About the Match
India dominated the ODI series 4-1, a scoreline that could have easily been 5-0, and will go into the T20 series as firm favorites. Australia will have a refreshed squad with plenty of players not a part of the T20 series coming over. Will they finally be able to put together a consistent run of performances or will India continue their dominance over Australia?
The core of the Indian team for the T20’s is the same as the one that just beat Australia comprehensively. They will lose the services of AJinkya Rahane as Shikhar Dhawan makes a comeback and have also drafted in Dinesh Karthik and Ashish Nehra.
Make no mistake, this Indian team is an excellent T20 team all of whose players hone their skills in the IPL. The players are used to playing under pressure and at a high intensity over a prolonged duration of time.
The batting in this series will be once again led by Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. All three of them are excellent T20 players, with Virat easily being the best T20 batsman in the world at the international level over the last few years. It is unclear if the slight niggle that Rohit Sharma picked up during the last ODI will have any effect on his availability but if he is available we expect him and Dhawan to open the batting with Virat coming in at 3.
Behind them will be a strong lower order lineup of Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya. There is plenty of big hitting power in this lineup and the ability to keep coming at the opposition no matter if a few wickets are lost early.
Virat Kohli has scored 401 runs against Australia in 9 innings at an average of 66.83 and four fifties. The next best in the Indian team are Rohit Sharma with 264 runs from 11 innings and MS Dhoni with 231 runs from 12 innings.
The bowling lineup for India is going to be interesting. There is no way that Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah can be dropped while Hardik Pandya has proved himself good enough to be the third bowler as well.
Will India pick Ashish Nehra in place of one of the two fast bowlers? Difficult to see that happening but you never know. Kohli will also be pleased to have two wrist spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav at his disposal to keep attacking outside of the powerplays as well.
Australia will be desperate to register at least one series victory before heading back home to the Ashes as it puts them in a good frame of mind. This could serve as motivation while the other side of the coin is a lack of focus on the current series with an eye ahead to the Ashes already.
While Australia is no pushover, they have an extremely poor record against India in T20 Internationals. Their current record is a poor 4 wins out of 13 overall matches played but more tellingly, Australia has lost the last six matches against India on the trot.
This includes a 3-0 loss to India in Australia back in January 2016.
To take them lightly, however, is something that is filled with peril. Australia has gun batsmen like David Warner, Steve Smith, and Aaron Finch. Both Warner and Finch hit excellent form during the latter part of the series and will look to build on that.
The biggest threat to India will come from David Warner. He is a regular near the top of the run-getters chart in the IPL and knows these conditions very well. He is also the most comfortable in the shortest and the longest format of the game with ODI’s being his Achilles heel of sorts.
Tim Paine has scored runs consistently for his BBL side at the top of the order as has Moises Henriques. Glenn Maxwell is always a threat while Dan Christian and Travis Head provide some real big hitting potential down the order.
One of these, probably Paine, will have to miss out from the start of the series though.
Australia’s bowling is very similar to their ODI side and will be led by Coulter- Nile, Cummins, Kane Richardson and Zampa. The fifth bowler will probably be shared between Henriques, Christian, Maxwell, Finch etc.
The shortest format allows individual brilliance to win a game for their side and that is where the Aussies have the best chance to upset India. There are a number of players in this side that could take the game away on a good day.
Their fielding is also something that can be counted upon to pick an extra wicket or save those few extra runs that puts additional pressure on the opposition.
Pitch and Conditions
Rain is around at Ranchi although it is forecast to clear up by the time match day arrives. The pitch at Ranchi is always good for batting although it can get a little slow at times. The Indian spinners will be definite threats for Australia.
We expect a high-scoring game with 180 being a par-score.
India to wi