India and Australia are very familiar with each other. After facing off in a gruelling few series Down Under, Australia have now come to India for a T20I and an ODI series.
This will be India’s last international outing before the team shifts to Indian Premier League (IPL) mode. The Cricket World Cup will begin soon after the IPL.
India will be considering this series as warm-up for the World Cup and it will also be a last chance for many players who are still trying to make it to the World Cup squad.
India kicks off the series against Australia on Sunday, February 24, when they face each other in the first of the two T20Is in Visakhapatnam.
Date: Sunday February 24, 2019
Timing: 07:00 PM IST and 06:30 PM PKT
Venue: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Weather: The forecast is for brilliant sunshine in the day-time and clear skies at night, when the match will be played.
Conditions / Pitch Report: At the Visakhapatnam stadium, pacers have generally found swing.
Head to Head:
Matches: 18 | Australia: 6 | India: 11 | NR: 1
Australia: L W L L L (completed matches, most recent first)
India: L W L W L
Many fresh faces have rejoin the squad after a good Big Bash League season. Players like D’Arcy Short and Kane Richardson will be eager to prove their worth in order to book a spot in the World Cup squad.
Pat Cummins might make a come back after two years in T20I. Shaun Marsh hasn’t travelled with the team as he is staying back for the birth of his child.
Glenn Maxwell is in great form and will play a key role as an all-rounder.
Australia’s Probable XI:
1. Aaron Finch (capt), 2. D’Arcy Short, 3. Peter Handscomb, 4. Marcus Stoinis, 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Ashton Turner, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9. Pat Cummins, 10. Adam Zampa, 11. Kane Richardson
Indian team will be aiming to lock in the last couple of available slots in their England-bound World Cup squad, when they square off with familiar foes Australia in a limited overs series starting with the first T20I.
Skipper Kohli is back after a well-deserved three-week break and will be keeping a keen eye on the likes of Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar, two players who are strongly tipped to make the elite list.
India might have to decide between Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul. Team India who are without Hardik Pandya who has been ruled out of the series. India might prefer to go with Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande would miss out.
India’s Probable XI:
1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. Rishabh Pant, 5. Dinesh Karthik, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Vijay Shankar, 8. Krunal Pandya, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Players to watch:
1. Rohit Sharma – Batsman, India
Rohit Sharma is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Rohit Sharma doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant. He has been very consistent with the runs for India in the last year and could be one of the most important players in the series.
2. Virat Kohli – Batsman, India
Returning from a much-needed break, India needs Virat Kohli to be at the very top of his game. And if he manages that, India are definitely on their way to a third World Cup title. Kohli’s form is imperative to India’s success, and the skipper could very well turn the series on its head.
3. Darcy Short – Batsman, Australia
What Rohit Sharma is to India, Darcy Short is to Australia. Darcy Short is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the hosts in the series.
4. Marcus Stoinis – All-rounder, Australia
Arguably the most in-form player in this Australian team, Marcus Stoinis comes to this side after a very successful BBL campaign with Melbourne Stars. He had a good series against India as well in January and will be eager to extend that form in this series as well.
5. Glenn Maxwell – Batsman, Australia
Another player from the Melbourne Stars team, Maxwell too had a great campaign especially towards the later stages as he changed games with his knocks. Maxwell is capable of a huge knock that could have a big impact in the game and is Australia’s trump card in the middle-order.
Stats and trivia:
- Virat Kohli’s 488 runs against Australia is the most by a player against an opponent in T20Is. Kohli scored those runs in 13 innings at an average of 61 with five fifties.
- Rohit Sharma needs two sixes to be the most prolific six-hitter in T20Is
- Jasprit Bumrah needs only two wickets to become the second Indian bowler to account for 50 scalps in the T20 Internationals.
Captain Virat Kohli, on Saturday, asked the World Cup-bound players not to change their games too much to suit the needs of IPL, which is a T20 tournament.
“They have to make sure that their games don’t go too much away from the one-day mould of things. That means we will have to be very wary of the bad habits that might creep in during the IPL,” Kohli told reporters ahead of their first T20I against Australia.
Captain Aaron Finch fronted the press on Saturday afternoon and said landing on a top-order is one of the challenges for the tourists.
“There’s a few options; obviously myself and D’Arcy (Short), Usman (Khawaja), ‘Stoin’ (Marcus Stoinis), who’s done it really well through the Big Bash,” Finch said of the top-order conundrum.
“Alex Carey did it really well in the UAE for that last game that he played there at the top of the order so there’s plenty to think about and a few options and a few combinations.
“That’s something we’ll think a little bit more over the next few hours.”