India, who lead the five-match T20I series against Australia, will want to put up a stellar showing in the third game. The match is to be played at the ACA Stadium in Barsapara, Guwahati. The Aussies seem underconfident despite having most of their World Cup-winning side in their ranks. They will want to win this game at any cost, given that losing it will give India an unassailable lead in the series.
The Men in Blue will want to ensure they do not tinker with their starting lineup but allow some youngsters to showcase their potential at this level.
Australia, for their part, have a good mixture of youth and experience. They will be keen on proving to India they can do well in this format. Although they have done well in recent times in T20 cricket, India have managed to pull things together in the first two games of this series.
Although only Prasidh Krishna and Suryakumar Yadav are regulars in the Indian side from the World Cup, the youngsters have given the supporters at home enough to believe they can deliver. Australia, for their part, will hope that Guwahati’s slow and turning surface comes to their rescue.
Probable Playing XIs
India: Ruturaj Gayakwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan (wk), Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (c), Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Axar Patel, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna.
Australia: Matthew Short, Josh Inglis (wk), Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (c), Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha.
Suryakumar Yadav: India captain played a pivotal role in India’s qualifying for the World Cup final. He is a batsman who can play strokes on all parts of the ground. Yadav is known for his ability to take on any bowler and diminish their confidence by tearing into him and hitting the ball miles out of the park.
Steven Smith: Legendary batsman Steven Smith, who has reinvented himself by opening the batting sometimes in T20 cricket, has been Australia’s go-to batsman in this series. He has been able to rotate the strike well and hit the ball in the gaps, no matter where it is pitched.
There is no doubt that India is the favourite to win this game. Despite winning the World Cup, the Aussies look uncomfortable playing T20 cricket. Though they have quite a few regulars in their team, Australia is finding it extremely hard to challenge India in these turning conditions. The wicket in Guwahati will also help India, given the quality of spinners in their lineup.