India vs Australia 2020-21, 3rd T20I preview: Virat Kohli and co eye clean sweep for 2nd ranking spot
First Published Dec 7, 2020, 2:53 PM IST
India are at the final stage of their limited-overs encounter in Australia. They already have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Twenty20 International series, as the would eye a clean sweep. Furthermore, a 3-0 whitewash would also allow them to rise second in ICC T20I Rankings.
Visitors India have come up with a commendable performance so far in their limited-overs campaign in Australia, as they have reached their final stage of the same. They would be taking on the mighty Australians in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I), at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), on Tuesday, already having an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
With the win in the second T20I, India continued their dominant run in the format, winning their fifth consecutive series, along with 10th successive away match wins in the same. Furthermore, a win on Tuesday would allow them to rise to the second spot in the ICC T20I Rankings. On the same note, we present the match preview for this final tie.
Current form: As for the current form, we have already mentioned before that India are going through a purple patch, having won nine consecutive T20Is, besides winning 10 successive ones abroad, while they would look to continue with the same run, come Tuesday. As for Australia, they are enduring a tough time in the format, having already lost their previous series in England (1-2), as they would aim to win this tie and stay in the second spot, rather than squandering it to the visitors.
Squad composition: Considering the current squad of both the teams, it is bowling-heavy. Nonetheless, the batting of both the teams is strong enough to post a massive total, especially on the new-look batting track at SCG, as was evident in the last game. For Tuesday, both teams are likely to move in with a batting-heavy squad, while they might adjust their line-ups to test the other fellows.
Injury concerns: India are without prominent all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was ruled out after the opening game in Canberra, owing to a concussion. Nonetheless, Chahal is playing in his place and has been lethal with his leg-spins in the format of late, since the Indian Premier League (IPL). As for Australia, they are once again likely to miss out on the services of skipper Aaron Finch, who is nursing an injured hip, while wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade is surprisingly leading the side. Meanwhile, the return of in-form all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is a piece of good news for the hosts.
Head-to-head: As for their head-on clashes, India are on a roll, having won 13 of the 22 T20Is, with Australia winning just eight, while a match ended in no result. In Australia, both the teams have played each other 11 times, with India winning seven and Australia winning just three. In the three matches at SCG, India have remained unbeaten.
Weather and pitch report: Considering the weather in Sydney, it would be relatively cooler, with temperature likely to be around 21 degrees, along with a 44% chance of humidity. As for the pitch, while it has traditionally suited spinners, the new-look track has astonishingly assisted the batsmen, as the bowlers have leaked too many runs, which is unlike SCG. Nevertheless, any score of 190-plus is to be highly competitive.
India: Shikhar Dhawan/Sanju Samson, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan/Navdeep Saini.
Australia: D'Arcy Short/Marnus Labuschagne, Aaron Finch/Matthew Wade (c), Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (WK), Cameron Green/Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Sean Abbott.
Batsmen: Dhawan, Kohli, Smith- Dhawan has been in a brilliant opening form and is a no-brainer to start, while Kohli and Smith can consolidate in either on top or middle.
Wicketkeepers: Rahul, Samson, Wade- Rahul is again a must-have, owing to his flawless form of late in the format. Meanwhile, Samson and Wade have surprised everyone with their performance and are likely to come up with another excellent performance.
All-rounders: Pandya, Henriques- Pandya has been in an explosive form, especially with the bat in the limited-overs, as there is hardly any doubt that he would fire again. Meanwhile, Henriques is a T20 specialist for Australia and would come in handy in both the departments.
Bowlers: Natarajan, Chahal, Zampa- Natarajan has become India's rising star in the pace department and would once again showcase his unique talent with the ball. As for the spin department, Chahal and Zampa are sure to dominate, owing to their flawless form of late.
Players to watch out
Smith: Smith happens to be one of the best batsmen in the world. However, his drought in the shortest format has the team management worried, as he desperately needs to fire and showcase his unparalleled talent once again.
Labuschagne: Not sure if the would be given a chance. But, in case he is given one, it's about time that he cashes it in. Although he might be a star in the longest format, he has good batting skills, suitable for the shortest version, including a wide-range of hitting abilities. With hardly anything to lose, he could go all guns blazing.
Date and day: December 8, 2020 (Tuesday)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Time: 1:40 PM IST
Where to watch (TV): Sony Six, Ten 1 and Ten 3 (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Sony LIV