India has sealed the T20 International series after Hardik Pandy’s fiery unbeaten 42 off 22 balls knock lead the side chase down 195 runs target to win the penultimate match against Australia in Sydney. They are set to play the third T20I in the same venue and will aim to clean sweep the host.
Having lost the first two ODIs, India’s confidence was rock bottom, but they found momentum in the last ODI in Canberra, winning the match by 13 runs. After which, they have consecutively clinched the victories.
Moreover, India has won the T20I matches in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma, the two world-class white-ball players. Also, the second T20I without Ravindra Jadeja, who was the match-winner for them in both the matches hosted in Canberra. It speaks volumes about the preparation of Team India, who are also setting their eyes for the T20 World Cup 2021.
Here, let’s take a look at how India’s playing XI will shape in for the final T20I of the series:
Shikhar Dhawan gave a scintillating start to the team by scoring 36-ball 52. He played some amazing shots and managed to give a good base to the team which was the need of the hour to chase down the mammoth 195 runs target.
After scoring a half-century in the first ODI, the left-hand batsman had thrown away his wicket early which had put him in under the radar. But his half-century has reassured that the veteran is in good form.
KL Rahul (wk):
KL Rahul also played a decent knock to stitch up 56 runs in partnership with Shikhar Dhawan for the first wicket. India were off to a sedate start, but he changed the gear after hitting six to Andrew Tye on a free hit. He then scored a couple of boundaries on Glenn Maxwell’s over to gain momentum as India notched 60 runs in the powerplay. The vice-captain and wicketkeeper-batsman will look to play a big knock in the final T20I to white-wash Australia.
Virat Kohli (c):
Team India captain amazed everyone after playing an unorthodox shot to score six in his well made 24-ball 40 knock. During Andrew Tye’s over, he scooped the ball for six over square leg and this shot reminded of Mr. 360 AB de Villiers.
He has been looking in great form and will want to win the series by 3-0.
Shreyas Iyer was pushed down the order because India required power-hitting in the middle-order. But the youngster struck a six and scored a boundary off Adam Zampa’s ball, against whom he had struggled during the tour. He stitched up a match-winning partnership with Hardik Pandya to take the game home.
Sanju Samson started hitting from the word go but could not play a big knock. He hit a monstrous six and boundary before losing his wicket for 15 runs. He will look to set himself for longer in the field to get decent runs in his name.
The swashbuckling Hardik Pandya played another match-winning knock to take the game home. Needing 25 of the final 12 balls after fetching 12 in the 18th over, Pandya brought the equation down to 14 in the last over with two furs. The all-rounder then hit two sixes to seal the match in India’s favour and also claim the player of the match honours.
He remained unconquered on 42 off 22 balls and will look to replicate a similar performance in the third T20I.
Washington Sundar, who was the most economical bowler for India in the first T20I, could not control the runs rate in Sydney. The stand-in skipper Matthew Wade beat him for consecutive boundaries to put his morale down. He went wicketless while gave away 35 runs in his four overs. The bowling allrounder will look to bounce back stronger in the last match.
Shardul Thakur bowled some good over but also went expensive when Matthew Wade hit him four boundaries. He picked the crucial wicket of Glenn Maxwell while gave away 39 runs in his four overs. Apart from bowling, his power-hitting in the death overs is also an asset to the team. However, so far, he has not got the opportunity to bat.
The leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal went too expensive as he leaked 51 runs while picked up the crucial wicket of Steven Smith in his four overs. He is likely to play the final T20I but will look to bounce back stronger in the last white-ball match of 2020.
Deepak Chahar, who bowled beautifully in the opening match, conceded 48 runs in four overs in the penultimate T20I. The opening batsman got better of him with the new ball as Australia scored 59 runs in six overs. He will look to redeem in the last match.
T Natarajan is the best find for India in this series. The speedster has made the debut in ODIs and T20I during the ongoing tour and has amazed with his accuracy and variations.
The promising bowler has bowled perfect yorkers and back of length balls to pick the wickets. In the second T20I, he was the only bowler in both the camps who registered 5.00 economy rate. He also got the wickets of D’Arcy Short and Moises Henriques. The 29-year-old will look to bowl another good spell in the last match of the series.