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India v Australia, 1st T20I – India Predicted XI

A whitewash would give the Indian team an ideal opportunity to escalate in the T20I rankings.

Indian Team
Indian team celebrates the wicket of David Warner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After thoroughly outplaying the Australian side in the ODIs, action now shifts to the shortest format of the game for team India. The T20 format has arguably been the most favored format for the men in blue against the Australians. The history speaks volumes about the same.In the previous bilateral T20 competition between the two sides, it was the Indian team that had whitewashed the Aussies down under.

Also, the Australian team has failed to register a single win in the 3 T20Is they have played in India thus far. During a crucial game in the ICC World T20 in 2016, the Indian team had knocked out the Australian side in a fixture at Mohali. Now, the action has moved to the JSCA Cricket Stadium at Ranchi for the first of the three T20Is. Ranchi has been a good hunting ground for the hosts.

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Coming in to the game, the hosts will be riding sky high on confidence. On the contrary, expect the visitors to be pumped up as well. They were brutally beaten in the ODI series and would seek redemption in the shortest format of the game. A whitewash would give the Indian team an ideal opportunity to escalate high in the T20I rankings. Needless to say, they would put their best combinations forward going in to the game.

Here is the India Predicted XI for the match:

Openers (Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan)

Rohit Sharma had an exceptional run in the ODI series where he finished as the leading run getter for the Indian side. He will be coming in to the game riding on a match winning century that he scored at Nagpur. His confidence will be sky high and he would want to continue his love affair with the Australian bowling in the match.

Shikhar Dhawan is likely and all set to make a comeback to the playing eleven. He was seen practising hard ahead of the game. Dhawan had missed out on the ODI series due to personal reasons. His ODI and Test form has seen a rise in the recent times. However, the T20 form is yet to seek a revival. This seems to be the ideal opportunity for him.

Middle-order (Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav)

Indian captain Virat Kohli absolutely loves playing against the Aussies. He sets high standards for himself and keeps improving with every game. You read his recent numbers in T20 cricket and that will testify his dominance. His last four scores against Australia in the shortest format are  90*, 59*, 50 and 82*. If he scores a fifty at Ranchi, he will become the first batsman to score 5 T20I fifties against a particular opposition.

Manish Pandey is likely to retain his place in the team too after a decent show in the ODIs. Unless the team management thinks of giving KL Rahul a go in the first game, Pandey looks decent starter for the game. He has been consistently getting starts in the limited opportunities that he has got.

Kedar Jadhav came back to form with a good show in the Bengaluru ODI against the Aussies. Jadhav has been a proven hitter of the cricket ball and fancies his chances in the shortest format. Moreover, one can expect the skipper to turn to Jadhav for his unusual part time bowling options.

All-rounders (Hardik Pandya)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya will be keen on leaving an impact in the T20Is as well. He was the breakthrough player for the Indian team in the ODIs and was awarded the Man of the Series for his efforts. Pandya becomes a vital player in the side for his ability to smack the ball right from the word go.

Wicket-keeper (MS Dhoni)

There have been a lot of talks about the team management giving a chance to youngster like Rishabh Pant in place of MS Dhoni in the T20 format. However, these claims seem far from being prudent. Dhoni has been a perennial performer and will continue to don the wicket-keeper’s hat in the match.

Fast bowlers (Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra)

Jasprit Bumrah has been a death overs specialist in the limited overs cricket. His ability to bowl consistent yorkers at will make him a valuable asset to the team. Bumrah will be accompanied by Ashish Nehra in the playing eleven. Nehra last featured for the Indian team in the T20I series against England earlier this year.

He is likely to make his comeback. With Nehra coming back, Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be rested. Obviously, it would be unfair on Bhuvi to be rested since he is one of the most talented bowlers in T20 cricket at the moment. Playing three seamers is certainly not on the cards for the team.

Spin bowlers (Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav)

The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has done good enough to retain their respective places in the playing eleven. Kuldeep knows how to change his game when it comes to the T20 format. Chahal, on the other hand, has always loved the challenge of bowling in T20 format. He already has six wicket haul to his name in the shortest format of the game. He achieved the feat earlier this year while playing against England in Bengaluru.

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