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3rd T20I (N), Guwahati, November 28, 2023, Australia tour of India
(20 ov, T:223) 225/5

Australia won by 5 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
104* (48)
Cricinfo's MVP
165.79 ptsImpact List

Exhausted Australia look for winning spark with series on the line

India eye early series wrap as teams head to Guwahati in the east from the south-west corner of the country with a turnaround time of under 48 hours

India have been clinical in both T20Is  •  BCCI

India have been clinical in both T20Is  •  BCCI

Big picture: India eye early series wrap

Given the puzzling scheduling of this series, against an opponent with a core of exhausted players, who were part of an ODI World Cup-winning squad, it's probably not surprising that India are on the brink of already wrapping up the series.
With an overhaul of their World Cup team, India are fresher and have enjoyed playing under the aggressive leadership of Suryakumar Yadav. But the opening two games were mostly competitive testament to Australia's depth and a fiercely contested rivalry that almost always delivers.
Having shown signs of sluggishness in a 44-run defeat in the second T20I, it remains to be seen whether Australia can rally and keep the series alive as the teams get ready to fly from the south-west corner of the country to Guwahati in the east with a turnaround time of under 48 hours.
Australia will value tinkering with their line-ups and strategies ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is just over six months away. Of note, legspinner Tanveer Sangha, 22, has shown courage in the tough surroundings while big-hitting Tim David unleashed a whirlwind in Thiruvananthapuram in a welcome sign for a team looking for a finisher.
As the World Cup fades away, with the IPL 2024 trade action starting to take hold, India are enjoying a tonic with a new-look team that impressively built on a tense series-opening win. Their batting has been exciting with each of the top four batters having made half-centuries so far in the series before Rinku Singh has taken over in the latter overs. It's been a tougher ask for their bowlers, but India have shown urgency in the field under the energetic Suryakumar.
They will hope to continue a strong start to their T20 World Cup preparations.

Form guide

Australia LLWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)

In the spotlight: Rinku Singh and Steven Smith

Such has been his impact at the death, where he is striking at 230 without being dismissed in the series, Rinku Singh has inevitably evoked legendary MS Dhoni. Of course, the comparison feels like Rinku is on a hiding to nothing but he's been unflustered in two different situations. In game one, he made a calm 22 off 14 balls to steer his team over the line before bludgeoning 31 off nine balls in the next game when India were teeing off after batting first. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the growing expectations.
While many of his World Cup-winning team-mates have returned home for a breather, Steven Smith has been back to work and determined to prove his worth as an opener. Ever since he cracked a couple of brutal tons in last season's BBL at the top for Sydney Sixers, Smith has eyed the opener's role for the T20 World Cup. He started well in Visakhapatnam with three boundaries in his first eight deliveries before being completely overshadowed by centurion Josh Inglis. Smith did finish with 52 off 41 balls, but his stay was brief in the second game. There is speculation that Smith might return home after game three, so if that's the case then he'll want to make his final innings of the series count.

Team news: Australia ponder recalling Behrendorff

With the chance to claim the series, India are likely to not make any changes. Ishan Kishan, who was initially a surprising choice at No. 3 instead of opening, has excelled with consecutive half-centuries. If there is swing around then Shivam Dube could be an option although spinners Axar Patel and Ravi Bishnoi were excellent in the second T20I. Left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh, who has taken just 1 for 87 from eight overs, could be squeezed out.
India (probable): 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Suryakumar Yadav (capt), 5 Tilak Varma, 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Mukesh Kumar
Australia left out left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff, who was their best bowler in Visakhapatnam with 1 for 25 amid an onslaught. They played legspinners Adam Zampa and Sangha in tandem with an eye towards next year's T20 World Cup, which will be played on expected slower surfaces in West Indies and the USA. If Australia opt to play the spin duo then Behrendorff may come in for seamer Sean Abbott, who was smashed for 56 off three overs in Thiruvananthapuram. He returned 1 for 43 off 3.5 overs in the first game and was hit by Rinku for a last-ball six in what turned out to be a no-ball.
Australia (probable): 1 Steven Smith, 2 Matthew Short, 3 Josh Inglis, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Tim David, 7 Matthew Wade (capt, wk), 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Nathan Ellis, 10 Jason Behrendorff/Sean Abbott, 11 Tanveer Sangha

Pitch and conditions

There have only been three previous T20Is at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium with one of those being an abandoned match between India and Sri Lanka in January 2020 due to rain. The two completed matches were polar opposites. Australia won by eight wickets in 2017 after Behrendorff ripped through India's top-order with swing bowling on a tacky pitch. Five years later, India pipped South Africa by 16 runs in a match with a combined 458 runs.
There is no forecast of rain, but humid conditions are expected on Tuesday with dew likely to play a factor during the match.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time Australia lost three straight T20Is was in July-August of 2021 when they had a four-match losing streak against West Indies and Bangladesh.
  • Rinku's strike rate of 344 in the second T20I was the highest by a batter in matches between India and Australia. The previous landmark was 288.88 when Shikhar Dhawan smashed 26 from nine balls at the SCG in 2016.
  • Suryakumar Yadav is 60 runs away from becoming the fourth Indian to reach 2000 T20I runs.


"One of the things we had in our planning coming into this series was to have a look at Steve [Smith] up the top. And we've had a chance to do that now and again. We've been extremely happy with that intent that he's shown with the bat."
Australia stand-in coach Andre Borovec is happy with Smith the opener

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

Win Probability
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Over 20 • AUS 225/5

Australia won by 5 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)
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