India vs Australia 2013: Only T20I – Match Preview

Author : Kaushik Narayanan

CRICKET-CT2013-IND-AUS-WARM UP

The Champions League T20 has just finished, but the cricket season has just started. Another packed season for Indian cricket starts with the home series against Australia, consisting of 7 ODI’s and a lone T20, which is going to be played tomorrow. Here is a look at the teams.

India :

MS Dhoni(w/c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat

This is India’s first international T20 this year.

The core team more-or-less resembles that of the successful Champions Trophy campaign, but a big name has made a comeback. Yuvraj Singh, after an excellent challenger trophy, has impressed the selectors. All eyes will be on him as to how he performs at the international level.

The team looks pretty good in form, with the batting mainstays Dhawan, Dhoni, Rohit and Kohli looking particularly good. Even Suresh Raina was impressive in the Champions League T20. It will be interesting to see what batting combination Dhoni fields tomorrow.

As far as bowling is concerned, though it looks a quite weak as far as experience is concerned, the bowlers are extremely talented, nevertheless. The only concern will have to be the form of Ravindra Jadeja, who’s form in CLT20 was miserable, when compared to his excellent performances throughout the year. Dhoni has a lot of options as far as pace bowling is concerned, and he will be in a dilemma as to whom should he pick in flat, batsmen friendly Rajkot pitch.

Australia :

George Bailey(c), Brad Haddin(w), Shane Watson, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Adam Voges, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Moises Henriques, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Nic Maddinson

The Australian team would like to make a point. Though a lone T20 victory might not make much of a difference, but it would definitely help the team to gain some momentum.

The batting lacks big names, but they do have some destructive batsman. While Shane Watson can be extremely dangerous on his day, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch have impressed everyone with their big power hitting recently.

The bowling looks quite stable, with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile having gained some invaluable first-hand experience of Indian conditions. Doherty is the lone spinner, whereas Henriques and McKay have been included as all rounders. Eyes will be on surprise youngster Nic Maddinson, who is reportedly making a debut tomorrow.

Pitch

The pitch is expected to be batting friendly, with the BCCI Curator for Western Region Dhiraj Parsana quoting - ”It’s a flat wicket and therefore any score over 170 would be a fighting total.”

But rain could threaten a washout, Met Department forecasting rainfall over the next 48 hours.

Outcome

Will definitely be a well contested match. With the pitch expected to be flat, both the teams would like to chase a total. But if it rains, it could change the strategy of both the teams. But form wise, India looks a bit stronger, and hence I would put them as favourites.

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