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Australia’s tour of India 2019 is going to being with a T20 international. There are only two T20 matches being played which on this tour and so each match is a must-win. The idea of playing just two T20 marches does not make sense to us but maybe the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 has something to do with it.
The Indians are coming into this series on the back of a series loss against New Zealand although they did draw against Australia just a month back. The Australians have been playing a lot of T20 cricket thanks to the BBL and so will be in good knick also.
Both the teams will be approaching the T20 series to try and fill out their ICC World Cup 2019 squads.
India has gone into the final preparation mode for the upcoming cricket world cup and has assembled a full-strength squad for the first match. Virat Kohli is back leading the side after being rested for the last series.
He is going to join Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma at the top of the order making India’s top-3 the strongest in the world. All three of these players have scored runs around the world but playing at home makes them even more dangerous.
Shikhar Dhawan had a poor T20 series in New Zealand and so will be keen to get some runs against Australia.
Lokesh Rahul has made a comeback into the squad and could play at number four. There is a slight chance that Virat Kohli can play at four giving up his number three spot to Lokesh Rahul but we really hope that is not the case.
Rishab Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, and Vijay Shankar should all find a place in the side based on their recent performances. The interesting thing will be to see in which direction India goes with its bowling attack.
Krunal Pandya seems likely to play since Hardik Pandya is not in the squad and so only one out of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal will find a place in the playing eleven. Jasprit Bumrah is sure to play giving India an excellent wicket-taking option upfront and brilliance at the death.
India’s side is lacking in power hitting options and perhaps that is the only visible weakness of the side. A few early wickets could really hurt the Indians and prevent them from getting to or chasing down big scores.
The bowling looks good enough to be competitive in home conditions and the spinners are the ones that could be most threatening.
Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, V Kohli, RR Pant, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Umesh Yadav, YS Chahal, Mayank Markande, JJ Bumrah.
Australia has been dominated by India in T20 cricket over the recent times and the visitors are going to be definite underdogs in this series. As cricket watchers, though, we have learned never to underestimate Australia.
They have a lot of talent in their side and could very easily win one or maybe even both the matches. The T20 format helps reduce the differences between the teams and the potential match winners in the Australian side become even more dangerous.
Aaron Finch and Darcy Short are expected to open the batting for Australia in the first match with Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stonis, and Alex Carey following them. This is a very strong batting order with more power in it than India has.
Any one of these players could unleash a barrage of sixes that help tilt the game its way. The biggest problem for these batsmen is going to be to face spin competently. We think Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are going to be key for the Aussies in the middle order while Darcy Short is going to be the player to hold the top-order together.
The Aussie bowling attack is also very impressive.
Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Jason Behrendorff are all in the squad. We think that Nathan Coulter-Nile is going to be the one to miss out because Behrendorff brings a different angle. He may not be as successful in Indian conditions, though, as he is in Australia.
One out of Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa should get a go which gives the Aussies some real options to play around with especially since Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell can both bowl their full quota of overs as well.
We don’t think that Nathan Lyon finds a place in the playing eleven but Australia could give him a go if they are looking to him to have a major role in the ICC World Cup 2019 later on.
Aaron Finch, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, AJ Turner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa.
The team winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The first T20 between India and Australia is going to be played at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. The weather on match day is expected to be nice and sunny with next to no chance of rain.
The pitch at the stadium is excellent for batting. It has hosted a number of matches in the IPL and it always ends up being a high scoring contest. We expect the same in this match as well.
Australia has a dangerous lineup that is capable of winning and we are sure they are going to get into some good winning positions. This makes for a good opportunity to hedge the bets. India should still be able to win but hedging your bets will ensure there is no loss either way.
Back India to win.
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