» Cricket » Confident India ready to crush Aussie morale in 3rd T20

Confident India ready to crush Aussie morale in 3rd T20

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
December 07, 2020 12:19 IST
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IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli celebrates with Hardik Pandya after winning the second T20 International to seal the three-match series 2-0, in Sydney on Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The series pocketed and their confidence restored, India would eye nothing less than a clean sweep when they take on an Australian side significantly weakened by injury blows, in the third and final T20 International, in Sydney, on Tuesday.


Skipper Virat Kohli and his main protagonist of the white-ball leg, Hardik Pandya, will feel a sense of deja vu given that the script has panned out exactly like 2016 when the team got walloped in the ODIs but came back strongly to rout the Aussies 3-0 in the T20 International series.

After a couple of crushing defeats in the first two ODIs, the Indians have turned a corner starting with the final ODI in Canberra.

Even the absence of a white-ball pro like Ravindra Jadeja didn't have an impact during their convincing six-wicket win in the series-clinching second T20 on Sunday.

What will boost the Indian team's morale manifold is the fact that it had the confidence to rest both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, relying on a troika of pacers, who between them haven't played even 40 games collectively.

Thangarasu Natarajan

IMAGE: Thangarasu Natarajan celebrates taking a wicket during the first T20 International against Australia. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

India's new white-ball sensation Thangarasu Natarajan has had a superb initiation in international cricket with Australian batsmen still finding it difficult to read him.

As Pandya so rightly put it, Natarajan's spell and the 10 runs that Australia failed to score became the difference between winning and losing on Sunday.

The difference between India and Australia during the last game was the batting of the two teams during the middle overs.

Australia lost a bit of momentum after stand-in skipper Matthew Wade was dismissed while his opposite number Kohli played some outrageous shots after the Powerplay to up the ante.

Shreyas Iyer's induction in place of an injured Manish Pandey also worked well for the visitors.

Hardik Pandya

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya hits a six to take India to victory in the second T20 International. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The only glitch in an otherwise solid show was Yuzvendra Chahal's rare off-day. Not having a sixth bowling option meant that Kohli was forced to have his premier leg-spinner complete his quota as he registered expensive figures of 1-51 in four overs.

For Australia, the absence of regular skipper Aaron Finch, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood did have an impact although three of the five did play in the first T20 International that India comfortably won by 11 runs.

D'Arcy Short hasn't looked the part as an opener in the two games and one would expect Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell to shoulder more responsibility as senior players.

But Australia's inexperienced bowlers will have to play out of their skins to stop the Indian juggernaut which has started rolling.

A 3-0 win would be the perfect booster shot for it before the all-important Test series, starting later this month.

In case of Australia, while a thrashing would impact them a lot but they would try and look at it from a different perspective -- most of their Test specialists will not have the scars of a clean sweep when they take on India under the lights at the Adelaide Oval, starting on December 17.


India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain, w/k), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur.

Australia: Matthew Wade (captain, w/k), Sean Abbott, Mitchell Swepson, Alex Carey, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, D'Arcy Short, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye.

Match starts 1.40pm IST.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021