Despite failing to defend a massive 222 against Australia, India skipper Suryakumar Yadav refused to be harsh on his bowlers, saying 'heavy dew' played a major role.
Glenn Maxwell made his 100th T20I appearance memorable, smashing a match-winning 104 from 48 balls as Australia racked up 45 runs in the last two overs to seal a last-ball thriller to stay alive in the five-match series after losing the first two games.
Australia clinched a narrow five-wicket victory to reduce India's lead to 2-1 with two matches left to play.
"When you are defending 222 with so much dew, you have to give something to the bowlers," Suryakumar said after the match in Guwahati on Tuesday.
"I felt like how we played at Trivandrum, there was heavy dew, they lost wickets early but wickets in hand for them meant they were always in the game.
"I told the boys in the drinks break to get Maxwell out quickly but that was insane."
India needed to defend 43 runs of the last two overs as the skipper made a bold call giving the penultimate over to left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who was the pick of their bowlers having conceded just 19 runs from his first three overs, also taking a wicket. But the move backfired as Patel leaked 23 runs in the 19th over.
"I gave Axar the 19th over because he has bowled the 19th and 20th overs before. So, he's experienced as well and I have always thought an experienced bowler in the end, even if a spinner, with heavy dew there's always a chance."
India's run charge was led brilliantly by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad who struck 123 not out from 57 balls, his maiden international century.
"Fantastic knock from Gaikwad, he took the innings deep after I got out. I have always said in franchise cricket as well that he's a special player and the way he batted, he showed it. I am very proud of my boys," he said.
Maxwell also acknowledged that there was heavy dew and it was difficult for bowlers to come up with yorkers.
"The dew obviously makes it difficult to hold on to, we knew it was going to be hard work to bowl yorkers, and there probably wasn't a number in our head at the back-end to set ourselves to," Maxwell, who was adjudged player-of-the-match, said.
"We thought if we can stay in the hunt until the last over, we can give ourselves a chance, you never know it might come off the middle and you might stay in the game.
"We did really well to stay in the game until the final over. Knowing that Axar had one over left meant (Matthew Wade) Wadey had to be out there to cash in and I was trying to take on all the pace bowlers and get the run rate under a little bit under control.
"The way Wadey controlled the other end and got me through the back-end of my innings was brilliant, he said while acknowledging his skipper's effort of 28 not out from 16 balls.
Wade was all praise for Maxwell and said he's one of the best-ever T20 players for Australia.
"It was always going to take our best and (Maxwell) one of the best players that's ever played T20s for Australia played his 100th game and got a hundred, so pretty special for him," Wade said.
The Australia captain revealed that pacer Kane Richardson sustained an injury as they had to bowl Maxwell in the 20th over, which went for 30 runs.
"Unfortunately, Kane Richardson hurt himself so we were one short and had to bowl Maxi," he said.
"We really needed this win and a lot of guys are heading home so a chance for the younger ones to learn how to play in India.
"Hopefully, we can take it to the decider with another win in the next game."