After the 2021 T20 World Cup, India has played a total of 29 T20 matches based on this T20 pattern. India-Australia Series: Meanwhile, Australia has played just nine in the same time period. Australia can turn the outcome of the match in their usual confidence in the T20 World Cup – but this time they will have to defend the title on their home pitches. And they have a lot more at stake than their better-prepared opponents.
India-Australia Series: It is quite surprising to hear that these two teams have not played each other in a T20I since December 2020. India won that series 2-1, while Australia won the last T20I series. In India, in February 2019. Also, how can we forget that match in Mohali, when Virat Kohli single-handedly gifted defeat to Australia? Regardless of the format, the meetings between these two countries have always been highly exciting and largely competitive, and this series should not be an isolated one, provided Australia can address some of the selected questions.
India-Australia Series: Captain Finch’s Concerns
One of the biggest concerns is the recent form of Australia captain Aaron Finch. Steven Smith’s low strike rate has also raised questions about his place in the XI. And, Australia is without the injured trio of veteran Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis for this series, while David Warner has been rested.
The team playing this series looks very different from the Australia team World Cup team. But it gives Australia a chance to increase their bench strength but they would also like to give importance to victory. They have five more matches after this series – a two-match series against West Indies and three T20Is against England at home ahead of the T20 World Cup.
India-Australia Series: Tim David
It will also be interesting to see how Tim David, who will be in Australia colors for the first time, performs in the international set-up. Australia can experiment with opening with Finch, experimenting with Josh Inglis. Finch had already made it clear that there would be a lot of ‘mixing and matching’ ahead of the World Cup.
Talking about India, India has some time to find out what has worked for them and more importantly, what has not. Ireland did win bilateral T20I series in England and the Caribbean, but it was her most recent preparation – in the Asia Cup – in which she lost to Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
India-Australia Series: After the Asia Cup Super 4 exit, India captain Rohit Sharma said that India was “90-95% settled” before the T20 World Cup. His aggressive attitude has worked well to a large extent. Kohli, having regained his form, has shown that he still has a lot of cricket left in him – no debate now. They are entering the series with the strongest team available and would primarily like to focus on articulating their candid roles.
The return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel means that Hardik Pandya is hardly seen as the third fast bowler or to say that there are more options now. India would also like to see how it would like to make better use of all-rounders like Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda. Rohit was clear that KL Rahul has his backing as an opener. This time there is a lot of expectation from Pant to perform well. India also has a home series against South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup to further strengthen their plans.
India-Australia Series: In the Headlines
The Australians will be eyeing Tim David, who will look to showcase his power-hitting skills this time in the colors of Australia. The Singapore-born batsman has impressed in various T20 competitions, including in the recent IPL as well, and will be aiming to try to replicate his success on the international stage. His big-hitting skills aside, his ability to take on spinners and fast bowlers alike makes him an attractive addition to the T20 team.
He averages 32.48 in T20s with a strike rate of 164.12. In the absence of Stonis in this series, he is likely to find a place in the middle order. But if both Stoinis and Marsh become fit at the start of the World Cup, then their place in the Australian team will be difficult. It is Smith’s position that looks a bit weak so far – but he still has a place in the XI – so it remains to be seen how Australia fits David into their XI in the World Cup.
India-Australia Series: Rishabh Pant Performance
Rishabh Pant’s performance in the T20 format has been associated with a lot of ups and downs. In T20Is since 2020, he averages just 27.63 and has hit 129.95 in 32 innings. In the Asia Cup, Pant had to bring in Dinesh Karthik’s place in the XI after Ravindra Jadeja was injured as India wanted a left-handed batsman in the middle.
But he could score only 17 and 14 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively in Super 4 which was not enough. Having Pant and Karthik in the team gives a lot of flexibility to the team, it looks like India can pick only one of the two in the XI at present. Pant will have to do very well in the upcoming T20 Internationals to get back in form ahead of the T20 World Cup.
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