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Hardik Pandya to Maxwell, Who Can Headline AUSvIND T20I Series?

Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah are coming into this T20I series against Australia after managing to lift the fifth Indian T20 League trophy for Mumbai. India would be hoping that their experience of being successful in the domestic T20 series will help the team be competitive in the upcoming T20I series. There’s positive news that Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will hold a capacity crowd for the third and final T20I of the series. This news is music to all cricket fans in the world and hopefully the same is followed for the Border-Gavaskar Test series later this year.

The management of these international teams will look to start thinking about the 2021 T20 World Cup to be held in India. This series can help us gauge where both these two teams stand in terms of their chances of lifting the World Cup trophy next year.

It’s a very quick transition between two formats for both teams but most of these players were involved in a long T20 season very recently so their T20 game shouldn’t be rusty. Here is how both teams are shaping up ahead of the all-important T20I series.

AUSTRALIA

After a positive result in the ODI series, Australia will be flying high on confidence coming into this particular T20I series. Australia were the top-ranked side earlier this year but lost that tag during the 2-1 series loss to England away from home. They will be without the likes of David Warner, Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis. Mitchell Starc missed the last ODI with a back niggle and Ashton Agar appeared to pick up a calf strain so team selection will be an issue for the Australian management for this series. Andrew Tye might make a comeback in the team after he was announced as Kane Richardson’s replacement in the squad. The top form of Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith are encouraging signs for the hosts and they can be the gamechangers they need in this series.

PREDICTED AUSTRALIA XI

Aaron Finch (C), Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

INDIA

Team India will take positives from the last ODI at the same venue where they got their first win of the tour. The absence of Rohit Sharma means that Shikhar Dhawan keeps his place at the top of the order but who partners him? KL Rahul is probably India’s best all-round T20 batsman and all his runs in the format have come at the top of the order. The other option is Mayank Agarwal who had a successful Indian T20 League, opening the innings for Punjab. If KL Rahul moves up the order then the number five position becomes vacant and either Sanju Samson or Manish Pandey will take that spot in the batting line-up. T20 specialist Washington Sundar is in the squad as well along with Deepak Chahar. Given the batting form of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja they seem a certain pick in the India XI. T Natarajan could also be handed a debut in this series.

PREDICTED INDIA XI

KL Rahul (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, T Natarajan, Jasprit Bumrah,

PITCH CONDITIONS

It has the makings of a high-scoring series. In the Big Bash League, Manuka Oval in Canberra has the highest run rate (8.56) of any ground and the remaining two matches are at Sydney where we’ve already seen some high scoring matches in the ODI series.

WHERE TO CATCH THE ACTION FROM THE T20I SERIES

Fans can catch the Indian cricket team live on the Sony network and the live stream on SonyLiv. The matches start at 1:40 PM IST.

 

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