India take on Australia in the crucial decider of the three-match T20I series at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on Friday, October 13.
The visitors are heading into the game on a high after having beaten the hosts in Guwahati on Tuesday, October 10. Unlike the five-match ODI series, in which the Australians were steamrolled by Virat Kohli's men, David Warner and Co. have added life to the T20I rubber by comprehensively outplaying the dominant team on the tour, in the previous game.
Right through the ODI rubber and in the first T20I in Ranchi, Australia were let down by their middle order, which had been in woeful form with the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade failing to add any firepower to the innings in the middle overs.
However, on Tuesday, Warner's move to send all-rounder Moises Henriques worked wonders as the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) star paced his innings brilliantly well after the team had lost its skipper and his opening partner, Aaron Finch in a tricky chase of 119.
Henriques and Travis Head made sure there were no more hiccups after the openers' dismissals by stitching an unbeaten 107-run stand. The batsmen's job in Guwahati though was made easier by lanky pacer Jason Behrendorff, who ran through India's top order with a four-wicket haul, after which Adam Zampa struck in the middle overs to demolish any chances of an Indian comeback.
Warner would want another such performance from his boys in his second home - Hyderabad where he has enjoyed a lot of success as SRH captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Australian stand-in captain also holds the record for scoring the most number of T20 runs (1291 at 61.48) at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
The 30-year-old, who knows the conditions at Hyderabad as good as any of the home boys, will look to lead from the front. Notably, he tried to connect with the Hyderabad crowd by bringing up the SRH connection during the post-match presentation ceremony in Guwahati on Tuesday.
On the other hand, India will look to address their middle order concerns after the dramatic batting failure in Guwahati. KL Rahul, who has been warming the benches, might replace the inconsistent Manish Pandey in the Playing XI today.
While both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were taken to the cleaners in the 2nd T20I, Kohli is likely to retain the two wrist spinners. Ashish Nehra, who has announced his retirement from international cricket, might get a chance to play in Hyderabad where he had impressed in SRH colours.
Both teams will be wary of the rain threat (continuous showers over the last week) and the captains winning the toss might as well be reluctant to bat first.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The 3rd T20I between India and Australia will start at 7pm IST, 1:30pm GMT at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday, October 13.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
UK: TV: Sky Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
Australia: David Warner (captain), Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Daniel Christian, Jason Behrendorff.
India: Virat Kohli (captain) , Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, , Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Kedar Jadhav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Ashish Nehra.