IND vs AUS 3rd T20 preview: Team India aim to seal five-match series

The stylish Tilak Varma wouldn’t mind some good batting time before a possible retirement from the XI as the Indian team looks to take an unassailable lead in the third T20 International against Australia on Tuesday.

Shreyas Iyer, who was given a week’s rest after the World Cup finals, will join the team for the last two matches in Raipur and Bengaluru and take over the vice-captain duties from Ruturaj Gaikwad.

After near-flawless batting performances in back-to-back matches, the new Indian team is keen to keep their foot firmly on the pedal on a Barsapara Stadium track that has traditionally been a batting belt. And there’s no reason to believe the 22-yard strip will be any different this time either.

The 40,000 spectators, who are expected to fill the stands, would expect a run-fest from the talented Indian batting unit, who would look to add to the 36 boundaries and 24 maximums they have collectively achieved in the two matches.

For Australia, some of their senior players such as Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa have been in India for nine weeks and the fatigue is visible. They need significant rest before starting their next assignment.

All four will play in the Big Bash League next month. For Smith, the Pakistan Test series would be his next international assignment.

Possibly Tilak’s last chance in series

India’s top order has ticked all the boxes with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad and skipper Suryakumar Yadav each reaching half a century.

Ishan Kishan, who shows no signs of rust even after spending almost five and a half weeks on the World Cup bench, has two half-centuries to his name.

Rinku Singh has consolidated his status as the designated finisher in this format with two excellent back-guard strikes, slowly securing him a permanent No. 6 spot in this batting order ahead of the T20 World Cup.

However, Tilak, who has not missed any of India’s last 12 T20 Internationals, is in a tough spot when batting at number 5 and has faced just 12 deliveries in the last two matches.

In the first game, he scored 12 runs off 10 balls with two boundaries in pursuit of 209. In the second game in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, he faced the last two deliveries of the Indian innings as Rinku promoted ahead of him to earn the victory . final push.

It would be interesting to see if skipper Suryakumar himself drops a place lower in the batting order and gives his younger colleague a chance to play a few more balls and get some runs under his belt before Iyer comes to call the next game in Raipur.

Improved bowling performance

Considering the nature of the tracks on offer, Indian bowlers put up a much better performance in the second game after conceding 208 runs in the series opener.

While the number of point balls in the first two matches remained almost the same (45 in the first and 44 in the second), the decline in boundary percentage has improved significantly while defending in dewy conditions in Thiruvananthapuram.

After being hit for 24 fours in the first game, the same Indian attack reduced the tally to half in the next game.

Prasidh Krishna, after being creamed by Jos Inglis and Steve Smith in Visakhapatnam, made a strong comeback with three wickets in his second spell.

However, you also have to keep in mind that Prasidh was bowling with a cushion of a huge target of 235. He was not under pressure.

Even the normally loose Arshdeep Singh managed to complete his block gap deliveries during death overs for a change.

The teams:

India: Suryakumar Yadav (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.

Australia: Matthew Wade (captain), Aaron Hardie, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

The match starts at 7:00 PM IST.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)