The last time India clean swept Australia in a T20I series was on their 2015-16 tour when Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were still active in international cricket. Since then, there have been three bilateral series between the teams with Australia winning one of them. The remaining two have been tied. As such, it’s India’s chance to settle scores when they meet Australia in the last of the three T20Is at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Tuesday. India, who are on a 10-game winning-streak in T20Is, won the first two games, the most recent being the second T20I at the same venue on Sunday, and will look to finish the series on a high. Australia, on the other hand, will play for pride.
India have found a way to win after Australia had started well in each of the two games.
In the first T20I, Australia had restricted India to 161 for 7 before Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja’s concussion substitute, picked up 3 for 35 to restrict Australia to 150 for 7.
In the second game, the hosts posted a challenging 194 for 5 after being asked to bat by India. However, Shikhar Dhawan’s 52, captain Virat Kohli’s 40 and Hardik Pandya’s 42 not out helped India chase it down with six wickets in hand and two balls to spare.
Chahal’s prowess with the spin aside, fast bowler T Natarajan, who made his T20I debut at the start of the series, has picked up five wickets from two games thus far and he has been the most economical of the India bowlers.
Dhawan, KL Rahul, Kohli, Pandya have all chipped in with the bat while Washington Sundar gives India an extra option with the new ball.
Australia, who are missing David Warner and missed Aaron Finch in the second T20I due to injury, will look to salvage a win to prevent a second sweep in the past five series.
Stand-in captain Matthew Wade’s attacking 58 off 32 balls and handy contributions from Steve Smith (46), Glenn Maxwell (22) and Moises Henriques (26) in the last match hold them in good stead.
However, the bowling was a cause for concern in the last match and Australia will have to find a way to get through the Indian top three early in the innings.
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