India captain Virat Kohli's 85 went in vain as Australia won the third and final T20 in Sydney by 12 runs to avoid a series whitewash.
Chasing 187 to sweep the three-match series, Kohli kept India in the hunt before falling in the penultimate over in the first full-capacity cricket match in Australia since the Covid-19 outbreak.
The result ended India's run of 10 consecutive wins in T20s.
Both sides were guilty of sloppy fielding and poor catching and Kohli was one of the beneficiaries.
Steve Smith dropped him when Kohli was on nine, and Andrew Tye spilled a return catch when the batsman, who also survived a stumping opportunity, was on 19.
Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson (3-23), who dismissed Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer in his final over, was declared man-of-the-match.
Earlier, Matthew Wade smashed a career-best 80 as he and Glenn Maxwell powered Australia to 186-5.
Captain Aaron Finch returned from a hip injury to score a duck and Smith made 24 before becoming spinner Washington Sundar's second victim.
Maxwell joined Wade the middle and started playing his trademark reverse sweeps and switch hits.
Some sloppy bit of cricket did not help the tourists either. Maxwell was caught at 18 at midwicket but was recalled after replays confirmed spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had overstepped.
There was another moment of controversy. Kohli was denied a review for signalling too late on a not out decision against Wade that would have been overturned by the TV umpire if the challenge had been made within the stipulated 15 seconds.
Wade, who was on 50 when he was hit on the pads, told the on-field umpire that the replay was already being shown on the stadium screen when Kohli confirmed he wanted to refer the decision, and the TV umpire agreed. Broadcaster Foxtel said India took 17 seconds to ask for the review.
Deepak Chahar dropped Maxwell on 46 in the deep and Chahal spilled another chance with Shardul Thakur being the luckless bowler on both occasions.
T Natarajan eventually bowled Maxwell for 54 off 36 balls.
Australia had won the preceding ODI series 2-1. The teams will now lock horns in a four-Test series starting on December 17 at Adelaide.