Visakhapatnam: India did not lose a series in Australia but could not maintain the momentum against the other half of Trans-Tasman, New Zealand. India had a blip in the Kiwi land, missing the series decider by four runs in the third absolute thriller T20 International match.
With an aim to regain their winning streak, India will kick-start their home series against Australia at the ACA-VCDA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, where the teams will meet for the first T20I on Sunday.
The return of skipper Virat Kohli will make India formidable along with the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. All three of them were among the runs in recent outings and are likely to provide a good start.
Having the likes of Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Kartik and MS Dhoni in the middle-order, the hosts will enjoy an upper hand in posting big totals. India will miss services of Hardik Pandya, who has been ruled out due to lower back stiffness; however, Vijay Shankar could be the next go-to-man.
Another notable comeback came in the bowling department. Jasprit Bumrah, who was given rest due to workload, has 48 wickets at an impressive economy of 6.77 to his name. In the previous clash with Australia, Krunal Pandya returned 4/36 and is expected to get Kohli’s backing.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been rested for the series. Meanwhile, India’s go-to spinner Yuzvendra Chahal can come in handy in exploiting the Australians.
Australia, on the other hand, has picked up players based on performance in the Big Bash League (BBL).
Marcus Stoinis and D’Arcy Short along with Glenn Maxwell, who received T20 Player of the Year for the second time at the Australian Cricket Awards, can strengthen the batting lineup. As skipper Aaron Finch would be looking ways to prove himself, Alex Carey could play a crucial role in the middle-order.
Kane Richardson, who became the highest wicket-taker with 22 scalps in the BBL, is expected to get a direct entry in the playing XI. Adam Zampa is likely to get Finch’s backing as he had posed threat to Indians last year.
Meanwhile, Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins will form the pace attack.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Siddharth Kaul, Mayank Markande
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Alex Carey (vice-captain/wicketkeeper), Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.