India takes on Australia in the third and final T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. With one eye on the sky, Virat Kohli & co will hope for yet another strong performance by their bowlers and look to defend their streak of seven successive series win on the trot. In 2016, India had won the T20I series vs Australia by a margin of 3-0. But this time rain has changed the equations in favor of the Kangaroos.
The last time India faced defeat was in July 2017, when they last lost to West Indies in a one-off T20 match. Since then team India have won 20 out of 27 T20Is. With so much at stake, the team management will most likely opt for an unchanged XI. However, if the pitch is drier then Yuzvendra Chahal might be drafted in. His partnership with Kuldeep Yadav might tempt Kohli to change the combination in a do or die contest. But the question remains in place of whom? One among Krunal Pandya or Khaleel Ahmed may be rested if Chahal does the make the cut. In batting, Virat Kohli needs to return to his no 3 positions with KL Rahul looking a bit off-color.
But if there is one area where India needs to brush up themselves, it is their fielding. In Brisbane, two dropped catches cost a lot while in Melbourne once again butterfingers were visible behind the stumps and in the field. If the men in blue do not pull up their socks in time then streak may well be in jeopardy.
Australian skipper Aaron Finch knows the importance of this match and a win will provide a massive boost to Australia’s confidence before the real test begins at Adelaide on December 6. However, one bad news is the ankle injury to Billy Stanlake which rules him out of Sunday’s game. An able replacement in Mitchell Starc has been named. The weather in Sydney continues to remain a tricky aspect. While there is a forecast of light drizzle, Melbourne provided a perfect example of how it can turn into a heavy shower. Indian fans will certainly pray that the rain gods stay away.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Washington Sundar.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.