1st T20 Cricket Preview – India v Australia
Sunday October 8, 12:30am AEDT – JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi
|Top Batsman India||Virat Kohli ($3.70)|
|Top Batsman Australia||Aaron Finch ($3.70)|
|Top Bowler India||Yuzvendra Chahal ($4.50)|
|Top Bowler Australia||Kane Richardson ($5.00)|
India has been well and truly dominant against Australia in the ODI’s so far and so will the T20’s be any different? Australia will be hoping that the influx of new players and extensive experience of playing T20 cricket in the country is enough to turn things around while India will be trying to keep their recent stranglehold over the Aussies.
There are not too many changes to the Indian team from the squad that was picked for the ODI’s. If anything, the team for the T20’s looks a little stronger. Shikhar Dhawan will make a comeback in place of Ajinkya Rahane while the old warhorse Ashish Nehra makes a comeback.
The core of the Indian team though remains the same. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and a strong middle order will ensure that runs are something the Indian team does not have to worry about. In fact, Virat Kohli is often lauded as the best ODI batsman in the world while his phenomenal T20 record is sometimes overlooked.
He has played 50 T20 international matches and is currently averaging 53.82. To put that number in perspective, currently, no other batsman in the world has a batting average in the fifties or even the forties.
Against Australia, his record is even better. He has scored 401 runs from 9 innings at an average of 66.83.
His ODI series was below par for a player of his stature and this is why the Wolf believes he will have the extra motivation needed to score runs. Virat Kohli is the Wolf’s pick for top Indian batsman.
India’s bowling was the real star of the ODI series and all their top bowlers remain the same for the T20’s. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, and Hardik Pandya will be the likely fast bowlers picked alongside the two wrist spinners.
The Wolf thinks run scoring will be easiest with the new ball and get progressively more difficult giving the spinners an excellent chance of picking up wickets. Yuzvendra Chahal is the Wolf’s pick to be the top bowler for India in this match.
It would be a fair statement to say that T20 is Australia’s least favorite form of the sport or at least the one that they are least adept in. Their current T20 record against India is horrendous. Out of 13 completed matches between the two sides, Australia has won only 4 and more importantly lost 7 out of the last 8 matches.
This also includes a 3-0 loss to India in Australia back in the January of 2016.
Australia has a couple of aces up their sleeves though. Aaron Finch is the highest scorer for Australia against India in T20 cricket and is carrying some serious form from the ODI’s. David Warner has as much experience of playing T20 cricket in India as most of the Indian players themselves and will know exactly what needs to be done to win.
The likes of Henriques, Smith, Stoinis, Maxwell, and Christian have all tasted success at the IPL and should be able to call on that experience to try and win this series.
The bowling for Australia is also very similar to that of the ODI’s. Cummins, Coulter-Nile, Zampa, Richardson and the all-rounders will be very handy with the ball. Australia may not have been able to register more than a single victory in the ODI’s but they were in with a chance in at least three other games.
The Wolf believes that this bowling lineup can keep the Indian batting in check and is backing Kane Richardson to be the top bowler for Australia.
Pitch and Conditions
The match is going to be played at Ranchi, a venue where the ball generally keeps a little low and assists the slower bowlers. Getting runs on the board will be key as chasing down big totals can be quite tough. A score of about 160 should be considered par.
Australia will be the underdogs but have enough talent to pull of an upset. The Wolf is backing Australia to win.