Australia v India, 3rd T20I, Sydney January 30, 2016

India eye series sweep to cap off tour

154

Match facts

Sunday, January 31, 2016
Start time 1938 local (0838 GMT)

Play 04:08
Agarkar: India would like to keep the same team

Big Picture

Friday was a good day for India. In the afternoon, their women's team wrapped up their first ever bilateral series win against Australia in any format, and in the evening their men completed a second T20 victory to ensure their first series win in Australia in any format since they won the 2007-08 tri-series. On Sunday, it could be clean-sweep time. It would be the perfect way for India to depart Australia after the disappointment of losing the ODI series. After the win in Melbourne, MS Dhoni played down the possibility that India might use the dead rubber in Sydney to experiment with their side ahead of a World T20, but Australia have no choice but to make changes.

In a case of divided loyalties, Australia have sent several players to New Zealand to prepare for the ODI series that starts there on Wednesday. That means none of Steven Smith, David Warner, John Hastings, Kane Richardson or Matthew Wade will be available for Sunday's T20. Just as significantly, they will be without their captain Aaron Finch, who injured his hamstring during the loss in Melbourne. The short-term question was who would captain the side, with Shane Watson confirmed as the answer on Saturday, but the long-term worry is whether Finch's injury is serious enough to put him in any doubt for March's World T20 in India.

The Australians started this series with plenty of questions ahead of the World T20 in India, given that they had played only one T20 international last year. So far, they have found few answers. Chris Lynn has struggled against spin, which hardly augurs well for the Indian conditions, while Nathan Lyon has bowled only one over in this series for 15 runs. Shaun Tait also endured his least economical T20 international in Adelaide, hardly the comeback the selectors were hoping for. And now Finch's injury adds another worry.

Form guide

Australia: LLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
India: WWLLL

In the spotlight

T20 is not the format in which most observers would have expected Cameron Bancroft to make his international debut. A technically correct batsman, who the selectors view as a future Test opener, Bancroft is also a part-time wicketkeeper who took the gloves for Perth Scorchers in the BBL this summer and it is this role that has meant he can squeeze into the side in place of Matthew Wade. Whether Bancroft can score quickly enough to be an effective T20 international batsman remains to be seen.

To watch Jasprit Bumrah's stiff-armed bowling from side-on during his delivery stride, you'd swear he was a clock and the time was a quarter to one. But Bumrah is certainly effective and has proven difficult for the Australian batsmen to get away during these T20s; he is the leading wicket taker from either side so far in the series with five dismissals at an average of 12.00. India have certainly found a candidate for their home World T20 campaign.

Team news

Usman Khawaja has joined the squad to cover for the injured Finch, though with Travis Head also in the squad there is no guarantee Khawaja will make his T20 international debut. Bancroft is in to replace Wade, who has gone to New Zealand. The absence of Hastings and Richardson means Tait may return.

Australia (possible) 1 Shaun Marsh, 2 Shane Watson (capt), 3 Chris Lynn, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Usman Khawaja/Travis Head, 6 Cameron Bancroft (wk), 7 James Faulkner, 8 Andrew Tye, 9 Nathan Lyon/Cameron Boyce, 10 Scott Boland, 11 Shaun Tait.

India have used the same XI in both wins so far, and could yet go through the series unchanged.

India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Ashish Nehra.

Pitch and conditions

Another good pitch is expected at the SCG, and the forecast is also good.

Stats and trivia

  • Watson will become the ninth man to captain Australia in T20 internationals after Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Cameron White, George Bailey, Finch and Smith.
  • Australia have already used 17 players in this series to India's 11; it is possible the tally might finish up at 19 for Australia and 11 for India
  • Australia last won a T20 international on November 9, 2014

Quotes

"We're getting completely outplayed in all three departments at the moment - bat, ball and field."
Michael di Venuto, Australia's acting head coach

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on January 31, 2016, 8:26 GMT

    It is good for other teams that Pandya and Nehra has done well this series because these kind of bowlers are ideal for opposition batsman gain momentum and raise/hunt down big totals barring how well Ashwin and Jadeja bowl

  • HDG1978 on January 31, 2016, 8:05 GMT

    Despite this series,would want the selectors to reconsider the future of MSD as India's ODI and T20I captain and appoint Kohli in his stead to lead India in all 3 formats after the T20 WC at home in March-April 2016. Ideally would have been happier if the selectors had made Kohli the captain for the T20 WC but since Dhoni has been named captain till the ICC tournament,he gets the opportunity to build on the series success in Australia in India's upcoming T20I engagements against SL at home and the maiden T20 format Asia Cup in Bangladesh in the lead-up to the WC on home soil.India ended up runners-up in the last edition of the T20 WC in Bangladesh in 2014 in their 2nd appearance in the final after being crowned champions in the inaugural edition of the T20 WC in SA in 2007.

  • caldruid on January 31, 2016, 7:49 GMT

    I wish India had won the ODI series more than this slam-bang T20 series. In the ODIs, the Aussies fielded a 2nd string bowling attack and now its more like a 3rd string attack. Really some of the Indian fans need to at least acknowledge that a full-strength Aussie side ( like in the WC'15 ) would easily beat India. Also, I can see why CA is fielding this kind of side in the T20. They want the good players rested for the fight against the Kiwis which makes a lot of sense.

  • Big-Dog on January 31, 2016, 7:26 GMT

    Australia has'nt won an international T20 in 14 months & as long as their selectors keep selecting sides on reputation rather than form this divide will only widen.

  • HDG1978 on January 31, 2016, 7:24 GMT

    A clean sweep on a tour where I was not expecting to win a single international match would be really sweet and like the icing of the cake.

  • ventimiglia1 on January 31, 2016, 7:11 GMT

    Thank God, the tour would be over. Don't wanna play Ind for a long time...

  •   Hari Das on January 31, 2016, 7:11 GMT

    some of the posts suggest here that if we win this T20 Series that means even stevens, Aus outplayed us in one dayers while we outclassed them in the shorter format in which aussies were never favourites, and also sending or giving rest to player s like smith and warner when the series is on line tells how much serious are the Oz selectors are serious about this format , as they are worried about the NZ series which gives them chance to be world no 1. So let us not say that we had great series just by winning this one.

  • abdul.wahid on January 31, 2016, 7:05 GMT

    @kobe1508 - Australias t20 team is in the making, once the management establishes a set team of 16, then things may be different

  • Wiseman065 on January 31, 2016, 7:04 GMT

    Happy with Indian team's performance so far.Yuvi and Pandya give the team a good balance for 5th and 6th bowling options.But we still need to cross the 200 run barrier,Rohit and Dhawan need to up their SR to 170 atleast.Yuvi and Pandya need to be given chances at 3 and 4.This Aus team has no Starc,Pattinson and the series is won.So,the best way to use this match is to let Yuvi and Pandya come to the party.If Rahane is fit,rest Rohit and play him.We are rarely in this good position and testing our players in the best possible manner will help us in WC.But Dhoni strictly refused to experiment as indicated by his post match comments.

  • Ammo666 on January 31, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    Winning just two T20's in a row against a 3rd string AUSSIE side gave IND'n fans the power boost of being jubilant(IPL behind this strongly)...its like in this condition IND can't perform well enough to win in ODI & TEST which is called real cricket.....

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