3rd T20I, India vs Australia: The countdown begins to another World Cup
2-0 up and with nine matches left before the big event in US and WI, India’s youngsters look to seal series and spots
GUWAHATI: : It has been just over a week that India endured a heart-breaking loss to Australia in the ODI World Cup final and both teams didn’t get enough time to let contrasting emotions soak in before engaging in a fivegame duel looking forward to next year’s T20 World Cup. Such is the pace of life these days and cricket is very much a part of it, at least in this part of the world.
Only three players from the World Cup squad found place in the squad for the ongoing T20 series and the bunch of young Indians — led by a new captain Suryakumar Yadav — did pretty well to find themselves 2-0 up against the Australians, who stayed back after their successful ODI World Cup campaign.
When India’s ‘360-degree-man’ in the shortest format of the game goes out to toss the coin at Barsapara Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday evening, Team India will be looking forward to seal the fate of the series with another win before moving on to Raipur.
With the likes of Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rinku Singh and the captain himself in fine form, it augurs well for India with just nine T20 matches left, including the Guwahati match, before next year’s T20 World Cup. The youngsters are enjoying their time in the middle under SKY, who has added his carefree style of batting to his leadership abilities in the absence of regular T20 skipper Hardik Pandya.
The top order is in fine form with all the batters scoring impressive half-centuries. Among the batters only Tilak Varma is short of quality time in the middle and the stylish left-hander will be eager to make his chance count before Shreyas Iyer comes back into the fray following his week-long break after World Cup. Batting at No. 5, Varma has faced only 12 deliveries in the last two games combined.
Regular vice-captain Iyer will join the side before the 4th match, so the Guwahati game could be Varma’s last chance in recent time if team management decides to include the Mumbai batter in the playing XI immediately after joining the squad.
Notwithstanding the very nature of the shortest format, the bowling unit’s collective form could be a little concern for the Indian captain as they leaked more than 200 bowling first in the opening game and had a cushion of 235 runs before winning the second game by 44 runs. Though they improved the showing in the second game, all the bowlers went for runs and Arshdeep Singh was wayward.
Pacer Prasidh Krishna took charge with three wickets in the last game but left-arm spinner Axar Patel did a good job of containing the Australians in the middle overs and will be crucial to India’s scheme of things despite taking just one wicket in two games.
Australia, on the other hand, will be eager to keep the series alive by surprising the Indians on a track which is likely to be a batters’ paradise but the fatigued World Cup-winning stars are their main concern. With more than 400 runs scored in the last T20 game at the venue, Tuesday calls for a run fest but dew could play a major role in the second innings.
For more news like this visit TOI. Get all the Latest News, City News, India News, Business News, and Sports News. For Entertainment News, TV News, and Lifestyle Tips visit EtimesNews Related