India vs Australia, 1st T20I, Preview: Blockbuster contest beckons between the two teams in Vizag
Will India include KL Rahul in the playing XI?
Updated - Feb 23, 2019 6:13 pm
India and Australia are the two powerhouses in Cricket. When these two teams meet, some exciting things are bound to happen. Though the visitors have struggled over the past 12 months across the formats for some different reasons, Australia can never be counted out. Last T20I series between the teams ended in a draw with rain playing spoilsport in one of the matches.
There is a lot of tension in India at the moment. There have been calls for the Men in Blue to boycott the World Cup game against Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama attack. It will be important for the hosts to concentrate on the game and leave the issues for the administrators to decide. Virat Kohli‘s return boosts after a significant rest boosts India’s batting and it will be interesting to see where he bats with KL Rahul also in the side.
Australia, on the other hand, will still be haunting for the way they crumbled against the spin twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both the cricketers had just started their respective international careers and have now become even more experienced. The visitors’ fate will mostly depend on how they tackle the spin threat on this tour and the series opener will decide it.
Australia will heave a sigh of relief as Kuldeep has been rested for this series. Having said that, they will still have to face eight overs of spin from Chahal and Krunal Pandya.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will open the innings while the returning KL Rahul is likely to bat at number three. The skipper Kohli will follow him with the likes of Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni and Vijay Shankar to bat next. Shankar batted at three in the New Zealand T20Is but here there is no room for him at the top of the order. Krunal Pandya has continued to impress and will bat at seven.
Dinesh Karthik might have to wait for his chance with Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah being the main bowlers.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Krunal Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
Marcus Stoinis will most likely open the innings after his success at the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars. Aaron Finch is in serious need of runs at the highest level and what better than commencing the tour with a blazing knock! Glenn Maxwell is in great form and will play a key role as an all-rounder while Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb are the other batsmen.
Ashton Turner and Shaun Marsh will battle for the lone spot. Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson are the pacers while Adam Zampa is the main spinner in the line-up.
Probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Marcus Stoinis, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner/Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson.
Focus will be on
Virat Kohli (India)
No surprises really! Whenever the Indian skipper is on the field, the fans are eager to catch his expression every moment and Kohli loves to be in the game all the time. After missing the last five international matches of the team, a refreshed Kohli will be even more dangerous for the opposition. Australia is his favourite opposition as well and he just hates losing against them.
Pat Cummins (Australia)
Cummins made his international comeback in Tests during Australia’s last India tour in 2017. Since then, the fast bowler hasn’t looked back and is currently the number 1 bowler in the longest format. Cummins would love to replicate the success in the shorter formats as well and the T20is would just serve as the starters for him given his recent fitness. His four overs will be massive in the context of the game.
Head to Head
Matches – 18 | India won – 11 | Australia won – 6 | NR – 1
48 – MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have hit 48 sixes apiece in the T20Is for India.
48 – Jasprit Bumrah needs only two wickets to become the second Indian bowler to account for 50 scalps in the T20 Internationals.
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 19:00 IST and local