Australia v India: Spotlight on Kohli and other talking points ahead of T20 decider

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Virat Kohli has failed to lift off yet on the tour of Australia.

The stakes will be high when Australia and India lock horns in the deciding T20 clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Virat Kohli and his men trail 0-1 in the three-match series after their four-run loss in the opener at Brisbane was followed by a washout in the second T20 at Melbourne.

With all to play for on Sunday for both sides, we take a look at the key talking points.

EARLY STARC TEST FOR INDIA

India might have thought that their first sighting of Australia pacer Mitchell Starc would come in the four-match Test series. Now, the Men in Blue could be facing the express quick as soon as Sunday after he was called up as a replacement for the injured Billy Stanlake.

Should Starc take the field in the third T20, it will be his first outing on home soil in the format since February, 2014. The left-armer has only recently completely recovered from his injury troubles and will be keen to make the most of his sole white-ball outing before the business shifts to red-ball cricket.

He has a decent track record in his 22 T20Is so far which have fetched him 30 wickets at an economy-rate less than seven runs an over.

PERFORM OR PERISH FOR KOHLI’S MEN

Kohli and his men came into the T20 series on the back of a comprehensive 3-0 whitewash of reigning world champions West Indies and were seen as the favourites against an Aussie side still struggling to come to terms with the loss of Steve Smith and David Warner.

However, weather played spoilsport for the visitors in both the clashes. Rain affected the series opener at Brisbane with India falling just short of the finish line and in the second T20, persistent showers robbed the tourists of a chance to draw level after Australia had been restricted to 132-7 in 19 overs.

The No2 ranked T20 outfit in the world will be determined not to suffer a series loss which could set the tone for the hotly anticipated Test battle. For Sunday, they will be hoping rain stays away as they seek to restore parity.

The visitors have it all to do in the deciding T20.

The visitors have it all to do in the deciding T20.

KOHLI PRIMED TO SHINE

Two matches into India’s tour of Australia, Kohli has failed to deliver with the bat. The India skipper looked extremely scratchy in his four-run innings in the series opener at the Gabba and did not get an opportunity to bat at Melbourne.

Coming into the tour as the best batsman in the world, Kohli will be eager to stamp his authority sooner rather than later and Sydney could be the perfect venue to launch his Aussie campaign from.

The last time Australia and India clashed in a T20 at Sydney, the visitors chased down 198 off the last ball of the match to complete a seven-wicket win in 2016. That time, Kohli had led India’s chase with a masterful 36-ball 50 as Shane Watson’s ton went in vain.

With the Test series to follow, Kohli will want some runs under his belt.

Chance for Kohli to make amends for his Brisbane disappointment.

Chance for Kohli to make amends for his Brisbane disappointment.

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