Australia’s Depth Issues Mount With Series-Losing T20I Defeat
Questions are starting to mount over Australia’s white-ball depth after their second-stringers have failed to fire in India. With a side featuring mainly fringe candidates for next year’s World Cup squad, only established stars Travis Head and Matthew Wade made decent contributions with the bat as the Aussies fell short in their run-chase.
India exacted some belated retribution for their World Cup heartbreak with their spinners spearheading a series-sealing 20-run victory over a much-changed Australia in the fourth Twenty20 at Raipur.
After being sent in, India lost five wickets for seven runs from their last nine balls to stumble to 9-174 on Friday (Saturday AEDT) before bouncing back to restrict Australia to 7-154 and move into an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Captain Matthew Wade (36no) swung hard late after World Cup final hero Travis Head (31) made a typically fast start, but Australia were tied down in-between by tweakers Axar Patel (3-16) and Ravi Bishnoi (1-17).
Legspinner Bishnoi started the 3-12 burst when he castled Josh Philippe (8) before Patel removed dangerman Head – top-edging a slog sweep to Mukesh Kumar – and Aaron Hardie (8). Patel then switched ends and bowled Ben McDermott (19) before Tim David (19) and Matt Short (22) holed out. That left Wade, the supporting act in the Glenn Maxwell show at Guwahati two nights earlier, with too much to do by himself with the asking rate spiralling.
“It was a very different looking Australia team…Dwarshuis with his maiden T20I wicket.” Rinku Singh (46) top-scored for a young India side, who looked on track for a total closer to 200 before their calamitous last nine balls. Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (37) was the early aggressor before his downfall sparked a 3-13 top-order tremble. Shreyas Iyer(8)followed before captain Suryakumar Yadav(1) nicked off, presenting Dwarshuis with his maiden T20I wicket.
The fifth and final match of the series is at Bengaluru on Sunday (Monday AEDT).