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India eye improvement in series-decider

Friday, October 13, 2017
By S Janakiram

Hyderabad: India will be itching to bounce back from the thrashing they received in Guwahati when they take on an edgy but resilient Australia in the series-deciding third and final T20 International here today.

India, who dominated Australia in the preceding ODI series, won the opening T20 comfortably before getting a rude shock in the second game.

Despite the recent success India have had over Australia, Virat Kohli has maintained that the team from Down Under is always tough to beat.

And with the thumping eight-wicket win over the hosts on Tuesday, Australia go into series-decider with some serious momentum.

India had a forgettable day at the Baraspara Stadium in all departments after they lost the all-important toss.

The highly-rated batsmen were found wanting against the swinging ball with rookie Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff doing the bulk of the damage.
Captain Kohli was out for a rare duck and he, along with the rest of the batting line-up, would be eager to make amends.

India's new ball bowlers did alright in Guwahati but wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were taken to the cleaners by Moises Henriques and Travis Head, who shared a match-winning partnership of 109.

Yadav especially bowled either too short or too full and the set batsmen did not have any difficulty in punishing the loose balls.

However, the dew proved to be a factor with the ball not turning much in the Australian innings.

Despite the hammering the spinners received, it is unlikely that Kohli will make a change and bring in Axar Patel.

Similar is the case in the pace department which means veteran Ashish Nehra, who is set to announce his retirement in the next series, will sit out again.

Australia did pull one back in the ODI series before eventually losing it 1-4. But the way they played on Tuesday, the same resolve and purpose was missing from their body language in the earlier games.

David Warner has done well in the absence of regular captain Steve Smith, making optimum use of the resources at his disposal.

Behrendorff made his job easier with a spectacular spell of swing bowling before Henriques rose to the occasion after being promoted to number three in the batting order.

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