Match Preview – India vs Australia, Australia in India 2022, 1st T20I

big picture

After the 2021 T20 World Cup, India has played a total of 29 T20Is en route to this series. Australia has played just nine so far. Regardless of their preparation, Australia could make an appearance at the T20 World Cup in their usual confident fashion – but this time they will have to defend the title in their backyard. And they have to figure out quite a bit compared to their more prepared opponents.

In the age of packed cricket calendars and schedules, it seems rather surprising that these two teams haven’t played each other in a T20I since December 2020. India won that away series 2-1, while Australia won the last T20I series they played in India, in February 2019. And how can we forget That match in Mohali, when Virat Kohli left Australia speechless? Regardless of the format, the encounters between these two countries have always been high-octane and largely competitive, and this series should be no different, provided Australia can overcome a few selection questions.

The recent form of their captain Aaron Finch seems to be one of the biggest concerns. Steven Smith’s mediocre strike frequency has also raised questions about his place in the XI. And Australia is without the injured trio of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis for this series, while David Warner is rested. The team playing this series looks very different from Australia’s first pick at the World Cup. But it does give Australia room to experiment with the backups, but they will also want to build winning momentum. They have five games left after this series – a run of two against the West Indies and three T20Is against England at home – before the T20 World Cup.

It will be interesting to see how Tim David, who will be wearing Australia’s colors for the first time, fits into the international set-up. Australia is also likely to experiment with Josh Inglis, opening alongside Finch. Finch said there will be a lot of “mixing and matching” ahead of the World Cup.

India, meanwhile, has had some time to figure out what has worked for them and, more importantly, what hasn’t. They are back home after some travel and have won bilateral T20I series in Ireland, England and the Caribbean. But it was their most recent preparation – for the Asian Cup – that gave them an important takeaway.

After the departure of the Asia Cup Super 4s, captain Rohit Sharma said India was “90-95% settled” for the T20 World Cup. Their aggressive approach has largely paid off. Kohli finally got into shape, so his place in the XI – at least for now – is no longer a debate. They will enter the series with the strongest squad available and will mainly focus on clarifying roles.

The return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel means Hardik Pandya no longer has to be the third seam on the side. India will also want to see how they can make better use of all-rounders Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda. Rohit was clear that KL Rahul has his support as the opener. As for Pant, India hopes he gets on well in the series. India still have a home run against South Africa to go before the T20 World Cup to further bolster their plans.

Form Guide

India WLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Australia LWWWL

In the spotlight

All eyes will be on Tim David, who wants to show his decisiveness, this time in Australian colours. The Singapore-born batter has impressed in several T20 matches, most recently in the IPL, and he will try to replicate his success on the international stage. Aside from his great hitting skills, his ability to tackle both spinners and swifts, he is a must have in any T20 side. He has an average of 32.48 with a strike rate of 164.12 in T20s. In this series, he will likely take the middle spot in the absence of Stoinis. But Australia will not be able to accommodate him if both Stoinis and Marsh are fit when the World Cup starts. It’s Smith’s position that seems a little vulnerable at the moment – but he also has a reputation for being the anchor in the XI – so it remains to be seen how Australia fits David into their XI at the World Cup.

Rishabh Pant failed to quite live up to expectations in the T20 format. In T20Is since 2020, he has averaged just 27.63 and struck at 129.95 in 32 innings. At the Asian Cup, Pant had to be brought into the XI instead of Dinesh Karthik after an injury to Ravindra Jadeja, as India wanted a lefthanded batter in the middle. But he could only make scores of 17 and 14 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively in the Super 4s. While having Pant and Karthik in the squad gives them flexibility, it appears India can only accommodate one of the two in the XI at the moment. Pant will have to use his time in the middle of the upcoming T20Is to get back into shape for the T20 World Cup.

Team news

Originally set to recover from a quad bike injury in Bengaluru, Umesh Yadav has been called into the squad after Mohammed Shami tested positive for Covid-19. But with the return of Bumrah and Harshal, India Umesh is unlikely to play in the XI.

India (probably): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Rishabh Pant/ Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Axar Patel, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/ Deepak Chahar, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

With Marsh absent, Smith will bat at number 3 against India. David appears to be making his debut in Australia in the middle order. Australia is also likely to play Inglis – who has played at number 3 and middle order in T20Is so far – as an opener and push Matthew Wade down in the order. Cameron Green, who has been impressive with the ball and bat, has been brought back into the T20I roster – after playing a solitary game in April this year – and is likely to find a place in the XI as well.

Australia (probably): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Josh Inglis, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Matthew Wade (wk), 6 Tim David, 7 Cameron Green, 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Sean Abbott

Location and conditions

Tomorrow is expected to be partly cloudy and humid in Mohali, with a 25% chance of precipitation in the evening. In T20s since 2018, the chasing team has won seven out of eleven matches on the ground. On the eve of the match, Finch said there was “a bit of grass on the wicket”.

  • Jasper Bumrah fired Glenn Maxwell seven times in 15 meetings at T20s
  • Quotes

    “…Only we know what role is expected of each person. Everyone is trying to do their best, and not every time a player will succeed. And that’s the kind of environment we’ve created, that players aren’t afraid to play , or players are not afraid to make mistakes.”
    KL Rahul to constant external criticism

    “The last thing you want to do is have an injury derail your entire campaign because you’re pigeonholed to play one style of cricket or one team structure.”
    Aaron Finch is open to experiment with the XI

    Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

    Leave a Comment