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INDIA Vs AUSTRALIA T20 | Australia's tour of India begins today in Mohali with the first of three T20 matches between India vs Australia. This match will begin at 19:30 IST tonight versus Australia, the current T20 World Champion. Team India's starting XI for this encounter has undergone shocking alterations.

India vs Australia Big Picture

India has played 29 T20Is since the 2021 T20 World Cup before this series. Meanwhile, Australia has only played nine games. So regardless of their preparation, Australia may show up confidently at the T20 World Cup, but this time they’ll have to defend their title in their backyard.

And they have a lot to learn compared to their better-prepared opponents.

These two teams haven’t played each other in a Twenty20 International since December 2020, which is surprising in this day and age of packed cricket calendars. The Indians won that away series 2-1, while Australia won their most recent T20I series in India in February 2019.

Also, how can we forget the game in Mohali, where Virat Kohli rendered Australia speechless? Regardless of format, meetings between these two countries have always been high-octane and fiercely competitive. This series should be no exception, assuming Australia can overcome a few selection issues.

Their captain Aaron Finch’s recent form appears to be one of the most severe concerns. Furthermore, Steven Smith’s mediocre strike rate has cast doubt on his position in the starting XI. In addition, Australia will be missing injured trio Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis for this series, while David Warner has rested.

As a result, the team competing in this series does not resemble Australia’s World Cup squad. However, it allows Australia to experiment with back-ups, but they will also want to build a winning momentum.

They have five more matches before the T20 World Cup, including a two-match series against the West Indies and three T20 Internationals against England.

The international setup will be interesting to see how Tim David, playing in Australia for the first time, fits into the global form.

Australia is also likely to try Josh Inglis out at opener alongside Finch. But, there will be a lot of “mixing and matching,” according to Finch, before the World Cup.

Meanwhile, India has had some time to figure out what has worked and, more importantly, what hasn’t. First, they returned home after winning the bilateral T20I series in Ireland, England, and the Caribbean.

But their most recent practice, at the Asia Cup, provided them with critical insights.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma said the team was “90-95% settled” for the T20 World Cup following their exit from the Asia Cup Super 4s.

Their aggressive approach has largely succeeded. Kohli has finally found his form, so his place in the XI is no longer in doubt, at least for the time being.

The team will enter the series with the strongest available squad and primarily focus on clarifying roles.

With the return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, Hardik Pandya no longer has to be the side’s third seamer. India will also look to see how they can better use allrounders Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda.

Rohit made it clear that he supports KL Rahul as the opener. India will be hoping that Pant performs well in the series.

The spotlight is ON | India Vs Australia

There will be a strong focus on Tim David, who will be looking to demonstrate his power-hitting abilities in Australian colours for the first time.

The Singapore-born batter has performed admirably in various T20 competitions, most recently in the IPL, and he’ll be hoping to replicate his success on the international stage. Aside from his big-hitting abilities, his ability to take on spinners and quicks makes him a must-have in a T20 side.

In T20s, he averages 32.48 with a strike rate of 164.12. He has expected to fill in for Stoinis in the middle order in this series. However, if both Stoinis and Marsh are fit when the World Cup begins, Australia will be unable to accommodate him.

Smith’s position appears to be vulnerable at the moment, but he has the reputation of being the XI’s anchor, so it remains to see how Australia fits David into their XI at the World Cup.

Rishabh Pant has failed to meet expectations in the T20 format. In 32 innings of T20Is since 2020, he has averaged 27.63 and struck at 129.95. Pant had to replace Dinesh Karthik in the XI at the Asia Cup due to Ravindra Jadeja’s injury, as India needed a left-handed batter in the middle.

In the Super 4, however, he only managed 17 and 14 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, respectively. Though Pant and Karthik give India flexibility, India can currently only fit one of the two into the XI. Therefore, Pant will need to make the most of his time in the middle to compete at the highest level.

Team NEWS | India Vs Australia

Umesh Yadav, who was supposed to be in Bengaluru for rehab for a quad injury, has been called into the squad after Mohammed Shami tested positive for Covid-19. However, with the return of Bumrah and Harshal, India is unlikely to select Umesh.

India's Probable Lineup is As Follows:

  1. Rohit Sharma (captain)
  2. KL Rahul
  3. Virat Kohli
  4. Suryakumar Yadav
  5. Hardik Pandya
  6. Axar Patel
  7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  8. Deepak Chahar
  9. Harshal Patel
  10. Yuzvendra Chahal
  11. Jasprit Bumrah

Smith will bat at No. 3 against India in Marsh’s absence. David appears to be on track to make his Australia debut in the middle order. Australia is also likely to use Inglis as an opener instead of Matthew Wade, who has previously batted at No. 3 in T20Is; he bats in the middle order.

Australia's Probable Lineup is As Follows:

  1. Aaron Finch (captain)
  2. Josh Inglis
  3. Steven Smith
  4. Glenn Maxwell
  5. Matthew Wade
  6. Tim David
  7. Cameron Green
  8. Pat Cummins
  9. Adam Zampa
  10. Josh Hazlewood
  11. Sean Abbott

Statistics and Trivia | India Vs Australia

  1. Kohli’s 718 runs against Australia are the most by any player in men’s T20Is against an opponent.
  2.  Australia has won their last three Twenty20 Internationals in India.
  3.  In 15 T20Is, Jasprit Bumrah has dismissed Glenn Maxwell seven times.