About the Match
Australia made a rousing comeback into the series as they crushed India in the second T20 making the final T20 of this series a decider. India was shocked as their vaunted top order fell one after the other and the middle order failed to put up much of a fight as well. The last match of this tour promises to be a thriller.
One could not help but feel that India was a bit complacent in the manner that they approached the second T20 international. There was some movement off the pitch but nothing that a few overs of caution could not have overcome. Rohit Sharma will look back at his mode of dismissal and start to see a pattern develop against left armers that bring the ball back.
Mohammad Amir pinged him in front of the wickets a couple of times and now Jason Behrendorff did the same.
Virat Kohli was a little unlucky in his mode of dismissal but both Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan threw away their wickets. Pandey is just a little too lose outside the off stump for someone at this level and will need to come up with a better way to start his innings more confidently.
Shikhar Dhawan tried to counterattack and fell looking foolish but that is something that you must accept with his style of play.
Is it time for KL Rahul to get a place in this team in place of Pandey? The management could certainly choose to go down that line.
To the credit of the Indian bowlers, the seamers started off well in their defense of this small total. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were both incisive and looked like taking wickets every time they came on but the batsmen could afford to play them out.
The spinners, on the other hand, went for plenty of runs as both Henriques and Head too full toll. The dew made holding the ball difficult and that could have played a role but they will need to get their act together quickly ahead of the last game.
We expect to see a batting shootout in the final match and that should allow for some more wicket-taking opportunities for the spinners. Yuzvendra Chahal is our pick to take the most wickets while the runs must be provided by the top-3.
Shikhar Dhawan who played for the Hyderabad franchise in the IPL could be a danger and use his knowledge of the conditions to score some big runs.
It is often said that picking 3 wickets in the powerplay affords the bowling team a fantastic chance of winning the match. Australia went one better and took 4 wickets to rip the heart out of the Indian batting.
Jason Behrendorff who looked very impressive every time he took the ball is going to come under a lot more scrutiny and attention from the Indian batsman now. Expect him to receive a lot more respect and maybe even some stick if the conditions are more batsmen friendly.
The unsung hero of the bowling performance was Adam Zampa, though. He took two crucial wickets in the middle overs just when India was looking to rebuild and did not bowl any loose deliveries at all. It would have given him a lot of confidence after the stick he got in the ODI’s.
With Tye, Stoinis, and Coulter-Nile also bowling very well, this Australian bowling performance was the best on the tour yet.
Chasing a small total the Aussies lost their openers cheaply once again. It will be a matter of concern but nothing to keep them too worried as they move to Hyderabad, a venue that David Warner calls home in the IPL.
Both Warner and Henriques have made plenty of runs at this venue and know exactly what they can expect. The batting order for this match was also much better allowing Henriques to take his time, get set, and control the innings with ease.
It will be Henriques and Warner that the Indians will be most worried about to score big in the upcoming match. With Maxwell, Stoinis, and Paine also in the lineup, the Aussies will be confident of outgunning the Indians on what is expected to be a belter of a pitch.
Pitch and Conditions
The series is tied 1-1, the teams look pretty evenly matched, and the pitch is expected to offer up some classic T20 slugging. The only thing that is playing spoilsport? The weather. The current forecast for matchday is for plenty of rain. There is a good chance of the match being washed out completely or being reduced in length.
We think that Australia has wrested control at an important juncture and got their batting order right. They could win their first T20 series on Indian soil with a little luck.
Back Australia to win.