India’s battle to gain early lead in T20 series
Australia to win
Indians did well to avoid a 0-3 whitewash in the ODIs registering a thrilling win in the last ODI. For Australians it was a confident start to the summer as dominated the visitors in all the games. As the two sides now start off the T20 battle, it would surely be a different ball game. The Indians are coming here after the IPL and they would be ready for this format unlike in the ODIs where the 10-month break was far too evident in the first two games.
The Indians would however know the scale of challenge going into this game. The Australian batting looks in great touch at the moment and their bowlers too have done well. With good understanding of the conditions the Aussies would have an advantage going into this game. Indians have done well in this format and they are likely to put up a better fight than they did in most parts of the ODI series.
Aaron Finch would be slightly disappointed with the result of the last ODI as his side could have easily handed over a whitewash to the Indians. Injury to David Warner did affect the balance in the side. However, the Aussie skipper would like to count on the positives and shall be looking for a confident start to the T20 series. A win here would definitely demoralise the Indians.
Warner and D’Arcy Short have to take on the Indian bowling attack opening the batting for the side. Warner looks in tremendous form at the moment. In the middle order the side would look for good show from Steven Smith, Ashton Agar and Marnus Labuschagne as all of them have got runs during the ODIs. Maxwell looks in his murderous best and along with Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis adds firepower to the batting.
Mitchell Starc and Andrew Tye shall look to grab early wickets as the Indians are very strong at the top. Adam Zampa has troubled the visitors so far and the side would expect to see more of it in this game. With Stoinis, Maxwell and Agar in the side they have good variety in their bowling.
Aaron Finch (c), D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye
Aaron Finch, Mitchell Swepson, Mitchell Starc, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, D'Arcy Short, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott, Josh Hazlewood
The nail-biting win in the last ODI has offered just the kind of momentum that Virat Kohli would have hoped for. They had been taken apart in the first two ODIs but this win was much needed. Though there are still many issues with the bat and the ball the Indian skipper would like his side to take inspiration from this win and start off the T20 series with a win.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul need to set up a good opening wicket stand. They will need to avoid giving wickets to Australia’s new ball bowlers. In the middle order Kohli and Shreyas are both looking in good form. They had made runs in the IPL and this would add to their confidence. With Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Sanju Sampson in the finishers’ role the side has good firepower in its batting.
Deepak Chahar will have to apply pressure from one end as he opens the bowling with Jasprit Bumrah. T Natrajan impressed in the last game and he would carry this confidence forward. Yuzvendra Chahal and Jadeja have troubled the Aussies so far and they will be tasked with keeping the Aussies quite during the middle overs. Pandya and Sundar add to the bowling options for the side.
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Sanju Sampson, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, T Natrajan, Washington Sundar
Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||24||0 mm.||5.12 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|03h||26||0 mm.||6.59 k/h||From: W||0%|
|06h||27||0 mm.||5.17 k/h||From: W||0%|
|09h||20||0 mm.||2.96 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|12h||13||0 mm.||3.08 k/h||From: E||2%|
|15h||11||0 mm.||1.45 k/h||From: ESE||30%|
|18h||12||0 mm.||1.04 k/h||From: ESE||56%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||1.29 k/h||From: ESE||89%|
It would be clear skies over Canberra on December 04 and this would make the conditions great for T20 cricket. The wicket would be flat though there would be some assistance here for the bowlers. A score of 170 runs or more should be target for the side batting first to feel safe on this track.
Manuka Oval, Canberra with its short square boundaries is good for batsmen who like playing their strokes square of the wicket. The outfield here is pretty fast and this is a huge bonus for the batsmen. Fast bowlers do get their assistance from the surface but it is a very difficult venue to bowl for the spinners.
Bowling first seems to be the safest option in T20 games these days. There would be something in there for the bowlers on this surface as we had seen during the ODIs. The side winning the toss would like to make use of these conditions and bowl first upon winning the toss.
The win in the final ODI would have definitely boosted the confidence in the Indian camp. They had looked fish out of water in the first two games but now look set to challenge the Australians. Fresh from the IPL the Indian players would be in better frame of mind for this format. Australians aren’t likely to make it easy for them with their formidable batting line-up. The hosts would start as favorites to win this game riding on the all-round abilities of the side
Australia to win