India would lock horns with Australia in a three-match T20I series, starting Friday. The last time India faced off against the side, Down Under, in the format, the series had ended in a 1-1 draw. Having lost the ODIs 1-2, India would be desperate to turn things around.
Coming off a tough competitive 1-2 loss in the just-concluded One-Day International (ODI) series, India would switch focus to the shortest format, as they take on Australia in a three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series, Down Under, starting Friday. The matches would be held in Canberra and Sydney.
India looked lacklustre, especially with the bowling, during the ODIs. Nonetheless, it was their batting that was remarkable, which saw them scoring over 300 runs in all the three matches, and even allowing them to win the final ODI in Canberra on Wednesday. The side would be aiming to carry the same confidence into the shortest format.
Team strength and weaknesses
Considering the strengths and weaknesses, for Team India, their strength lies in their batting. While they are missing out on senior opener Rohit Sharma, the remaining lot, along with the prominent young talents, has done a commendable job. Nonetheless, it is their bowling that has let them down, with star pacer Jasprit Bumrah failing to fire, while the spinners have been ineffective throughout.
For Australia, their strength, too, lies in their batting, as their top-order looks extremely strong to deal with. Nonetheless, missing out on prominent opener David Warner might have exposed the loophole, as was evident in the final ODI. Furthermore, their bowling too has been unimpressive, with prime seamer Mitchell Starc being expensive.
As said above, Team India's strength lies on its batting. Consequently, they have a massive squad in this department. With the likes of skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, along with young guns like Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal and Manish Pandey, they are sure to dominate.
As for their bowling, it is their weakest department. Nonetheless, Bumrah is coming off a terrific Indian Premier League (IPL) season, as he would look to make it count. Also, fellow pacers Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan are in decent form. As for spinners, Ravindra Jadeja is likely to come in handy, along with Yuzvendra Chahal.
For Australia, they would have a headache of finding the perfect replacement for Warner. Although they have Matthew Wade, it would be interesting to see if he gets a game. Nonetheless, they have enough firepower, like skipper Aaron Finch and Steve Smith, along with Marnus Labushagne and Glenn Maxwell, who can fire extensively.
As for their bowling, it is struggling too. Would be interesting to see if Finch hands Starc a game. Nonetheless, the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Sean Abbott can dominate with the pace. As for their spin, Adam Zampa would be a no-brainer for all matches, having the ability to churn out wickets on any given track. Clearly, they have a bowling-heavy squad to counter India's dominant batting order.
Players to watch out
Among the Indians, fans would love to see Kohli fire, while a lot would also be expected from in-form batsmen Dhawan and KL Rahul. However, Iyer would be in focus, failing to play an impressive innings in the ODIs, despite coming off a decent season in the IPL. Also, wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson would be in the reckoning, having endured a good season. Among the bowlers, Bumrah would have the utmost focus, along with Chahal, as both performed miserably in the ODIs.
For Australia, the batting would have their focus on Finch and Smith, while Labushagne and Maxwell would be backed to play big. As for their bowlers, Starc would need to bring back his lethal seam, along with pacers Cummins and Hazlewood. Nonetheless, it seems like the new-look flat Australian tracks are not helping the Aussie bowlers enough.
Milestone in the reckoning
Jadeja: Jadeja would be the only player in focus, as he needs just a game to play his 50th match in the format. He would become only the eighth Indian to have played 50 T20Is.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, D Arcy Short, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Daniel Sams, Alex Carey (wk), Matthew Wade (wk), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye.
Play The virtual Boat Racing Game and challenge yourself Click to Play Now
Last Updated Dec 3, 2020, 6:19 PM IST