Live: India Vs Australia T20 | Live Scores and Commentary | 2020 Series


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PREVIEW: The only time cricket has come close to an actual "like for like" scenario during an active match before concussion substitutes came along is probably when "runners" were still allowed. Back then it wasn't so much a case of there being a likeliness between two individuals but more to do with their attire. The rules for runners were that the player coming in to assist the injured or fatigued batsmen had to wear the "same external protective equipment" as his partner and carry a bat. But at least there was a sense of tangibility to those guidelines. Unlike with the "like for like" used in a concussion substitute context.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja aren't built the same, they don't bowl with the same hand and even their beards don't look the same. But on Friday (December 4) at the Manuka Oval, they were deemed as being "like for like". And even if Justin Langer might not have agreed with it, as specialist spinners the two were in some ways interchangeable-especially since it wasn't a question of Jadeja coming out to bat in place of Chahal.
India's success in Canberra though wasn't just orchestrated by their concussion substitute. Chahal did of course make the telling breakthroughs early in the play, taking out both Aaron Finch and Steve Smith. But the real impetus of the win was laid by the visitors' 'unlike for like' replacements for those who played in the ODI series last week. While Chahal made the overall difference, the groundwork for his success was laid by T20 specialists Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar. It was a far cry from the pace that the Australians faced in the 50-over format with Jasprit Bumrah rested and Mohammed Shami bowling first-change.
Chahar may have started a little expensively but came back to trouble Steve Smith with an excellent spell, where he also had two catches dropped off consecutive balls. He eventually got rid of Moises Henriques, who'd shown some resistance. Sundar, meanwhile, did what he does better than most T20 off-spinners, give nothing away to the Aussie batsman, finishing up with remarkable figures of 0/16 in 4 overs. The killer blows came from T Natarajan, who was initially supposed to be, like Sundar and Chahar, one of those unlike for like replacements for the T20I leg of the tour.
Speaking of specialists and replacements, the Indian team management will spend a busy Saturday (December 5) evening in Sydney deciding upon not just one but two playing Xis.
There is a T20I series to be won at the SCG, however, and the focus will shift there later in the day. The Australians have some very intriguing questions to answer, starting with the fitness of captain Aaron Finch. But it only gets more interesting if he is ruled out. Could it perhaps signal the return of Smith to the helm? But if it does not, will he ever be captain again.
When: Sunday, December 6, 2020. 19:10 Local Time, 13.40 IST
Where: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
What to expect: The pitches at the SCG for the first two ODIs had a lot of runs in them but were uneven towards the end of the second match. The likes of Henriques, Chahar and Natarajan thrived on the up and down nature of the Canberra pitch, and while you'd expect the power-hitters on both sides to take charge, it might not necessarily be a game with big scores.
Team News
Australia:
Australia have been scrambling for players over the last few days. They brought Mitch Swepson into the mix for the opening T20I and have already roped in off-spinner Nathan Lyon into the squad for the remainder of the series. Finch's injury could allow D'Arcy Short to keep his place though you'd expect Alex Carey to come back into the playing XI, considering he's not been named in the 13-member Australia A squad for Drummoyne. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood came under some heavy fire late in the innings and it'll be interesting to see if either of them opts for a break to give Andrew Tye a go.
India:
India might stick to the same XI despite Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey failing to fire with Chahal starting this game for a change. Again it'll be interesting to see if India give Jasprit Bumrah a game here or put him on the morning bus to Drummoyne.
Teams:
Australia: D Arcy Short, Aaron Finch(c), Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade(w), Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey, Daniel Sams, Andrew Tye, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis
India: KL Rahul(w), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Navdeep Saini

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