India vs Australia 3rd T20I: Preview and Prediction
The Indian team is being led by Suryakumar Yadav who has done a commendable job in setting a perfect environment within the team. He expressed the need to play fearless cricket and the result speaks for itself.
India won the first T20I in Visakhapatnam in a nail-biter. It was followed by yet another triumph in Trivandrum by 44 runs. Both venues have seen runs scored in excess of 400 across both innings. Dew has played a factor in enhancing batting while the bowlers found it difficult to execute their plans. This is the same reason why 14 occasions were traced when bowlers leaked over ten runs per over across the last couple of T20Is.
The Indian spinners were effective in the last T20I and played a pivotal role in shaping up the defense. From the batting front, the top and middle have fired when the team required with Rinku Singh doing a finisher’s role perfectly.
Similar to the Indian side, Australian batters enjoyed the batting conditions of India as well. Josh Inglis smashed a ton in the first T20I and Steve Smith tailored a fifty. The second contest saw the middle order step up but it was too late to nail the job of chasing a mammoth target of 236 runs.
Despite the return of World Cup winners- Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa, the visitors failed to equalize the tally in Thiruvananthapuram. There were no signs of Travis Head but he could make his way into the playing XI for the upcoming must-win T20I. With the 2024 ICC T20I World Cup just seven months around the corner, the Kangaroos will look to test their amateur group and inch towards a settled combination.
What have they done so far?
The five-match T20I series kicked off in the Southern part of the peninsular country. The Indian team earned victories- by chasing and defending a total each.
Australia batted first in Visakhapatnam and racked 208 runs in 20 overs on the back of Josh Inglis’ 110 off 50 balls and Steve Smith’s 53 off 41 balls. They failed to defend the score as a brisk top-order start helped Suryakumar Yadav lead from the front. He outclassed the Aussie bowlers and shone with 80 off 42 deliveries. However, the deal was sealed via Rinku Singh’s final over heroics where he shoved a six on a no-ball when a run was needed from the final delivery of the match.
Moving on to the second game, the Indian contingent was compelled to bat first. What looked like a two-paced wicket initially, saw a rampage from Yashasvi Jaiswal. Fifty runs came up within the fourth over and soon, the Mumbai-bred cricketer raced to his half-century. It eased the path for Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan to play their natural game and notch up respective half-centuries. Valuable contributions from the middle order propelled the total to 235 runs.
Australia lost early wickets in the chase and seemed to languish behind throughout the innings. Despite spirited efforts from the middle order, the total seemed too much for the visitors.
Head to Head Record
Australia and India have faced off in T20Is on 27 occasions. The Men in Blue lead the race with 16 triumphs while the Aussies have won ten games. One of the matches ended up as a draw. If filtered into the last five encounters of this format, India wins the battle 3-2.
Rinku Singh (India): The Uttar Pradesh-based cricketer is someone who does not get adequate deliveries to pile massive numbers with the bat. Yet, Rinku is one of the key assets of this less experienced squad.
The southpaw helped India chase down a game in the first T20I and then he smoked 31 runs off 9 balls to create a differentiating factor in India’s win in the second T20I.
Steve Smith (Australia): The experience Smudge brings with the bat is of immense value to the Australian set-up. Batting at the top of the order, Smith looked in good touch during the first T20I in Visakhapatnam and stitched a half-century.
Batting alongside Travis Head, he will be eyeing to replicate his Sydney Sixers heroics from Big Bash League 2022-23.
India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk) Suryakumar Yadav ©, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna
Australia: Travis Head, Steve Smith, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade © (wk), Matthew Short, Jason Behrendorrf, Tanveer Sangha, Nathan Ellis
The young Men in Blue have taken the series by storm showcasing power hitting of top quality backup up by good bowling on pitches that were witnessing runs being scored left and right.
That said, Australia is a gritty team and shall look to deny a straight series defeat in Guwahati. They’ll do everything they can to come out on top and stay alive in the series.