Healy targets better batting as Aussies look to claim series

Visitors hoping to end India tour with victory in T20 decider on Tuesday night

Alyssa Healy has called for improvement from Australia's batting unit as they seek a T20I series win over India in Tuesday's decider.

After being soundly beaten in the first game, Australia bounced back on Sunday with a six-wicket win to level the series.

That match saw a vastly improved display with the ball restrict India to 8-130, a target the tourists chased with an over to spare.

Ellyse Perry (34no from 21) and Phoebe Litchfield (18no from 12) were standouts, and Healy also made a promising start of 29 from 20.

Ellyse Perry smacks match-winning six in game 300

But the other members of the top six – Beth Mooney (20 from 29), Tahlia McGrath (19 from 21) and Ashleigh Gardner (7 from 10) – appeared less comfortable, while regular wickets stalled momentum throughout the chase.

"We probably still didn't execute as much with the bat as what we would like," Healy said after Sunday's game. "But we're happy to get the win and take it to a decider in a couple of days' time.

"I thought the bowlers responded really well tonight. 

"The batters have still got a few things to work out, but in saying that, I thought it was a decent all-round performance and hopefully we can go one better again in a couple of nights."

The toss of the coin on Tuesday night could have a significant influence on which team raises the trophy at the end of the night. In the last 15 women's elite 20-over games at DY Patil stadium, 11 have been won by the chasing team.

Bowler-friendly conditions and the likelihood of dew under lights both play into the hands of the team batting second.

Garth, Wareham restrict India before Perry fireworks level series

Australia's first-innings 141 all out was chased with ease in the opening game, but allrounder Ellyse Perry said putting something above 160 on the board if batting first should ensure a challenging chase, should the tourists be asked to bat first.

"It depends a bit what wicket we get, but (keeping) wickets are crucial in that powerplay, just to get a good solid base and then get some set batters," she said after Sunday's game.

"Once you're in there for a while, it certainly gets a fair bit easier (to bat). 

"But trying to start on that wicket when you're under pressure to score is a little bit tricky. 

"So the key is that opening partnership, like India showed (in game one), is so important. 

"If you can do that and set a good base, you're set up to score around 160, 180 ... but it's hard to do if you lose wickets early."

The series finale will mark Healy's 150th T20I match, as she becomes the first Australian and just the fourth player to the milestone.

Only opposing captain Harmanpreet Kaur (160 matches), Suzie Bates (152) and Danni Wyatt (151) have made more T20I appearances.  

Australia's CommBank Tour of India

Test match: India won by eight wickets

First ODI: Australia won by six wickets

Second ODI: Australia won by three runs

Third ODI: Australia won by 190 runs

First T20I: India won by nine wickets

Second T20I: Second T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 9: Third T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

India T20 squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Amanjot Kaur, Shreyanka Patil, Mannat Kashyap, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh, Titas Sadhu, Pooja Vastrakar, Kanika Ahuja, Minnu Mani