Australia vs India 2020-21: Best combined XI of T20I series
There were a number of top performers in the recent T20I series between Australia and India and here we make a combined XI featuring some of the most talked-about names in the series.
Updated - Dec 10, 2020 10:24 am
India came back strong in their challenging tour of Australia by defeating the home side 2-1 in the three-match T20I series. Virat Kohli’s men lost the ODI series 1-2 after two back-to-back losses in Sydney before pulling one back in Canberra. With the T20I series win, India have now remained undefeated in all their bilateral T20I series Down Under that featured more than one game.
While the series played in 2011-12 (two games) and 2018-19 (three games) were tied 1-1, India won the 2015-16 series 3-0 before clinching the latest one. Virat Kohli also became the first Indian captain to give his country a win in series played across all three formats. India were also happy that they could win the series despite the absence of a limited-overs giant like Rohit Sharma.
In the T20I series, however, it was a close contest with all three games going down to the last few deliveries for a result. The visitors won the first match in Canberra by 11 runs and the second in Sydney by 6 wickets. The Kangaroos fought back well to take the third, also played in Sydney, by 12 runs to avoid a whitewash like in 2015-16. There were quite a few individual performers on both sides and here is a look at a combined XI that can be derived from the T20I series.
Matthew Wade as Opener 1 and keeper:
The 32-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has rediscovered himself in international cricket late in his career and the series against India showed that he is far from being a spent force. Playing in an international series after three months and at home since January, Wade needed to ensure that he still keeps Alex Carey behind in the race, particularly ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in India.
Wade started off poorly with a seven off nine at No.6 in the first game that the Aussies lost closely while chasing 162. The player found himself under more challenge in the second game in which he was thrown the captaincy cap as regular skipper Aaron Finch got injured. Wade rose to the occasion and added a third part to his role in the game: opening. He scored a half century — 58 off only 32 — to give his team a flying start before getting runout by his Indian counterpart Kohli. It was only his second fifty in the format and the first against India since 2012. Wade took the catch of Kohli but yet could not stop the visitors from winning the game and with that, the series.
The captaincy returned to Finch in the final game but Wade continued to have his opening slot. He made yet another fifty — his third in T20Is and as many against India — but ensured that he continued to stay out in the middle to help Australia put up a decent total. He eventually fell in the penultimate over for his highest score of 80 off only 53 balls as his team totaled 186 for 5. Australia won the game by 12 runs and Wade finished as the highest run-getter in the series with a tally of 145.