Much like the first game, it was the rains which once again made its presence felt after the second T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was abandoned. This thus leaves the last match in Sydney a must-win for India, who just two days ago endured a painful four-run defeat in Brisbane.
But this Indian side which took the field at the MCG looked an entirely different one–a side which much more intensity as they got off to a flying start. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, making good use of the windy conditions at the MCG got Australian captain Aaron Finch to drive and the ball only ended up in the gloves of Rishabh Pant after taking the edge of his bat.
The Indian bowlers took a lot of positivity from the wicket and the entire pack starting to bowl with a lot of fire and intent as Chris Lynn, one of the specialists in the format found Krunal Pandya at deep point off the bowling of young Khaleel Ahmed.
The left-arm speedster wasn’t done there.
He got D’Arcy Short to chop one length ball onto the woodwork behind him and in no time, the hosts were looking down the barrel at 35/3 at the end of 5.3 overs.
Unlike the last game where the duo of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis had come to Australia’s rescue, the hosts didn’t find any such saviour here at the MCG courtesy the Indian bowlers, who kept on chipping away at the wickets. Maxwell was undone by a beauty of a delivery from Krunal Pandya who unsettled the stumps behind the hard-hitting right-hander while Stoinis perished while trying to cut a Jasprit Bumrah delivery as he only succeeded in finding Dinesh Karthik, once again at the deep point region. Wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey fell while trying to slog one out of the ground against the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and succeeded only in finding Pandya.
However, the Australian innings gained some sort of traction with Ben McDermott’s unbeaten 32 off 30 balls which had two fours (including a cheeky cut off the middle stump) and one six. He found some support in run-scoring from Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye who scored 12 runs from 13 balls.
With the hosts at 132/7 at the end of the nineteenth over, the downpour grew intense which eventually forced a no-result on the day where India could have potentially levelled the series.
This thus leaves the visitors with no option but to win the next contest which would be played in Sydney on November 25.