Hyderabad: An exciting contest awaits us on Friday as India and Australia are all set to lock horns in the third and the deciding encounter of the three-match T20I series in Hyderabad.
Perhaps it is for the very first time in the entire series against Australia that things have looked so very interesting and competitive. After they were beaten thoroughly in the rain-truncated first T20I in Ranchi, the Australians bounced back in emphatic fashion in the second match held in Guwahati to thrash the Indians by eight wickets and levelled the series 1-1.
Jason Behrendorff was the surprise package for the Australians as the left-arm speedster dismantled the Indian batting, dismissing big names like Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey. As a matter of fact, these blows were enough to push the Indian team on the back foot as they never really recovered from there and hence, ended up with only 118 runs on the board which was easily chased down by the visitors.
Hence, Virat Kohli and his men need to pull up their socks ahead of the deciding clash in Hyderabad. After beating the Aussies in almost everything in this entire series so far, for the very first time they face the prospect of a potential series loss and Kohli would like to avoid such a result at all costs.
Virat Kohli, who registered his first duck in T20I’s would hope to put up a good batting performance, which would automatically boost the morale of the team.
Although Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya played brief knocks, it wasn’t enough to bail the team out of trouble and thus, the Indian team would aim at putting up an improved show with the bat next time around. They were decent with the ball as speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar tasted success with the new ball in the last game but the spinners, especially the young chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who has done exceptionally well so far needs to fare well with the ball in the third match, if India are to win the fixture.
The Australians on the other hand would be high on momentum and wouldn’t want to squander this golden opportunity of claiming a series victory after a disastrous ODI series. Stand-in skipper David Warner has led the team well in the second game and would want to improve on his batting to pose a serious threat to the Indians. Both Moises Henriques and Travis Head, who played responsible knocks in the last game would be the ones to watch out for along with Behrendorff, whose left-arm pace bowling would again be a threat, the Indians have to contend with.
With the series at stake, both the teams would come out all guns blazing and would want to leave no stone unturned in to win the T20I series trophy. A cracker of a contest awaits us in Hyderabad on Friday.