Our prediction is that India will win the series opener against the hosts Australia at Gabba.
A tour with such a promise of exciting cricket does not happen very often. A top team with a lot to prove pitted against a historically great team on the decline. India tour of Australia will be another exciting page in the cricket history and it all starts tomorrow at the Gabba.
India have shown fight outside the subcontinent in the recent past. They lack the numbers to show it though. The score lines have been identical however the margins of defeats are narrowing with each attempt. India seem to be closer to the breakthrough that Australians would want to deny at any cost.
Australia have their own problems to solve. The wins have dried off for them recently and they could do with some winning at home after all to begin this long, and probably exhausting if the performance does not improve quickly, tour of India cricket team.
Australia are coming into this series after two failed series – at home against South Africa and away at UAE against Pakistan. A win to start the series would prove psychologically advantageous to the host however, it seems that the Australians are already looking ahead to the Test series.
Australia have rested the prime bowler quartet - Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon - to allow them to prepare for the Test series. This tactic would render their bowling a bit weaker along with already limited batting.
Australia are not without plans though. They are planning to bank on the extra bounce at Gabba to trouble the Indian batsmen, especially the compulsory hooker Rohit Sharma. Hope there are some more undisclosed plans up their sleeves for without those this match seems India's to lose.
Probable Starting XI:Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey (wk), D'Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Jason Behrendorff, Billy Stanlake
A ‘friendly’ T20I is a nice way to start a long away series against Australia. ‘Friendly’ is not the word one would associate with any match featuring Australia, but that is how it seems on the eve of the first T20I international between India and Australia.
While the hosts are resting up a few key players India would want to play a full side to open the series with a win. The tougher test lies ahead, and the winning momentum is what India must be looking for before the tough times arrive.
Apart from Hardik Pandya, who is out injured, and Dhoni, who was not picked, the rest should be the first-choice players for India. The race for Dhoni's place continues between Karthik and Pant. It will be exciting to watch how India copes with the bounce at Gabba and Australian tactics around it.
Probable Starting XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav
Australia have won two matches out of the three T20 internationals played at the Gabba. The long square boundaries and extra bounce of the surface make short bowling a favored option on this ground. A ground where bowlers are aware of the restricting options and the lengths to bowl, it becomes easier to put pressure on the opposition when the bowlers know the score they are defending. Thus, the captain winning the toss should choose to Bat first.
A higher ranked full-fledged team versus a declining lower ranked depleted opposition at home makes the chance of India winning this contest pretty high. The knowledge and experience of these conditions might help the hosts, but overall India looks a more settled side with explosive batsmen at the top and bowlers who can run through the opposition in any conditions. Our prediction is that India will begin the tour down under with a win in the first T20 International at the Gabba on 21st Nov 2018.
Featured Bookmaker: Betrally India