After defeating Australia in the One Day International series, Kohli and his men will take on the Aussies for 3 matches T20 series.
The first of the 3 matches will be played at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Saturday 07th October 2017.
Australia has a lot to think about their team balance if they want to win this T20 series, after a disappointing performance in the ODIs, Steve Smith and his men would be keen to improve their performance in the shortest format.
India, on the other hand, will want to continue winning, if India beats Australia 3-0 then Kohli and his men will be number 1 T20 side in the ICC T20 rankings. This will be a the icing on the cake if India can walk away with both world rankings in one tour.
Australia’s opening combination is world class but the worry is in their middle order, batsmen like Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade and James Faulkner are class players. These batsmen should get a good amount of runs, that too in the quick pace and the form which the Australian middle order batsmen are in this looks too difficult for the moment.
It will be difficult for them to score runs in front of the bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Veteran bowler Ashish Nehra.
With Nehraji making a comeback, the Indian bowling attack looks stronger. Nehra has all the experience to tackle the Aussie batsmen.
At the age of 38, the Indian ace bowler is a threat to the Australians, Steve Smith and his co can’t take this pace man lightly.
Another worry for the Australians is the new twin spin team of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. They have been struggling to combat this new spin duo for a long time now. The Australian spin bowling however has been a weak link for them.
Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar haven’t been so threatening as Kuldeep and Yuzvendra.
Even Axar Patel played well in the last ODI at Nagpur; he went for plenty in Bengaluru. However he made a good comeback in the last match.
Last Time when India played a T20 match Ranchi, Shikhar Dhawan scored a magnificent 51 runs and Ravi Ashwin also took a 3 wicket haul to win that game for India against Sri Lanka.
Shikhar Dhawan is playing this T20 series in place of Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane had a brilliant One Day series but according to the selectors and skipper Kohli, Dhawan is the premiere opening batsman for India
India will miss Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, but India have found the replacement of these two pair in the shortest format. Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal have been doing a exceptional job as compared to Jadeja and Ashwin who have been keeping reaping consistent in Test Cricket for a number of years.
Ranchi is the home ground for MS Dhoni and many said that Dhoni should have been replaced with young rising star Rishab Pant. Dhoni who has a average record in the T20s should gear up now to prove his critics wrong as he has done it many times in the past.
Against a bowling line-up which has no experience, this is an ideal situation for MSD to raise the standard of his game. As he played in Chennai, Dhoni should play the type of a knock to prove his critics wrong.
Skipper Kohli needs runs under his belt, he got just 1 fifty in the ODI series. Now the number 1 T20 batsman should play a sensible knock along with the middle order.
Bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal are in prime form. They will hope to continue their form in this T20 series as well.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, the man of the Series in recently concluded One Day series will want to repeat his all-rounder skills in this T20 series as well. In the ODI series, Hardik scored 222 runs and picked up 6 important wickets.
India has a good record in Twenty20 Internationals against Australia. From 2007 to 2016 these two countries have played 13 matches and India has won the most matches 9 in all and Australia have just managed to win 4 out of them.
In India, the hosts have been the dominant team. Australia hasn’t won a single T20 International in India till now. They have played 3 and lost all of them.
Steve Smith and his troops have a tough task ahead. They need to think something unusual and out of the box to correct their record in T20s.
India’s likely playing eleven –
India has recalled Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik in place of Ajinkya Rahane, Mohd Shami and Umesh Yadav.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jhadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra and Axar Patel.
Australia’s likely playing XI –
The Aussies will depend on their IPL stars to salvage some pride by winning this T20 series.
The visitors have added star players and T20 specialist to their squad. Players like Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Jason Behrend of and Josh Hazlewood will be back for the T20 series.
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Jason Behrend of, Nathan Coulter Nile, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood
Will Australia’s nightmare prolong in this T20I series? Or will they make a positive start by winning this match?
The answer will be brought to you on the Star Sports Networks at 7 PM IST and 01.30 PM GST.
The Live streaming will be also available on SonyLiv and Hotstar mobile applications.