Ellyse Perry dominated again in her side's seven run series claiming victory (Picture: Cricket Australia)

The Australian middle order batters made 115 runs off their last nine overs, with Ellyse Perry dominating once again. This lusty hitting proved the difference, with the Indians falling seven runs short, handing Australia the series victory 3-1 with one game remaining.

The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the five takeaways from the match heading into Game Five.

Australia is still the best T20 side in the world

Coming into the series, the Indians would have been keen to lay claim as the best T20 side in the world, however, this series has shown that there is a gap, albeit a narrow one, between the two sides.

Australia’s batting in particular throughout the series has been the difference, and again in Game Four this was no exception. When it is not the top order dominating and piling on quick runs, the middle order steps up and delivers.

In Game Four, Australia was struggling somewhat at 3-73 after 11 overs, however they managed a huge 115 runs off the final nine overs. The middle order of Ashleigh Gardner (42 off 27 balls), Grace Harris (27 not out off 12 balls), and the star of the series Ellyse Perry (72 not out off 42), put a formidable total on the board that was just too much for the Indians to chase down.

With the ICC World Cup just around the corner in South Africa, having a psychological edge over the Indians with this series victory and a top six in great form, means the Australians can look forward to that tournament with confidence.

If Australia is number one, India is not far behind

The Australians may have taken this series with one game to go, but this series has shown that if they want to win the world cup next year, Australia is likely going to have to beat India at some stage late in the tournament.

In Game Four, it was India’s bowlers in the first half of the Australian innings that really gave them a shot to restrict Australia to a small total. Deepti Sharma was excellent with 2/35 off her four overs, and despite not claiming a wicket, Devika Vaidya made it tough for the Australians at times.

Unfortunately, they let Perry and co. get away from them in the last few overs – if they are able to work on tightening up their death bowling and adjust their field placements (there were some questionable positions utilised), they would fancy themselves every time they play the Aussies.

With the bat, the Indians again showed that you need a decent total to beat them. Chasing 188 was always going to be tough, however Harmanpreet Kaur (46 off 30 balls) and some late hitting from youngster Richa Ghosh (40 not out off 19 balls) gave the home side a chance. Unfortunately, their chase fell seven runs short.

Despite falling behind 3-1 in the five-game series the Indians have shown, with the bat in particular that they are no pushover and are not far behind the world-champion Australians.

Ellyse Perry is finding cricket easy at the moment

Perry is having some series, whether it be with the bat or the ball.

Despite not getting a hit in Game One or Game Two, she still managed 2/10 off her two overs in the first game. When her chance came in Game Three, she took it with both hands smashing 75 off 47 deliveries.

In Game Four, she continued this form coming in when the Aussies were precariously placed following Alyssa Healy’s retirement, she came out to the crease determined to back up her player of the match performance and did so smashing 72 not out off just 42 balls. Her hitting was clean and powerful, and she was finding the gaps all over the ground with what looked like absolute ease.

A fit and firing Perry makes her one of the game’s elite and a critical component of the Australian side. If she can continue this form and make it look easy, the side is in great shape heading to South Africa in the new year.

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Australia’s bowling line-up is cause for some concern

The Australians continue to tinker with their bowling attack, ensuring everyone is given an opportunity whilst determining their best options for the upcoming ICC World Cup.

In Game Three it was Alana King who struggled somewhat with the ball and in this game Heather Graham was given her opportunity after returning from illness. Unfortunately, Graham struggled somewhat, taking 0-40 off her three overs.

The Aussies have also used Kim Garth and Darcie Brown in this series, with the latter performing well in both Game Three and Game Four (1 for 33 in Game Four). Veteran bowler Megan Schutt held her nerve in the last over, restricting the Indians to just 12 runs to secure victory for the Australians.

With Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner in the side to both bat and bowl, and both performing well, it is clear that getting the remaining bowlers right, perhaps depending on venue or opponent, will be crucial for success in South Africa next February.

Alyssa Healy’s injury cause for some concern

Batting beautifully as per usual, Alyssa Healy’s unorthodox shot, stepping right across her stumps to hit a boundary on the leg side, caused her to retire hurt with an injured calf.

Whilst the Australian camp is confident it is only a minor injury, with a world cup just around the corner, it is crucial for the Australians that their star opening batter and wicketkeeper is fully recovered and able to perform at her best, in order for the side to have the best chance of defending their title.

Game Five will take place in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Australian time) with it all to play for to win the series.

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