Australia vs India, 3rd T20I, Preview: Chance for Aaron Finch and Co. to register first series win in 10 months

The series is set to be concluded at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Team India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The T20I series between Australia and India has moved on very quickly with not much gap between the two matches. The visitors were robbed off a great chance to level the series who had bowled their heart out to restrict the opposition to 132/7 after 19 overs. But the rain had the final say and their hopes of winning the eighth consecutive T20I series were shattered. India can only level the three-match rubber and they will certainly be the favourites to win the match after the way they bowled at the MCG.

Australia, on the other hand, would feel they got out of the jail after a careless effort from the top order the other day. However, they certainly have the chance to make amends and an improved performance is expected from them to prove that the Brisbane victory was not just a fluke. This is also an opportunity for the hosts to win their first series in any format in last 10 months. They last won the T20I tri-series involving England and New Zealand in February earlier this year.

Virat Kohli was pretty agitated when the play was continued in the rain in Melbourne and had a heated argument with the onfield umpires. He will have to keep his cool as this is only the start of the tour and his contribution with the bat could be more than useful to the team. Also, the fielding needs to step up a notch once again as they still didn’t look 100 percent on the field which let the Australians off the hook.

Team Combinations

Australia

Australia have added Mitchell Starc to the squad after Billy Stanlake was ruled out of this game. The left-arm pacer will surely play this crunch encounter and will most probably replace Jason Behrendorff. The rest of the line-up is likely to remain despite the fact that their openers D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch are struggling miserably. Ben McDermott played a useful hand in the washed out second game and might be promoted up the order. Alex Carey too hasn’t done anything special and he could open if Short is dropped.

Probable XI: D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

India

India went with the same team in Melbourne and there is no reason for them to change the line-up for this match as well. With the series up for grabs, it is unlikely that the benched players will get a go before leaving for India. Khaleel Ahmed and Krunal Pandya, who were pummelled in Brisbane, came back extremely well on Friday which will help them retain their place. In that case, Yuzvendra Chahal will have to wait for his turn to make an appearance in Australia until January now.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah.

Focus will be on

Mitchell Starc (Australia)

If a player like Starc is in the squad, he can’t be benched. Playing his first T20I in two years, it will be interesting to see how he holds up in this game. His fitness will also be tested ahead of the all-important Test series. Moreover, Starc’s ability to deliver toe-crushing yorkers at pace makes him the X-factor of the team and India will have to be wary of him big time.

KL Rahul (India)

He began his career in Australia and also became nostalgic about the same after arriving in the country a few days ago. But when it came to the performance on the field, KL Rahul failed to make it count and the number three which Kohli gave up for him is once again up for debate. With series loss looming, the talented batsman should be hoping for redemption if at all he bats at the same position again.

Head to Head

Matches – 17 | Australia won – 6 | India won – 10 | NR – 1

Stat Attack

96 – Rohit Sharma needs only four sixes to become only the third player ever to hit 100 maximums in T20I format. Only Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill have achieved the feat so far.

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

Match Timings – 13:20 IST; 18:50 local

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