Match Preview – India vs Australia, Australia in India 2022, 1st T20I


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After the 2021 T20 World Cup, India has played a total of 29 T20Is in this series. Australia, meanwhile, have only played nine. Regardless of their preparation, Australia could show up to the T20 World Cup in their usual confident fashion – but this time they have to defend the title in their backyard. And they have a lot to figure out compared to their more prepared opponents.

In an age of packed cricket calendars and fixture lists, it seems quite surprising that these two teams have not played each other in a T20I since December 2020. India won that away series 2-1 while Australia won the last T20I series they played in India, in February 2019. Besides, how can we forget that the Game in Mohali as Virat Kohli left Australia speechless? Regardless of the format, meetings between these two countries have always been high-octane and largely competitive and this series should be no different provided Australia can overcome some selection issues.

Their captain Aaron Finch’s recent form seems to be one of their biggest concerns. Steven Smith’s mediocre batting average has also raised questions about his place in the XI. And Australia are without the injured trio of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis in the series while David Warner has been rested. The team playing this series looks very different from Australia’s top-flight World Cup team. But it gives Australia the space to experiment with the backups, but they will also want to build a winning momentum. They have five more games after that series – a two-game series against West Indies and three T20Is against England at home – ahead of the T20 World Cup.

It will be interesting to see how Tim David, who will compete in Australian colors for the first time, fits into the international setup. Australia are also likely to experiment with Josh Inglis, opening him up alongside Finch. Finch said there will be a lot of “mixing and matching” ahead of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, India has had some time to figure out what has worked for them and, more importantly, what hasn’t. They are back home after some travel, having won bilateral T20I series in Ireland, England and the Caribbean. But it was their most recent preparation – at the Asian Cup – that gave them important lessons.

After the Asia Cup Super 4s were eliminated, captain Rohit Sharma said India was “90-95% done” ahead of the T20 World Cup. Their aggressive approach has largely worked well. Kohli is finally on form, so his place in the eleven is no longer a debate – at least for now. They are entering the series with the strongest roster available and will primarily focus on making the roles clearer.

The return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel means Hardik Pandya no longer has to be the third seaman in the squad. India will also want to see how they can make better use of all-rounders like Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda. It was clear to Rohit that KL Rahul had his support as an opener. As for Pant, India hopes he does well in the series. India have yet to play a home game against South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup to further solidify their plans.

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form guide

India WLLWW (last five games completed, newest first)
Australia LWWWL

In the spotlight

All eyes will be on it TimDavid, who will show off his power hitting skills, this time in the colors of Australia. The Singapore-born batter has impressed in various T20 competitions, most recently the IPL, and will be looking to repeat his success on the international stage. Aside from his great hitting skills, his ability to take on spinners and quicks alike makes him a must have on a T20 team. He has an average of 32.48 with a batting average of 164.12 in T20s. He should take middle place in this series in the absence of Stoinis. But Australia will not be able to accommodate him if both Stoinis and Marsh are fit when the World Cup begins. It’s Smith’s position that seems a bit vulnerable at the moment – but he too has a reputation for being the anchor in the XI – so it remains to be seen how Australia will fit David into their World Cup XI.

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Rishabh trousers couldn’t quite live up to expectations in the T20 format. In T20Is since 2020, he has averaged just 27.63 and hit in 32 innings for 129.95. At the Asia Cup, Pant had to be brought into the starting XI in place of Dinesh Karthik following an injury to Ravindra Jadeja as India wanted a left-handed batsman down the middle. But he could only score 17 and 14 points in the Super 4 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. While having Pant and Karthik in the squad offers them flexibility, it looks like India can only place one of the two in the XI at the moment. Pant will need to use his time midway through the upcoming T20Is to get back into shape ahead of the T20 World Championship.

Team News

Umesh Yadav, originally set to undergo rehab for a quad injury in Bengaluru, was called up to the squad after Mohammed Shami tested positive for Covid-19. But with the return of Bumrah and Harshal, India are unlikely to play Umesh in the eleven.

India (likely): 1 Rohit Sharma (Captain), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Rishabh Pant/ Dinesh Karthik (week), 7 Axar Patel, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/ Deepak Chahar, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

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Without Marsh, Smith will beat third-placed India. David is expected to make his Australian debut in the middle order. Australia are also likely to feature Inglis – who has played 3rd and middle order in T20Is so far – as the opener and push Matthew Wade down the order. Cameron Green, who has impressed with ball and racquet, has been brought back into the T20I squad – having played a singles game in April this year – and is likely to find a place in the XI as well.

Australia (likely): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Josh Inglis, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Matthew Wade (wk), 6 Tim David, 7 Cameron Green, 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 SeanAbbott

pitch and conditions

Tomorrow is expected to be partly cloudy and humid in Mohali with a 25% chance of precipitation in the evening. In T20s since 2018, the chasing team has won seven out of 11 games at the venue. On the eve of the game, Finch said the wicket had “a bit of grass on it”.

  • Jasprit Bumrah has sacked Glenn Maxwell seven times in 15 sessions in T20s
  • quotes

    “… Only we know what role each person is expected to play. Everyone is trying to do their best and not every time a player is going to succeed. And that’s the kind of environment we’ve created where the Players are not afraid to play, or players are not afraid to make mistakes.”
    KL Raul to constant criticism from outside

    “The last thing you want to do is have an injury derail your entire campaign because you’re locked into one style of cricket or one team structure.”
    Aaron Finch is open to experiments with the XI

    Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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