Euro 2020 Special

India vs Australia First T20I Preview: Home Team Keen to Forget Asia Cup Disappointment

India will take on Australia in their first T20I on Tuesday, 20th September in Mohali. The match is due to start at 5.30 pm local time.

This is the beginning of a hectic schedule for India as they begin to build-up for the T20I World Cup next month. Three matches against Australia in the space of six days will then be followed by a white ball tour by South Africa.

It is an ideal opportunity for India, currently the number one ranked T20I side in the world, to pit themselves against the defending World Cup champions. And according to the bookmakers, the favourites to defend their title on home soil.

At the same time, it is a chance to quickly erase the memory banks of the Asia Cup where India went into the competition as favourites to win it for an eighth time, only to exit the competition at the Super Four stage after successive defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Since then, their World Cup squad has been announced. Barring injuries, the team that will be involved in the series in some way will be the same boarding the plane to Australia next month.


Australian injury problems

India already knows that Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the World Cup with the knee injury he suffered whilst fielding in the Asia Cup.

The Australians also have their own injury issues and are without a trio of players for this tour – fast bowler Mitchell Starc, and all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

All are expected to be fit for their opening match of the World Cup itself against New Zealand on October 22 and their omission this time is precautionary.

Meanwhile, usual opener David Warner is being rested for this tour.

Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams, and Sean Abbott will deputise for the injured trio on this tour, but their absence might give Tim David the chance to make his debut for the Baggy Greens.

The 26-year old, who had previously represented Singapore, was a surprise inclusion when Australia announced their own World Cup squad.

And there may also be a change in the batting order, with Steve Smith, a man very well known to followers of the Indian T20 league, coming in at number three.


India need to decide on their line-up

One of the biggest reasons why India fell short in the Asia Cup was their inability to ever field the same line-up with constant chopping and changing of personnel.

However, the time for experimentation is past and tough decisions have to be made about who plays and who is consigned to a role in the supporting cast.

In particular, who plays as wicketkeeper/batter between Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul are all options, but a definitive call has to be made. It is the best team that usually wins a World Cup and not necessarily the one full of star names.


Bumrah returns

Jasprit Bumrah missed the Asia Cup after suffering from his latest in a long line of back problems. But having proved his fitness, he is back for this series and in the World Cup squad.

He may be rusty after his lay-off, but India will be hoping he can play his way back into form across the series.  Their hopes next month may depend on it.


Heads to head

The two teams have played 23 previous T20Is and India have won 13 matches to 9 for Australia. One game ended in a no result.

The last series that they played was during India’s last tour of Australia in 2020/2021, with the Indians memorably winning it by two matches to one.


The pitch

India have an excellent record in Mohali, having won all three of their previous T20I matches there. Australia have a more mixed history there as they won one and lost one on their two previous visits.

Traditionally, the Mohali pitch was one of the quickest In India. But in recent years, it has proved to be a batter friendly wicket. And with a quick outfield as well, this should be a high-scoring match.



India will consider themselves favourites because of home conditions, but they will be need to be wary of the Australian pace attack, particularly Josh Hazelwood – who is the number one ranked bowler in T20I cricket – and Pat Cummins.

What remains to be seen is how hard both teams will play in this match. Knowing that they could play each other in the latter stages of the World Cup, there must be a temptation at least not to show their hands too early.




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