Steve Smith under fire as Aussies lose T20 series against India

Steve Smith, pictured here after being stumped for nine in the third T20 between Australia and India.
Steve Smith was stumped for nine in the third T20 between Australia and India. Image: Getty

Cricket fans are questioning Steve Smith's place in Australia's T20 side ahead of next month's World Cup after another low score in their third match against India on Sunday.

Rising all-rounder Cameron Green underlined his class with another spectacular performance while opening the batting, but Virat Kohli propelled his side to a series-clinching win in Hyderabad.

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Green smashed 52 off 21 balls in Australia's score of 7-186, while conceding just 14 runs from three overs with the ball.

But India reached their target with one ball to spare to secure a 2-1 series victory by six wickets - and an ICC record of 21 T20I wins this calendar year.

Kohli (63 off 48) and Suryakumar Yadav (69 off 36) laid the platform for India's victory, with a third wicket stand of 104 that set up the win.

Green, who had played just one T20 international before the series, finished as the highest run-scorer across the three games with 118.

His strike rate of 214 was also the best by either team, however questions are starting to be asked as to why Green hasn't been included in Australia's World Cup squad.

The all-rounder has done more than enough to force his way into the squad, with changes still allowed to be made before the tournament begins on October 16.

Unfortunately for Smith, many fans believe he might be the odd man out should selectors decided to backflip and bring Green in.

Smith made just nine on Sunday before being stumped on a delivery from Yuzvendra Chahal, another low score after making 35 and eight in the first two games.

Yuzvendra Chahal, pictured here celebrating the wicket of Steve Smith in the third T20 between India and Australia.
Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Steve Smith in the third T20 between India and Australia. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Asked about Green not being named in the World Cup squad, captain Aaron Finch said: "That's not my domain, but he's a super young player.

"He's shown his class, and especially to bat at the top of the order in a position that he hasn't done before.

"He hasn't played much T20 to be honest, so the way that he took the game on and was ultra-aggressive from the start, I loved that about him and he had a good impact with the ball today as well."

With long-serving opener David Warner rested, Green was given the opportunity to bat at the top of the order for an Australian team also missing injured all-rounders Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis and paceman Mitchell Starc.

"If anything were to happen with someone in the (World Cup squad) 15, I think it's obvious that we've got some good depth there," Australia's head coach Andrew McDonald said.

While there is no doubt that Smith is still a world-class player in Test and ODI format, there are serious questions around his place in the T20 side.

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Needing 11 off the final over bowled by Daniel Sams (2-33 off 2.5 overs), Kohli blasted a six over long on but was caught at extra cover off the next delivery.

Only one came off the next two balls but Hardik Pandya (25 not out off 16) edged the fifth delivery outside off stump to the boundary to secure the win.

Kohli, who had a life on 23 when leg-spinner Adam Zampa spilled a sharp return catch, middled the ball well from the start of his innings, but he then took a back seat as Yadav bullied the Australia attack, smashing five fours and five sixes.

Earlier, Green stuck seven fours and three sixes, two of them off successive deliveries from Jasprit Bumrah.

Cameron Green, pictured here in action for Australia in the third T20 against India.
Cameron Green in action for Australia in the third T20 against India. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

However he was the only one of Australia's top four to reach double figures.

Josh Inglis made 24 off 22 and Tim David (54 off 27) provided much needed momentum in the later overs.

India's left-arm spinner Axar Patel (3-33) was named player of the series after taking eight wickets at an average of 7.87 and economy rate of 6.30.

Australia will play two T20I matches in early October against the West Indies and three against England prior to the World Cup.

with AAP

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