Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of Aaron Finch during the third ODI at Manuka Oval in Canberra. AFP
Gulf Today Report
India will draw strength from their impressive past record against Australia and the recent morale-boosting victory in the third One-Day International (ODI) as the T20 series gets under way on Friday.
India managed to take out a consolation win in the third ODI, having lost the three-match series after defeats in the first two matches. But they are set to miss the services pacer Shardul Thakur, who was the architect of their victory, picking three wickets including the prize scalp of Steve Smith, to set up a 13-run victory.
The decision of the Indian team management of picking players from the originally announced T20 squad may fire back as Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav and Shubman Gill all will have to be left out for the T20 opener.
Yadav took one for 57 and Shubman Gill impressed with a 39-ball 33 in the Wednesday’s game. But the trio will not be bale feature in the T20 squad unless there is an injury scare.
India can also draw inspiration form their past record in Australia, which has been quite impressive. In the nine head-to-head meetings Down Under, India have won five, Australia three while one ended in a draw.
Importantly, India have never lost a T20I series in Australia — they lost a one-off game in 2008.
Virat Kohli hurries to avoid being runout by Alex Carey at Manuka Oval in Canberra. AP
The challenge for India as well as Australia will be to switch to the T20 format less than 48 hours of completing their ODI series as both the formats are quite different.
After playing a 52-day long IPL, Indian players found it difficult to switch to the longer format against Australia, thus losing ODI series 2-1.
Again the change of the format just 48 hours after the ODI series, Indians may falter if they fail to adapt. However coming on the back of playing IPL, a 20-over franchise tournament, they may return to the mode quicker than they took to switch to ODI format.
Though India have a separate squad for T20Is, 14 of the 16 members were part of the ODIs with only Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar not there in the 50-over format. The Aussie ODI and T20I squads are the same.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
While India had drawn the T20 series on that last tour, they managed to clinch it this time by winning the first two matches. The third match takes place on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
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