Virat Kohli-led Team India will look to pose a tougher challenge to the Australian team when they square off in the first game of the three-match T20I series on Friday (December 4). India lost the ODI series 2-1 but they will look to gain momentum from the win in the final ODI in Canberra when they take on the hosts in the shortest format of the game.
India had registered a rare 5-0 clean sweep against New Zealand in a five-match T20I series before the sporting activities around the world were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and would also take confidence from it.
India more balanced in T20Is
The Indian team possesses a much more balanced squad in the shortest format while the hosts are without a couple of their key players like David Warner and Pat Cummins. Cummins has been rested from the T20Is to get some much-needed rest before the Border-Gavaskar Test series while Warner has injured his groin and is racing against time to be fit for the Test series.
D’arcy Short is likely to open the batting with Aaron Finch for Australia in David Warner’s absence. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne should follow the opening duo. Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey will form the team’s middle-order.
For India, KL Rahul should open the batting along with Shikhar Dhawan. Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Manish Pandey should form the team’s middle-order. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja formed a good partnership in the 3rd ODI and the duo will continue at the No. 6 and No. 7 positions.
India have an edge over Australia when it comes to overall T20I clashes as they have won 11 in comparison to hosts’ 8. In 2018, India won one of the two completed T20Is while in 2016, they registered a clean sweep win, 3-0, over the hosts. Virat Kohli’s boys have their best chance of winning a series in Australia in the T20I format and could begin well at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd.Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, A’Arcy Short, Adam Zampa.