The tour of India to Australia began with the Aussies dominating the visitors in the ODI series, as the Men in Blue were clueless in the first two matches of the series but the Indians made they mended the damages and came back strong to win the final ODI of the three-match series and managed to save themselves from a humiliating white-wash.
The visitors made sure they continued their winning form and into the T20I series and have been undefeated in the two matches played so far. In addition to claiming the series, the 2011 World Cup winners have also made sure they have their T20I winning streak intact.
The 2nd T20I saw India win the toss and elect to bat first. The Aussies had a blazing start to their innings courtesy of stand-in skipper Mathew Wade. The Aussies finished with a mammoth score of 194 and it did look like the Indian skipper made a mistake by choosing the chase down.
But the spirited start by the Indian openers- KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan combined with the magnificent finish by all-rounder Hardik Pandya ensured the Indians sealed the series and the decision to chase was justified.
The Aussies will be feeling unfortunate as they have been dealt with a number of injuries and seem to be struggling to find the right balance in the team. They will have to buckle up and bounce back in the 3rd T20I to save themselves from what will be a humiliating white-wash.
Can the Aussies bounce back in time to avoid an unwanted record? Or will the Indians continue their T20I winning streak to 10?
Head to Head
Matches Played- 22, Australia- 8, India- 13, N/R- 1
Australia was dealt with yet another injury and this time in form of their in-form opener Aaron Finch. The list is only getting worse for the Australians and they will be hoping the players recover in time for the Test series.
The list now consists of Aaron Finch, David Warner, Pat Cummins, and Ashton Agar. Said that the Aussie camp will be relieved with the return of their spearhead Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. With not many options, the management is likely to go ahead with the same team that featured in the second T20I.
Team India, on the other hand, has been doing an exceptional job and except for the absence of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, the camp looks full strength now. The team is unbeaten in the T20I series and for that reason, they would be happy to go ahead with the same Xl and hope they can white-wash the mighty Aussies.
Pitch and Conditions
The Sydney pitch as expected was a belter and the batsmen made full use of it. The bowlers had a tough time containing the batsmen and the wickets seem tough to come by. The match promises to be a high-scoring thriller again and as we saw in the last game, the Indians managed to chase down a score of 194 with 2 balls to spare. Said that any score of more than 190 is likely to put the chasing team under pressure.
The Conditions are ideal for cricket once again as clear skies are expected throughout the day. The temperature is expected to hover in the 19-degrees range and humidity around the 44 percent mark.
Probable Playing Xl
Australia (Aus): D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade (c & wk), Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye
India (Ind): KL Rahul (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal
Matthew Wade (Aus) vs T.Natarajan (Ind)
Wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade surprised everyone with his attacking approach from ball one of the game and he looked in destructive form. If not the judgment error that caused an erratic run-out, the Australian looked in great touch and hungry for more. India will know the importance of picking up his wicket early in the game and the right person to do the task will be in-form spearhead T.Natarajan.
Natarajan has picked up 5 wickets from the 2 T20I and looks to be in great touch. Virat Kohli will be looking to bring him much earlier into the attack this time.
Can the Aussie continue his prime touch? Or will he fall prey to the barrage of yorkers by Natarajan?
Adam Zampa (Aus) vs Virat kohli (Ind)
The skipper looked in good touch while scoring a quickfire 40 and for the first time, the cricket world witnessed Virat Kohli play a scoop, which saw the ball fly over the fine leg for a six. He took everyone by surprise while playing the shot, will he continue playing such shots? On the other side for Australia, Adam Zampa has been their goto bowler and on most occasions, he has done the favor for his team.
Aussies will be giving it all in order to evade an embarrassing white-wash and as we all know, the scoreline of 2-1 sounds much better than 3-0. Can Adam Zampa help the Aussies in getting past the Indians?
Even though India was unbeaten in their last 7 T20Is, several fans around the world predicted the home side's domination to prevail.
However, the men in blue were more than ready for vengeance. India won the first T20I comfortably, despite a budding controversy that may lead to some alterations in the ICC rule book.
India made sure that the Aussies had nothing to blame for their defeat in the second T20. Chahal may have not been effective but Hardik Pandya was still in his fiery touch. Keeping those things in mind, the away side look to cause yet another upset, whitewashing the 4-time World Champions on their own soil.
Cricwizz predicts India to win and seal the series 3-0.