22nd Feb, 2019
If you’re an avid cricket follower, then you must have seen Virender Sehwag babysitting Australian kids and handing them a taste of their own medicine. But hey, there’s Matthew Hayden too, who says that Australia won’t just bow down like they did in the recent ODI series. India, scheduled to play Australia in T-20 and ODI series, will be on a high after putting their overseas ghosts to rest by securing not only their first ever test series win in Australia, but also beating them and New Zealand on their home turfs.
Australia on the other hand would like to improve their T20 record in India as they face them in the 1st T20 international in Visakhapatnam. The Australian cricket team has been involved in heavy practice sessions, especially to tackle the spin on India pitches. The Aussies will be missing the services of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, the two pace spearheads as they recover from their injuries. But the Aaron Finch-led side have enough firepower in the bowling department to make amends for the absence of their star players. The likes of Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa and Jhye Richardson would be raring to go as they can single-handedly turn the course of the match on their day. All eyes would be on Glenn Maxwell though, who looked at ease in the practice session and also played a few lofty shots against the spinners. All in all, Australia have their task cut out with two of their best batsmen and bowlers missing from their squad.
When it comes to the Indian cricket team, it looks extremely strong with the likes of Bumrah and Virat Kohli back in the squad. KL Rahul, who scored twin eighties in domestic matches, has been recalled, while Hardik Pandya has been ruled out due to lower back stiffness. Ravindra Jadeja features in his place, though the team management might be tempted to try Shankar in place of Jadeja. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested for the T20 series, as Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande have been called as replacements for them. A notable inclusion is that of Umesh Yadav. The Virat Kohli-led side looks much stronger on paper and on the filed, but they know that the chances for error are none, especially when you’re playing a two-match series. India have the second best win-loss ration in T-20 cricket, next to their arch-rivals, and would want to keep up the good form they’re in and forget the one-off T20 series against New Zealand.
Here’s the T20 squad for both the teams:
India – Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Siddarth Kaul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande.
Australia – Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, D’Arcy Short, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Ashton Turner.
India vs Australia T20 schedule:
24 February – 1st T20I, Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
27 February – 2nd T20I, Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.