Australia reached Guwahati without their talismanic captain Steve Smith. On what has been a disastrous and morale breaking tour for Australia, the team has failed to consolidate after being in strong positions. India, on the other hand, have recovered from difficult situations to post victories. In the six international games that have been played so far on this tour, Australia have won only one.
After their performance in Ranchi, where they lost the first game by nine wickets (DLS), Australia don’t make a strong statement for a comeback in this series. Their batting has failed to deliver in the shortest format of the game barring Aaron Finch. Even in the first game, Australia got a start but failed to capaitilise on it and lost wickets.
Once again, India will bank on wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will need to bowl similarly as they have done for India in limited overs cricket earlier. The four rattled Australia in the ODI series and the first T20I.
India will not look to make any changes to their playing XI which has Shikhar Dhawan back in it. Hardik Pandya, who was a bit expensive in the first game, may make way for T20 specialist fast bowler Ashish Nehra as India look to wrap up the series.
But, the situation is not similar for Australia. Marcus Stoinis was on his way home after the ODI series but with Smith injured, he may return to the playing XI. With just 13 members in the squad, they do not have too much to change from and stick with same players.
The pitch may be a headache for most as the ACA stadium makes it debut in international cricket. It has favoured the spinners in the domestic matches but a few pacers have also benefitted in the last season of Ranji Trophy.
If rain stays away and we get a full game, India may well wrap up the T20I series as well and continue their rise in the ICC rankings.