India will aim to end tour with a win © Getty Images
India will aim to end tour with a win © Getty Images

India and Australia will lock horns for the final time in this tour when they play the third Twenty20 International (T20I) at Sydney on Sunday. It is the final match of their ongoing three-match T20I series and having won the first two matches, India sealed have already sealed the series. India defeated Australia by 27 runs in the second T20I at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday and with that MS Dhoni’s men ensured that they return home with a trophy. It was once again Virat Kohli who was named player of the match for his unbeaten 33-ball 59, which helped India to post a total of 184 after they were put into bat first. Another good effort from the spinners meant Australia fell short of the target, just like they did in Adelaide. FULL SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 3rd T20I at Sydney 

Although Australian skipper Aaron Finch looked dangerous he ran himself out and to make matters worse, suffered a hamstring injury as well. He got off to an excellent start, not sparing any bowler. He smashed two sixes and eight boundaries before Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni got him run out, leaving Australia at 124 for 5. After his dismissal, Australia never managed to recover. Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that Finch would miss the dead rubber and Usman Khawaja would replace him. With the absence of Finch, Steven Smith and David Warner, Australia surely would be seen struggling once again.

Watson was named the interim skipper for the Sydney T20I on Saturday. He said, “Honour to be asked to lead, although circumstances are far from ideal.”

Khawaja received support from Shane Watson. “Usman is very well placed to be able to play anywhere at the moment, wherever the opportunity arises because he’s batting incredibly well, as well as I’ve ever seen anyone bat. He’s ready to go, and whatever [format] the opportunity arises, he’s in incredible control of his game at the moment. Whatever opportunities come his way he incredibly deserves,” Watson said. READ: Shane Watson to lead Australia in 3rd T20I vs India at Sydney

India will probably go unchanged in the final match. The combination of Jadeja, Ashwin and support from youngster Jasprit Bumrah has settled the bowling issues for India so far. They have been playing in sync and Dhoni would not want to disrupt that in the final match. Meanwhile, the likes of Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and others have managed to keep India’s batting at a top level.

On the other hand, Australia will look to work on their lower-order. Australia, who have a huge dependency on their top-order for bringing in the majority of the runs, will want to introspect their lower-order. While India will play for a whitewash, Australia will aim to get back its pride in T20Is.


India (likely XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah.

Australia (likely XI): Shane Watson (c), Shaun Marsh, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, John Hastings, Scott Boland, Andrew Tye, Nathan Lyon, Usman Khawaja

Time: (14:08 IST | 19:08 local | 08:38 GMT)

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)