India’s Hardik Pandya, second left, gestures after their win in the second T20 international cricket match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)(AP)
Considering India’s record against Australia in the shortest format of the game especially in Australia, it really shouldn’t be a surprise if Virat Kohli’s men go on to win the third and final T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday to blank the hosts 3-0. Who would have thought this was possible when India ended November with a bag full of questions and little hopes of finding the answers. But strange things happen in cricket, especially with the change of formats.
India won the last ODI and carried the momentum to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three T20Is. Kohli’s men have dominated Australia in T20Is and that too in Australia. In the last 7 encounters between these two sides in Australia, India have won six. Not many sides in world cricket can boast of a similar record in Australia’s backyard.
Also read: India Predicted XI for 3rd T20I vs Australia: Jasprit Bumrah might get a game in Sydney
Then again, not many sides in the world can also win 10 T20Is on the bounce.
If India manage to win the 3rd T20I, it will be India’s 6th instance where they would have inflicted a whitewash in a bilateral series with minimum 3 matches. This will be India’s 2nd whitewash against Australia, both in Australia.
India will be the 1st team to inflict 3 whitewashes against a team at the home of opposition (excluding neutral venues), currently, India and England have 2 whitewashes to their name in a bilateral series of 3 or more matches.
What: India vs Australia, 3rd T20I
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Time: 1:40 PM IST
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
India can very well go for 3-0 without even thinking much about the workload of their premier Test bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t played in this T20I series while Mohammed Shami featured only in the first match. With the performance of T Natarajan, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur, there shouldn’t be any need to field Bumrah and Shami in the final T20I. As far as their batting line-up is concerned, there may be a case for Manish Pandey’s return.
Australia, on the other hand, are still sweating over the fitness of regular captain Aaron Finch. Head coach Justin Langer did indicate that Finch might feature in the final T20I but Australian think tank might want to reconsider the decision because of the match being a dead rubber. Wade should continue to lead the side if Finch doesn’t play. Australia might also opt for the option of resting Steve Smith before the Test series.
Stats and Trivia
– India have played 3 T20Is at this venue and won all of them.
– Shikhar Dhawan needs 35 to complete 8000 T20 runs
– Virat Kohli needs 1 more six to complete 300 sixes in T20s. He can become the 4th Indian to reach this landmark after Dhoni, Raina and Rohit.
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