India had already bagged the series 2-0 heading into the third T20I against Australia at Sydney. Indians registered a fabulous win over the Aussies in the 2nd T20I by chasing down a tall score of 195 in style. India won the toss for the second time running and had no hesitation to field first. They remained unchanged while Australia had the services of their regular skipper, Aaron Finch in this match. It meant Marcus Stoinis had to be left out as he was still struggling with a niggle.
How did Australia fare in the first innings?
Australia went in with a new opening pair of Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade. Finch was dismissed for nought by Washington Sundar. But Wade took off from where he left in the 2nd T20I. He motored along nicely and registered a score of 80 before being adjudged LBW off Shardul Thakur. Steve Smith who walked in pretty early was rusty throughout the innings. He laboured to a 23 ball 24 before being bowled by Sundar. His dismissal saw the entry of Glenn Maxwell who lived a charmed life to score 54 off 36 balls. He was out caught but it was later declared as a no-ball. Maxwell was even dropped twice and ultimately dismissed by T.Natarajan in the last over. While Australia did look good to put up a total of around 200, India managed to restrict them to 186-5.
How did India go about the chase?
India’s chase started off on a wrong note with KL Rahul getting out for a blob in the 2nd ball of the chase. Virat Kohli walked in with great intent and raced off instantly. Shikhar Dhawan was slow to get off the blocks but found his groove soon. Kohli too got a couple of reprieves and capitalised on it brilliantly. India managed to put on 55 runs in the first 6 overs and looked the more dominant team of the two. Just when India were trying to press on the accelerator, Shikhar Dhawan was caught splendidly by Daniel Sams at mid-wicket. This meant India needed 113 runs more in 11.1 overs.
What happened in the last 10 overs of the chase?
Virat Kohli and Sanju Samson found the going tough against the Aussie leg spin duo. Samson was soon dismissed for 10 of 9 balls while Kohli meanwhile got to his half-century of 41 balls. Samson’s dismissal brought in Shreyas Iyer who was sent in to go after the leg spinners. But unfortunately for him and India, he got out for a golden duck and thereby became Mitchell Swepson’s 3rd wicket. India needed an improbable 87 runs of the last 7 overs. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya were India’s last hope and the equation read 76 off 5 overs. The contest seemed well beyond them. Pandya was dismissed for 20 and India was again left rueing an opportunity. Kohli needed support from the other end but it seemed hard coming. India needed 36 of the last 2 overs. And India’s hopes were dashed when Kohli got dismissed off the first ball of second last over. This way India’s chance of whitewashing Australia in the T20Is proved to be unsuccessful.