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Australia vs India 3rd T20I Fantasy Preview: Team, pitch report and probable XI

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The Indian cricket team will look to make three wins in three matches when they take on Australia in the final T20I of the series at the Sydney Cricket ground on Tuesday, December 8.

India registered a thumping six-wicket win over the Aussies in the second T20I on Sunday, and the eyes will now be on a complete whitewash.

Australia vs India 3rd T20I Match Details

Date: December 08, 2020

Time: 01:40 PM IST

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground

Pitch Report

As seen in the ODIs as well as in the second T20I, the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground is a batsman’s paradise. Australia defied odds by scoring 194/5 in the first innings on Sunday whereas the average first innings total at the venue was, in fact, near to 160. India broke little sweat in chasing it down which rightfully explains what is in the offering.

Player availability

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will continue to be on the sidelines owing to the concussion and a hamstring injury that he picked in the first ODI at the Manuka Oval. It is even said that the 32-year-old is on the brink of missing out on the first Day/Night Test in Adelaide starting December 17.

As for Australia, they are still sweating on the fitness of their captain Aaron Finch, who missed the second T20I due to a hip injury. However, coach Justin Langer is optimistic about his chances on Tuesday.

“[Aaron] Finch texted me this morning and said he was 70-30 to play. He was close but he started moving and it wasn’t right. He has a small tear in his glute. He has a chance to play on Tuesday,” Langer was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Australia vs India 3rd T20I Predicted XI

Australia predicted XI: D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (captain and wicket-keeper), Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Mitchell Swepson 

India predicted XI: KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, T Natarajan, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.

Australia vs India 3rd T20I Fantasy XI:

Wicket-keeper: KL Rahul (Vice-captain)

One might argue that Matthew Wade played better than KL Rahul in the opening slot on Sunday, but judging by the consistency, choosing the Indian wicket-keeper is a no-brainer. The Punjab captain has scored 81 runs in two games in the series and the figures are very likely to take a massive hike in the third.

Batsmen: Matthew Wade, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith (captain), Shreyas Iyer

Why not add Wade in here? With the new edition of the Big Bash League around the corner, the Hobart Hurricanes captain will want to gain the much-needed momentum, and thus, one can rightly bank on him.

Though Sanju Samson has been underwhelming so far, his brief hard-hitting cameos have duly entertained the spectators. Expect him to fire on all cylinders on Sunday.

Steve Smith missed out on his half-century last time and would want to redeem himself for yesterday’s miss. With the Australian middle-order crumbling, odds are stacked in favour of the former captain to do the talking.

Shreyas Iyer’s performances often go unnoticed, and maybe this is the perfect time for you to get him into the team. India have got nothing to lose and this might work in Iyer’s favour on Tuesday.

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Moises Henriques

Both Hardik Pandya and Moises Henriques are having a fantastic time on the field. Pandya may have not been bowling the T20Is, but his hard-hitting prowess more than makes up for it. Henriques, on his part, struggled with the ball in the second T20I, but he too can turn the tides with his batting.

Bowlers: Mitchell Swepson, T Natarajan, Adam Zampa, Shardul Thakur

Spinner Mithcell Swepson was the most economical bowler for Australia on Sunday, and one can expect a similar showing from the 27-year-old on Tuesday. The Australian pacers have duly struggled to keep the run-rate in check and thus, Adam Zampa comes in handy. For pacers, you can always bank on Thangarasu Natarajan, who was undoubtedly the best bowler on Sunday. Furthermore, the likes of Shardul Thakur will always be a safer option to have.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / David Gray

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