didn't slow down much after that. The usual suspects made good scores. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma both made fifties and the target never looked out of hand.

Cut to the last over. Seventeen runs were required. Once upon a time, that seemed like a huge total. Indeed there was a famous match at the SCG 29 years earlier when English batsman Allan Lamb clubbed 17 off Australian paceman Bruce Reid to win the match for England. They talked about that one for decades.

But on Sunday night, 17 runs seemed like about an even money bet. AJ Tye, who made his name in the Big Bash with the Perth Scorchers, was the bowler. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were India's men.

The over went like this: 4 6 1 2 2 4. Nineteen runs when 17 would have sufficed. They took until the last ball, but India did it easily.

The really worrying thing for Australia is that none of the Big Bash stars have really stood up and said "I belong at international level". Pacemen AJ Tye and Scott Boland have looked OK, but never lethal. Shaun Tait has looked past it. Our wicket keepers (Wade in the first two games, part-time 'keeper Bancroft on Sunday) have looked shabby. And new batsmen like Travis Head and Chris Lynn have looked ho-hum.

The World Twenty20 is the only piece of major international cricket silverware to elude Australia. We're second favourite in the bookies' markets, but would you want to bet on us? Enough said.

At least there was some good news for Australia on Sunday. Ellyse Perry starred with both bat and ball as the Southern Stars beat India. They lost their series 2-1.

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