Matthew Wade, stand-in skipper of the Australian cricket team in the 2nd T20I, reckoned during the post-match presentation that his side fell a few runs short.
When that is said about a score of 194/5, it gives you some idea of what Australia expect themselves to make on the Sydney surface against a competent Indian bowling unit.
In the 3rd and final T20I at the same venue, Wade will look to carry on from his threatening display which tormented the Indians until a comical catch-turned-runout cut his innings short. Speaking of short, the other Australian opener, D’Arcy Short, would be sweating over his place in the side after striking at less than a run-a-ball in both games so far.
A spate of injuries and personnel changes will see a relatively less experienced Australian side take to the field on Tuesday. The team will look to use this as an opportunity to decide who, apart from the first names on the sheet, will fill up the squad list for the T20 World Cup next year.
Here is Australia’s predicted playing XI for the final T20I against India.
Matthew Wade looked in very fine form – a stark change from the first T20I in which he fell for a colourless 7 off 9 balls. Wade is set to retain the captaincy with Finch not yet at full fitness, and the team will be hoping that leading from the top inspires him once more to strike a telling contribution.
The conundrum for Australia will be about Wade’s opening partner. While Aaron Finch is likely to miss this game as well, D’Arcy Short’s unimpressive displays have put his place in the team on the line. Wade’s opening partner at the Hobart Hurricanes may be given another chance, but he does not seem to be in the kind of form to make best use of it.
A player who does look in form is Marcus Stoinis. The aggressive batsman got all of 7 balls to face in the previous game, but still managed 16 runs off them at the death. Australia will be keen for a frenetic start, and Stoinis’ power-hitting ability can complement Wade’s ability to find the gaps with his deft footwork.