India and Australia will meet in their 3rd T20I in Hyderabad on Sunday, September 25th. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 pm local time.
What was already an eagerly awaited contest has been given more piquancy by the fact that this is now a series decider.
That is because, having lost the first match in Mohali on Tuesday by 4 wickets, India were able to level things up in a rain affected match in Nagpur on Friday night, with captain Rohit Sharma playing a captain’s innings to lead his team to a six wicket victory.
High demand for tickets
This is the first time in two years that the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad will stage an international match and tickets are reported to be on high demand. Organisers are taking no chances of there being any trouble among the spectator, with tight security measures set to be in place on the match day.
Australia are likely to revert to a seven batter line-up, with Josh Inglis taking his lace again in the middle order, whilst Nathan Ellis could also play if he is fit. In that case, Sean Abbott and Daniel Sams will be the men to give way.
They do have a selection dilemma over whether to rest one or both of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. They will want to win the series and have a much better chance of doing so if they both play.
At the same time, with the World Cup looming, do they want to risk either getting injured, given the hectic nature of this tour and the travelling involved?
Meanwhile there any question marks also about the India line-up. Rishabh Pant was recalled for the second T20I, but, given that he did not get to bat in that match, could lose his place again with the need to play an extra bowler.
That could mean the return of the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, despite being heavily criticised for shipping runs in the death overs in Mohali. Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin could be preferred to Yuzvendra Chahal, who has had his own problems with shipping runs.
Having played his way back into form during the Asia Cup, Kohli has had a disappointing series so far, making just 2 and 11, although there were extenuating circumstances in the second match. However, he has fond memories of playing on this ground, having averaged more than 53 in ten previous T20 matches there, including an unbeaten 94 off 50 balls against the West Indies.
The return of Bumrah in the second T20I was a welcome sight for Indian supporters, instantly bring more control and authority to their bowling attack, particularly in the death overs where they have struggled without him. He could well have a major impact on this match.
Wade, has been one of the successes of this tour for Australia and his big hitting could yet playa decisive role. In the two matches so far he has scored 88 runs and has yet to be dismissed once, so India need to find a way to deal with him.
So far on this tour there have just been a few glimpses of why Maxwell is known as the “Big Show” although followers of the Indian T20 league will need no reminding of his potentially destructive power with the bat. He would like to go out on a high, though, if only to give franchise owners a timely nudge before the 2023 Player auction.
Although it has been three years since a T20I match was played at the ground, and there have been no IPL matches staged there since 2019, indications are that it is a good batting track. Winning the toss, though, may not be as crucial as on many other grounds. Of the last 16 T20I matches staged there, eight have been won by the side batting first, and eight by the chasing side.
None of the weather problems experienced in Nagpur are expected in Hyderabad. All indications are for a clear day and a complete match this time.
The outcome of the match and series may depend on whether Australia choose to rest their two main strike bowlers, Cummins and Hazlewood. If they do, then that tips the odds in favour of India, whereas if they play, it could go either way.
The neutrals will just want to see the result determined after the full 20 overs a side.
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