India's tour of Australia is ending on a happy note. Victory away from home is always special, especially if it comes against arguably the best team in the world. For MS Dhoni's bunch, the timing couldn't have been better either, as the T20 series win comes in the countdown to the World Cup in the shortest format starting on March 8.
Openers got runs, the team's No 1 batsman was in great touch and the much criticised bowling unit too did better with the inclusion of old and new faces like Ashish Nehra and Japsreet Bumrah. With a minimum of seven T20s to play before the big one, there is time to check what remains to be done.
However, a look at the composition of the opponent team offers a different reality check. Preserving frontline fast bowlers for World T20 and a Test series in New Zealand before that, Australia fielded what can be called a third-string attack and won the one-day series showing fair amount of command. Six changes in the XI for the second T20 meant the team that lost by 27 runs was even weaker.
Considering these, this triumph can be enjoyed, but shouldn't spark celebrations thinking a winning combination has been unearthed. Most of the bowlers donning Australia shirts are unlikely to make the trip to India for World T20.
Going by Friday's match, the same can be said about some of the batsmen as well. So this was a victory alright. Not one to go gaga over. Tougher tests lie ahead.
That doesn't mean there are no positives. Winning always is and more so if the captain tastes success after some time.
Dhoni is India's most successful skipper, but the team had won nothing under him after the World Cup, including a first series defeat against Bangladesh followed by ODI and T20 setbacks against South Africa at home.
So before the Australia T20s, Captain Cool had reasons to feel the heat. The relief this gives him appears to be the biggest gain for India from a victory against a side which had other priorities.
Instead of taking it as a harbinger of good times, it's better to keep an eye on what happens before coming to conclusions about India's preparation for the big one.