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Match Preview – India vs Australia, Australia in India 2023/24, 5th T20I


Match Preview – India vs Australia, Australia in India 2023/24, 5th T20I


Big picture: 4-1 or 3-2?

After three run-fests, Raipur finally provided an even contest between bat and ball as India sealed the five-match series with a game to go. But expect the runs to start flowing again, and with some intensity, as India and Australia travel to Bengaluru for the fifth and final T20I.

A turnaround time of under 48 hours isn’t ideal but the Australians, Travis Head, Tanveer Sangha and Matthew Short, in particular, might not complain. The trio are the only ones in the current squad who have been in India since the start of the ODI World Cup – Head as part of the 15-man squad, Sangha and Short as travelling reserves – and will keenly be looking forward to going back home.

Australia have tried as many as 19 players so far in the series, ringing in the changes in a bid to give some of their exhausted players a break. They made five changes for the Raipur T20I but the reinforcements coming in failed to level the series. While they’ve taken the fast bowlers to the cleaners consistently, the Australian batting has been found wanting against the spin duo of Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel.

They could, however, expect some respite from the Bengaluru pitch, which has historically not aided spin as much as some of the other surfaces they’ve played on as Australia look to end their tour of India on a high.

While India haven’t been as clinical, what would please Suryakumar Yadav the most is the individual players standing up under pressure. Jitesh Sharma, playing his first game of the series came in and smashed a 19-ball 35 in Raipur while Rinku Singh showed that he was not just a finisher and had the technique to set up a total as well.

The fast-bowling unit is probably one area where the boxes haven’t been ticked, but Deepak Chahar’s return after an injury layoff will give India reasons to be happy. He didn’t have the best of starts to his spell but came back well later and struck two important blows. The team management will hope for a more rounded show from the fast-bowling attack come Sunday.

Form guide

India WLWWW (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Australia LWLLW

In the spotlight: Yashasvi Jaiswal and Aaron Hardie

Barring the third T20I, Yashasvi Jaiswal has given India a quick start in every game this series, but is yet to make it out of the powerplay. No other batter in the series has scored more runs in the first first six overs than Jaiswal while his strike rate of 174.62 during this phase is only second to Head’s 194.11. However, the Indian management might want him to convert his starts into something more substantial. Jaiswal has had a terrific start to his T20I career – two fifties and a century in 11 innings. Bengaluru gives him a chance to add to those numbers.

Aaron Hardie hasn’t set the T20I stage on fire yet, but the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is probably one venue where he will feel most at home. He likes pace on the ball and the ball coming onto the bat, and the conditions in Bengaluru are likely to provide him with that. Hardie had a tremendous 2022-23 BBL season, finishing as the top run-getter. He hasn’t fully shown that big-hitting potential in the two T20Is that he has batted this series, but the surface in Bengaluru and the boundary dimensions could help him unleash some of those hit-through-the-line maximums. A few wickets with the ball, and Hardie could well be the player to watch out for.

Team news: Expect more changes

India made four changes to their side for the fourth T20I, and with the series in the bag could well make a few more for the final game. They might be tempted to give Washington Sundar a game in place of one of Axar or Bishnoi, while Tilak Varma could also get a game, in case the team management wants to rest any of the players in the top order. India went with Mukesh Kumar, Chahar and Avesh Khan as their fast-bowling options in Raipur and are unlikely to make any changes on that front.

India (probable): 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Shreyas Iyer/Tilak Varma, 4 Suryakumar Yadav (capt), 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Axar Patel/Washington Sundar, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Avesh Khan, 11 Mukesh Kumar

Australia don’t have the scope to make a lot of changes, considering they have only 13 players in the squad left. They could consider bringing in one of Kane Richardson or Nathan Ellis in place of Sangha.

Australia (probable): 1 Josh Phillippe, 2 Travis Head, 3 Ben McDermott, 4 Aaron Hardie, 5 Tim David, 6 Matthew Short, 7 Matthew Wade (capt,wk), 8 Ben Dwarshuis, 9 Chris Green, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Tanveer Sangha/Nathan Ellis/Kane Richarson

Pitch and conditions: Another run-fest in the offing

Runs, runs and runs have been the theme at the Chinnaswamy Stadium of late. With short boundaries and a placid surface, another run-fest could well be on the cards on Sunday. In the IPL this year, scores in excess of 180 were breached in nine of 14 innings, and even in the ODI World Cup batters enjoyed their time here.

While the overhead conditions are likely to remain cloudy, there is no threat of rain with the temperature expected to hover around the 18 to 22 degree mark on the Celsius scale.

Stats and trivia

  • Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored all his runs (117) in this series in the first powerplay, at a strike rate of 174.62.
  • Jason Behrendorff has the best economy rate of all bowlers – 5.75 after three matches. He has also picked up four wickets.
  • Rinku Singh has scored 49 runs off 20 balls in the death overs in this series, striking at 245.00.


“Throughout the series, he has been bowling very well. And our partnership has also been great. He’s bowled in the powerplay so have I, and that combination has been good.”
Axar Patel is enjoying his bowling partnership with Ravi Bishnoi

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo


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