Australia have brought in pacer Mitchell Starc for the third and final T20I against India in Sydney. Australia lead the series after the 2nd T20I in Melbourne was called off due to heavy rain.
India restricted Australia to 132/7 in 19 overs, which seemed to be a decent total to chase, however, intermittent rain played spoilsport as India never got to bat, leaving them with the series decider on Sunday.
Starc had last played a T20 match for Australia was way back in September, 2016, against Sri Lanka in Colombo and his last match on home soil was in February, 2014 against England.
Billy Stanlake has been ruled out of the series after he suffered an ankle injury during training just before the Melbourne T20I. Captain Aaron Finch has confirmed that Starc would replace Stanlake for the series decider.
"(Starc has) got so much experience in the limited-overs games as well and we’ve seen how dominant he can be when he gets it right with the ball," said Finch as quoted by cricket.com.au.
"We’ll have a look at the wicket this afternoon and discuss the side but coming straight off a Shield game with an eye on the first Test, his preparations will be really good."
India were naturally disappointed at not getting a go at the target which was revised thrice due to rain. Australia had scored 137 for seven in 19 overs when the first spell of rain arrived at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
India's target was initially revised to 137 runs in 19 overs before more rain made it 90 runs from 11 overs and then 46 from five overs. Nearly 90 minutes were lost due to the fickle weather before the game was eventually called off at 10.02 pm local time.
Rain playing hide and seek was not just frustrating for the players but also for the 60,000 plus crowd gathered at the iconic venue.
With the match not producing a result, India now can only level the series in the final game in Sydney on Friday. Virat Kohli and his team had come into the T20 series after winning six bilateral contests in a row.
(With PTI Inputs)