September 22, 2007. Durban. The semi-final of the inaugural T20I World Cup witnessed the first-ever T20I clash between India and Australia. A young Indian team defied the odds to beat Ricky Ponting's world-beaters and a few days later, went on to be crowned the World Champions. The memories of the Yuvraj Singh-show that evening immediately fades away every disappointment.
If you are sulking over India’s 1-2 defeat in the ODIs. This can be a mood-lifter.
Thirteen years, 20 T20Is, India have an 11-8 record against Australia. In fact, it's the only format where India have had the upper hand against Australia. Having lost the ODI series, India will be desperate to settle scores. The Canberra win gives them momentum. With the 2021 T20 World Cup in sight, the series presents an excellent opportunity for both sides to figure out their sides.
While Australia have the home advantage, to India’s credit, they have won the previous two T20I series in Australia, both being clean sweeps – 2-0 (in 2018-19) and 3-0 (in 2015-16).
India vs Australia – in T20Is
Australia tour of India 2018-19: Australia 2, India 0
India tour of Australia 2018-19: India 2, Australia 0
Australia tour of India 2017-18: Australia 1, India 1
2016 T20 World Cup, India: India wins group game (a virtual quarterfinal)
India tour of Australia 2015-16: India 3, Australia 0
2014 T20 World Cup, Bangladesh: India wins
Australia tour of India 2013-14: India 1, Australia 0
2012 T20 World Cup, Sri Lanka: Australia wins
India tour of Australia 2011-12: India 1, Australia 1
2010 T20 World Cup, West Indies: Australia wins
India tour of Australia 2007-08: Australia 1, India 0
Australia tour of India 2007-08: India 1, Australia 0
2007 T20 World Cup, South Africa: India wins semi-final
Most runs in India-Australia T20Is
Highest individual scores | India vs Australia T20Is
Shane Watson 124 (71)* | Sydney, 2016
Glenn Maxwell 113 (55)* | Bengaluru, 2019
Virat Kohli 90 (55)* | Adelaide, 2016
Aaron Finch 89 (52) | Rajkot, 2013
Virat Kohli 82 (51)* | Mohali, 2016
Most wickets in India-Australia T20Is
Best bowling figures | India vs Australia T20Is
R Ashwin 3.2-0-11-4 |Dhaka, 2014
Jason Behrendorff 4-0-21-4 | Guwahati, 2017
Krunal Pandya 4-0-36-4 | Sydney, 2018
Nathan Bracken 2.3-1-11-3 | Melbourne, 2008
Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-16-3 | Visakhapatnam, 2019
The evenings in Canberra get cooler, and the Manuka Oval presents one of the best batting surfaces. However, on Tuesday we witnessed the surface had bounce for pacers and some turn too.
The injury concerns for Australia slightly push them to the back foot. They lost David Warner to a groin injury. Injuries to Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis have further dented their hopes. Even Mitchell Starc remains a doubtful starter. Ashton Agar picked up a calf strain during the final ODI but is expected to be fit. What’s good though is the form of skipper Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell. The batting will revolve around the three.
Matthew Wade, who opened in the final T20I in England earlier this year, may get the nod as an opener. Opening with Maxwell or Smith could be the other tempting options for Finch, and it will be interesting to see if they opt for that or a more traditional route.
Adam Zampa was the pick of the spinners in the ODIs and will continue to hold the key for his side in the T20Is. Hazlewood’s discipline at the start will be something that Australia will count on.
Australia probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc/Andrew Tye, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
Shardul Thakur, one of the stars of India’s win in the final ODI, isn’t a part of the T20I side. This means T Natarajan will retain his place. Deepak Chahar’s inclusion adds more to the pace battery. One of the two conundrums for India is their spin department. Yuzvendra Chahal is expected to make a return. He will hope to replicate his IPL success. This means there will be no Kuldeep Yadav, who looked tidier the ODI series. Also, Ravindra Jadeja’s success with the bat and containing ability with the ball will block Washington Sundar’s path in the XI. Sundar, a decent option with the bat, can also bowl in the Powerplay.
The other problem India have is the option of openers. KL Rahul will be back at the top. But, who will partner him? Shikhar Dhawan brings in experience and has been in good touch. There’s no reason to drop him, but Mayank Agarwal has been in a superb hitting form since IPL. With Mayank being a key player in the Tests, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have him play and boost his confidence.
India probable XI: KL Rahul (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey/Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja/Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Prediction: The injury concerns for Australia makes them the second-best team on paper. With a win at the Manuka Oval in the final ODI, India carry the momentum.
T20I Rankings: Australia 2, India 3; | Batting – Finch (3), Rahul (4), Maxwell (7), Kohli (9), Rohit (10) | Bowling – Agar (3), Zampa (6), Richardson (8), Bumrah (11)
Indian T20I Squad: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul (wk & vc), Sanju Samson (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Deepak Chahar, Washington Sundar
Australian T20I Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins (vc), Alex Carey (wk), Matthew Wade (wk), D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschange, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Andrew Tye, Mitchell Starc, Daniel Sams
1st T20I: Canberra | December 4 (Friday) | 1.40 pm IST
2nd T20I: Sydney | December 6 (Sunday) | 1.40 pm IST
3rd T20I: Sydney | December 8 (Tuesday) | 1.40 pm IST