The Big Picture
After the 2021 T20 World Cup, India played a total of 29 T20Is headed for the series. Meanwhile, Australia played only nine matches. Regardless of their preparations, Australia may appear in their usual confident fashion at the T20 World Cup – but this time they will have to defend the title in their own backyard. And they have a lot more to understand than their more prepared opponents.
India WLLWW (last five completed matches, newest first)
in the spotlight
All eyes will be on Tim David, who will be looking to display his power-hitting skills, this time in the colors of Australia. The Singapore-born hitter has impressed in several T20 competitions, most recently in the IPL as well, and will look to replicate his success on the international stage. Aside from his big-hitting skills, his ability to counter both spinners and fasts makes him a must-see on the T20 side. He averages 32.48 with a 164.12 strike rate in T20s. He will likely occupy a mid-ranking position in the absence of Stoines in the series. But Australia will not be able to accommodate him if both Stoines and Marsh are fit when the World Cup starts. Smith’s position looks a bit weak so far – but he also has a reputation for being the anchor in the starting line-up – so it remains to be seen how Australia will fit David into the starting line-up at the World Cup.
Rishiba pant He was completely unable to live up to expectations in the T20 format. In the T20Is since 2020, he has averaged just 27.63 and scored 129.95 in 32 innings. In the AFC Asian Cup, Pant had to be brought into the starting line-up in place of Dinesh Karthik after Ravindra Jadega was injured as India wanted to hit his left hand in the middle. But he was only able to score 17 and 14 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively in Super 4. While the presence of Pant and Karthik in the squad provides them flexibility, it appears that India can currently only accommodate one of the two in the eleventh. Pant will have to use his time in the middle in the upcoming T20Is to get back into shape before the T20 World Cup.
Umesh Yadav, who was originally supposed to undergo rehabilitation for a quadruple injury in Bengaluru, He was called into the team After Mohamed El-Shamy tested positive for Covid-19. But with Bumrah and Harshall back, India is unlikely to play Umesh in the starting line-up.
India (Possible): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Axar Patel, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Deepak Chahar, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jaspreet Pomerah
With Marsh absent, Smith will hit third against India. David looks set to make his debut in Australia in the middle rankings. Australia are also likely to play Inglis – who has so far played third and middle in the T20Is – as opener and push Matthew Wade down the rankings. Impressive with ball and racket, Cameron Green is back in the T20I squad – having played a singles match in April of this year – and is also likely to find a place in the squad.
Australia (Potential): 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 Shaun Abbott
Venue and conditions
Partly cloudy and humid weather is expected with a 25% chance of rain in the evening. In the T20s since 2018, the stalking team has won seven out of 11 matches on the ground. On the eve of the match, Finch said the wicket had “a little bit of grass.”
“…We just know what role is expected of each person. Everyone is trying to give their best, and the player will not succeed every time. This is the kind of environment we have created, and the players are not afraid to play it or the players are not afraid to make mistakes.”
Kuala Lumpur Rahul Constant criticism from abroad
“The last thing you want to do is have an injury derail your entire campaign because you are immersed in playing one style of cricket or one team structure.”
Aaron Finch Open to the eleventh experience
Sruthi Ravindranath is sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo