India vs Australia 2020-21, 1st T20I preview: Can Virat Kohli and co draw first blood?
First Published Dec 3, 2020, 2:51 PM IST
India are coming off a competitive 1-2 loss in the One-Day Internationals against Australia, Down Under. The Twenty20 Internationals would be a battle for the top spot in the ICC rankings. The series ended in a 1-1 draw during India's last visit, in 2018-19.
After a hard-fought One-Day Internationals (ODI), the focus moves to the shortest format, as Team India takes on the mighty Australians in the first of the three-match Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, on Friday. India are coming off a 1-2 loss in the ODIs, as they would aim to turn things around in this format.
The last time India visited Australia, in 2018-19, the series had ended in a 1-1 draw. However, the Australian side lacked the services of David Warner and Steve Smith the last time, as they will have the assistance of the latter at least this time around. Meanwhile, we present the match preview.
As for the current form in T20Is, both the teams are coming off a much-needed exposure in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). In T20Is, the Indians have been in a lethal form, having tamed New Zealand 5-0 in the trans-Tasman country, earlier this year. Meanwhile, Australia had endured a competitive, yet tough outing in England, having lost 1-2.
Taking into consideration the squad composition, there is a contrasting difference for both sides. While India are moving in with a batting-heavy team, which is their actual strength on this tour, Australia have a bowling-heavy one, which has been their weakness. Nonetheless, the possession of more all-rounders for the hosts puts them marginally ahead.
For the visitors, there is barely any injury concern. Nonetheless, for the hosts, Warner has been ruled out, thereby being supplanted by wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade. However, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has been struggling with a side strain, as Moises Henriques replaced him during the ODIs. It would be interesting to see if he is back for the T20Is on Friday.
As for their head-on clashes, India have traditionally been ahead. In 20 T20Is, India have won 11, while Australia have won eight, with a tie ending in no result. In Australia, off nine games, India have won five, while Australia have won just three. Also, this would be their first T20I clash in Canberra.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Canberra would be pleasant, with a temperature of around 27 degrees, and a 29% chance of humidity. As for the track, it suits the batsmen. However, the pitch is unpredictable occasionally, as any score above 150 is likely to be highly competitive.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), D'arcy Short, Steve Smith, Cameron Green/Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc/Daniel Sams, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa.
India: KL Rahul (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, T Natarajan/Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Batsmen: Finch, Smith, Pandey, Kohli- Finch can be the ideal opener, while Smith can dominate on top. Meanwhile, Kohli and Pandey can consolidate in the middle.
Wicketkeeper: Rahul- A no-brainer here, as he is the man in form with the bat, and is undoubtedly handy with the big gloves.
All-rounders: Maxwell, Pandya, Jadeja- Maxwell has been in brutal form in all departments. While Pandya is doing well with the bat, he can chip in for bowling as well, along with Jadeja, who can dominate in all departments.
Bowlers: Zampa, Hazlewood, Shami- Zampa has been terrific with his spin of late, making him a must-have. Meanwhile, Hazlewood and Shami are consistent with their pace and seam, respectively.
Players to watch out
Rahul: Rahul is coming off a fine IPL, finishing as the tournament's highest run-scorer and would look to continue the same in the T20Is as well for Team India.
Iyer: He too had a decent IPL, but failed miserably in the ODIs. Nonetheless, getting back into the T20 mode can make him play a big innings.
Starc: Provided he gets a chance, he has to deliver with his deadly seam, which was missing during the ODIs, as he was highly expensive.
Date and day: December 4, 2020 (Friday)
Venue: Manuka Oval, Canberra
Time: 1:40 PM IST
Where to watch (TV): Sony Six, Ten 1 and Ten 3 (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Sony LIV
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