At the halfway stage, India could have been forgiven for thinking they were home and dry.
They posted an excellent 208/6 mostly thanks to a superb knock from Hardik Pandya, who is in the form of his life. You can read abut why he’s India’s key player ahead of the World Cup in our India team guide.
His 71 off 30, which included three consecutive sixes off the last three balls of India’s innings was exactly what was required to get them to a big total.
Earlier, KL Rahul played extremely well to get 55 off 35 and was the first real innings of substance we’d seen from him a while. Sky Yadav was also good with his 46 off 25.
Not only did India fancy their chances at the start of the innings but they also felt they had the game wrapped up when Glenn Maxwell and Josh Inglis got out in quick succession.
But they couldn’t get Matthew Wade out. And paid the price.
All of Bhuvi Kumar, Harshal Patel and Umesh Yadav were horribly expensive with only really Axar Patel saving face, going for just 17 runs off four overs. Not to mention, taking three wickets.
At least one of those three will likely make way for Deepak Chahar.
Jasprit Bumrah’s return after injury may only come later in the Series.
In the India vs Australia head-to-head, it’s India who are 13-10 ahead with a tie thrown in there, as well. Australia’s win on Tuesday cut the gap to three matches.
Venue & Conditions
We’re at Nagpur for this one.
The last T20I played here was an easy win for India against Bangladesh in November 2019.
One man who should have good memories of that match is Deepak Chahar, who took a remarkable six wickets for just seven runs off 3.2 overs. Mind-boggling stuff. So that’s a big clue that he might play this time.
India batted first and got 174/5.
India have played here four times and it’s won two, lost two. Their other win was against England in 2017 where India posted and defended 144.
160 looks to be about par on a wicket that is clearly not as good as it was at Mohali.