3 Steps to success for India against Australia in the T20I series
India and Australia renew their heated rivalry when they lock horns in the first of three T20 internationals at the Gabba. The last bilateral T20 series between the two teams took place in October 2017, with the series finishing 1-1.
Since then, a lot of water has flown under the Australian and Indian bridges. The Australians were involved in an infamous ball-tampering saga, which led to the sacking of Steve Smith and David Warner. With two of their most influential batsmen out of the fold, Australia haven’t been the same force on the international stage.
They were thoroughly outplayed in England while they were also on the wrong end of a 3-0 score-line in the UAE against Pakistan. However, the most concerning aspect would have been the way South Africa dominated them on the Aussies’ home conditions.
India, on the other hand, have gone from strength to strength. Although they narrowly lost out to England in the ODI series earlier this year, they were able to pull off an impressive 2-1 victory against the same side in the T20Is. Recently, they made light work of the West Indies as they handed them a 3-0 drubbing in the T20 series and 3-1 in the ODIs.
The two countries couldn’t have had more contrasting fortunes building up to the series Down Under. While one represents an upward curve showing no signs of receding, the other is banking on some inspiration to get out of a rut.
On their last T20 travel to these shores, MS Dhoni masterminded a 3-0 sweep for the Indians. Through this article, we would look at three things the Indian team needs to do to ensure that they emerge victorious Down Under and pile on more misery on the beleaguered Aussies.
#3. Score heavily and put the Australian team under pressure
Before the shocking ‘sandpaper gate’, Steve Smith and David Warner were at the top of their games. The duo was easily among the best batsmen in the world with the former even laying a claim to be the best on the planet. Thus, when they were sacked, it was bound to create a huge vacuum.
While the rebuilding process was never going to be easy, the Australian batsmen have compounded them by making basic errors, errors that have cost them games.
The absence of Smith and Warner has left the Australians searching for a stable batting combination. Numerous names have been tried yet none have made the spot their own. With such uncertainty surrounding the hosts’ batting, it is imperative that India attacks their weaker suit with all their might.
India, meanwhile, have a power-packed batting line-up. Though questions over their middle-order still linger, their top three is as dangerous as any across the globe. Rohit Sharma seems to have finally come off age and looks primed to make his mark on Australian soil this summer.
His opening partner, Dhawan, on the other hand, has been patchy with his form yet would enjoy the fast and bouncy pitches Down Under.
However, the Indian batting will revolve around their lynchpin, Virat Kohli. The last time India toured Australia, many thought that Kohli was at the peak of his powers and couldn’t scale higher peaks. Oh! How wrong have they been?
Over the last year and a half, Kohli has been irresistible. The Indian skipper has scored runs in every part of the world and looks destined to heap more pain on Australia.
In the recently concluded series against South Africa, the Australian batting floundered when put under the cosh. The Indian team has the required ammunition to put up big scores and pile pressure on the Aussies. If the Indian team is to repeat their heroics of 2016, getting runs on the board is the first step to climbing that ladder.