India vs Australia, 1st T20I : Preview and Predicted XI
With an aim of revenge, the Aussies will hope to kick-start their Indian tour with a win. Their first destination is ACA-VCDA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, where they will face India for the first T20 International on Sunday, February 24.
Head to Head Overall: India and Australia have played seventeen completed T20I games against each other and the men from the subcontinent have certainly dominated the scoreline at 11-6.
Head to Head in India: In case of fixtures hosted by India, the home team clearly holds the edge at 4-1. Though they have never hosted the Australians at Vishakhapattanam, which makes it even more exciting.
The Indians have had supreme run at home, and are on a seven-match victory streak. Meanwhile, this will be their third visit at the ACA Stadium, having won their previous game against Sri Lanka by nine wickets.
The return of Virat Kohli has strengthened the batting lineup, he along with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be seen serving the top order duties, All of them have had a great run in recent times and will be expected to provide a flying start against the Aussies.
In the middle order, India will miss services of Hardik Pandya, who has been ruled out due to a lower back problem. In his absence, all-rounder Vijay Shankar is likely to have a go-ahead, after his good show in the Kiwi Islands.
The presence of Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Kartik and MS Dhoni in the lineup means the hosts are capable of posting big totals despite the early hiccups.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been rested for this series, and Jasprit Bumrah is set to mark his return. Bumrah has taken 48 T20I wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.77, and he will be expected to rattle the opponents in the early overs. Krunal Pandya took 4-36 in his previous game against Australia and he will get Kohli's backing to replicate his show. When it comes to spin, Yuzvendra Chahal will be the team's go-to bowler and he would love to exploit the Aussies' weakness in this department.
Expected Playing XI
Virat Kohli (C), Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (W), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav.
The Aussie side has been picked mostly on the basis of their performance in the Big Bash League, and the selectors will need them to come out with their best show against their Indian counterparts.
Marcus Stoinis was in tremendous form during the BBL and amassed 533 runs in his 13 outings for Melbourne Stars, while D’Arcy Short was the season's leading run getter with 637 runs. The skipper will expect these two to transform their BBL show against India.
Glenn Maxwell was also in good touch during the league and he along with Alex Carey are key figures in the middle order. While skipper Aaron Finch will also be eager to prove himself against the Indians.
The 2019 season's top wicket-taker, Kane Richardson (24 wickets in 14 matches) has been called after his mind-boggling show in the league, and he is likely to make a straight cut into the playing XI. Adam Zampa too was quite impressive in the November 2018 series against the same opponents and he will be eager to repeat it here.
Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins are the key strikers for the Aussies, and they will be Aaron's key shuffles during the powerplay and death overs.
Expected Playing XI
Aaron Finch (C), D’Arcy Short, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (W), Peter Handscomb, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins.