Australia seek positive end to rotten T20 series against India

Stand-in Australia coach Michael Di Venuto has given an honest verdict of what has gone wrong for the host nation in the Twenty20 series against India ahead of the third and final game in Sydney on Sunday.

The Aussies lost the second match and the series at the MCG on Friday as India posted a 27-run win over their fierce rivals.


Di Venuto is currently standing in for permanent coach Darren Lehmann who is recovering from a battle with deep vein thrombosis and said Australia had simply been outplayed in all three aspects of the game.

“We’re just getting completely outplayed in all three departments at the moment, the bat, ball and the field,” he told reporters at Sydney airport.

“Their batters are in outstanding touch and have been all summer.

“We’re struggling to get early wickets and get into their middle order.

“They’re playing exceptionally well, there’s no doubt about that.

“I was pretty happy with our start with the bat, we were right on track but then spin again was our undoing in the middle overs.”

Di Venuto did have positive news regarding Lehmann, however, and said the Aussie coach was in good spirits.

“I spoke to him this morning and he was in really good spirits, fit and firing and he’s just waiting for the results on scans to see what his movements are,” the stand-in coach said.

“Health wise he’s a million dollars and pretty relaxed.”

Australia will now look to finish the series with some dignity after falling to an untenable 2-0 deficit.

The hosts will have to make do without captain Aaron Finch, who has impressed with knocks of 44 in Adelaide and 74 in Melbourne.

He will be replaced by Usman Khawaja who has been in tremendous form for the Test team and in the Big Bash League where he led the Sydney Thunder to its first ever grand final triumph.

Meanwhile, the tourists have little reason to change anything, other than to rest players with the series already sealed.

But captain MS Dhoni has ruled out any notion of big experimentation with the likes of Virat Kohli in such hot form.

“It is a difficult one,” Dhoni said. “Experiment word is never there with the Indian team. It is never there. Yes we want to see what Yuvraj [Singh] will do in the batting, we want to see what Hardik [Pandya] can do, but where is the opportunity? That also we have to see.

“We can’t make them open. Virat [Kohli] is batting very well at No. 3. If the partnership goes on, and if it is the 15th or the 16th over, then it is my time to come in and play the big shots.

“It will be difficult for them, but with a few of the games coming up maybe they will get better chances. But as I said there won’t be any experimentation. If an opportunity arises definitely they will get a chance to bat.”

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