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22.02.2019 10:04

Preview: India target winning start to T20I series against Australia

Australia begin their tour of India with the first T20I of a two-match series against The Men in Blue at Visakhapatnam on Sunday. The Australians have won just one of their previous five matches against the hosts in India and go into the series as underdogs.

Skipper Virat Kohli returns to the side against his favourite opposition. He averages 49.25 in the shortest format of the game and will confident having amassed 488 runs against the Aussies, which is the most by any player against any team in T20Is. Shikhar Dhawan is another individual who’ll be looking forward to what will be his 50th T20I.

Young Rishabh Pant will also want to make his presence felt having failed to replicate his IPL form on the international stage in the 20-over format. As far as India’s bowlers are concerned, Jasprit Bumrah returns to the side and needs just two more scalps for 50 wickets in the format. Yuzvendra Chalal is also close to the same milestone and needs another 5 wickets to hit the 50-mark.

Australia, on the other hand, need their experienced campaigners like Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to lead from the front. Maxwell has made 643 runs in Asia – the most by any Australian batsman – and boasts a strike rate of 163.31. In fact, 46.61% of Maxwell’s 1365 T20I runs have come away from home. However, he has struggled to score against India having amassed just 184 runs in 10 innings against the Men in Blue. The man in red hot form for Australia heading into the series though is D’Arcy Short.

The powerful left-hander is the leading run-getter in the 2018-19 Big Bash League (BBL) and also finished the previous edition of Australia’s domestic T20 league as its top-scorer. How Short copes with spinners will be intriguing to watch having been dismissed by them in four out of seven appearances for Rajasthan Royals last year. Australia’s bowling attack unit will need the likes of Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa to produce the goods, while Pat Cummins is another individual to keep an eye on.


PREVIOUS GAMES

INDIA

Opponent

Result

Margin

New Zealand

Lost

4 runs

New Zealand

Won

7 wickets

New Zealand

Lost

80 runs

Australia

Won

6 wickets

Australia

Lost

4 runs (DLS)

*Excluding abandoned matches

AUSTRALIA

Opponent

Result

Margin

India

Lost

6 wickets

India

Lost

4 runs (DLS)

South Africa

Won

21 runs

Pakistan

Lost

33 runs

Pakistan

Lost

11 runs

 *Excluding abandoned matches

PROBABLE XI

India are likely to go with their tried and tested batting order with Vijay Shankar being a likely replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya. Australia, however, need to get their combination right and will be hoping that players with experience in the subcontinent come good. The versatility of Jason Behrendorff and Marcus Stoinis should see them find spots in the playing XI. Behrendorff, in fact, is the only Australian to pick up a four-for against India in T20Is.

Words: Andre Pitts

Images: PA