IND vs AUS, 3rd T20I: Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal’s Form In Focus Ahead Of Series Decider Against Australia

India hopes their main bowlers, Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, are back at their best when the hosts take on Australia on Sunday in the decisive third T20 International in Hyderabad. India was able to close the gaps in Nagpur to level the three-match streak with a comprehensive eight-over-a-side match win. But they will need their bowlers, especially Harshal and Chahal, to win their battle for the T20 World Cup. India had an electric start in the final game with Axar Patel casting a fiery two-over spell that took a few wickets but they are struggling at the back of the innings.

While Jasprit Bumrah will certainly bear the responsibility, senior sailor Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s poor showing at the death overs is a real concern. He wrestled in the Asian Cup and in the opener against Australia.

He was dropped for the second T20, perhaps because skipper Rohit Sharma felt he only needed four bowlers for the eight overs, but Bhuvneshwar’s form is worrying.

Death overs specialist Harshal, who is returning from injury, has also failed to inspire confidence and may need a few more matches to find his rhythm.

Relying on his variations to be effective, the right-arm medium pacer has conceded 81 runs in his six overs at an economy rate of 13.50 and is the most expensive bowler in the series. He has struggled to get his lengths right and remained wicketless.

India relies on their spinners in the midfield and while Axar has been a big positive, Chahal has faltered. He made many runs in the Asian Cup and that trend continued against Australia.

India will breathe a sigh of relief, however, as Bumrah was his vintage best and showed no signs of rust following his return from his back injury.

In the batting division, the famous top order consisting of Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli should be more consistent. The trio haven’t shot together in a while. Suryakumar Yadav has also been patchy in the past few games with Hardik Pandya making match-winning performances.

Another crack in the armor of the Indian batters is leg spin. They have continued to fight against leggies and Adam Zampa has taken advantage of this weakness.

Dinesh Karthik, who played his role of finisher to perfection in the previous game, is likely to get more playing time.

Skipper Rohit also wants Axar, who is a like-to-like replacement for the injured Ravindra Jadeja, to work with the bat to see how the all-rounder performs in crunch situations. Moreover, he is the only left-hander on the side apart from Rishabh Pant.

The Australians, on the other hand, would also be concerned about their bowling.

After beating India in the first game, the Australians were on the receiving end in the second match, eventually losing by a whopping six wickets. While Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade managed to put runs on the board, their bowling division failed miserably again.

In the absence of the injured Nathan Elis, pacers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Daniel Sams leaked more than 11 runs per over. All-rounder Cameron Green has also been expensive.

Wade was brilliant with the willow, but with a World Cup to defend in their backyard, Australian team management would like to see great batter Glenn Maxwell, who has only scored one run in two games, take shape.


Coming Sunday, both teams will try to smooth the chinks in their armor and make it to the top, as a series win this close to the World Cup will be a real morale boost.


Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

india: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chaharrah, Jasprit Bum , Umesh Yadav. The match kicks off at 7pm IST.

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