Saturday, January 30, 2016

India Eye Rare Aussie Whitewash at the Sydney Cricket Ground

India Vs Australia - 3rd T20I, Sydney Cricket Ground - Match Preview

Just over a week ago, Australia and India travelled to Sydney for the last match of the 5 match ODI series with the Indian team in complete disarray and the Australians dominating them in all departments. How long a week can be and how a change in the format can affect a team’s fortune is glaring as both the teams have travelled to Sydney again with Australia this time looking to avoid the ignominy of a clean sweep in the T20 format of the game.

Giving more priority to the ODI series against their trans-tasman rivals which is set to begin next week they have already sent several players there for preparation, Warner and Smith being the biggest names. With Finch injuring his hamstring in the 2nd T20I at the MCG and unavailable for the third T20I, Australia are suddenly without three players who would be in their starting line up under normal circumstances.

The captaincy has been handed over to the experienced Shane Watson who himself is just making a comeback to the team. Usman Khawaja has finally been named in the team after making a mountain of runs in all formats in domestic cricket. He might still be unlucky to miss out if Australia decide to play Travis Head instead. Australia might need something special from Maxwell if they have to make an impact in this game.

Wade has also been relieved to prepare for the New Zealand ODI's and Cameron Bancroft might make his T20I debut in his place. Nathan Lyon was expected to audition for the lead spinner’s role for the WT20 2016 but has this far bowled only one over for 15 runs. Tait might again get a look in after being dropped in the last game.

India on the other hand have been as clinical as they could have expected to be after the ODI trashing. Their spinners are controlling the middle overs, something which Dhoni loves and India are suddenly playing well and delivering wins. The fielding is athletic, exceptional at times with blinders being pulled off, run outs being affected. Bumrah has been the most impressive and he is the leading wicket-taker with 5 wickets in the two matches.

Indian batting, their strongest suit, meanwhile is purring with the usual fanfare and efficiency. Rohit has provided attractive starts and Dhawan followed up in the last game with a decent score after failing in the first T20. Kohli is on the top of his game having won back to back man of the match awards for his superlative efforts with the bat. Yuvraj has not been needed with the bat thus far and Dhoni might push him up the order to see how he goes.

All in all, this promises to be a Fantastico battle between these two teams. Australia will look to avoid the white-wash and India will look to head home with a 3-0 series win under their belts as they look to host Sri Lanka next.

4 Fantastico Battles to look forward to:

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan Vs Shaun Tait
Virat Kohli Vs James Faulkner and Shane Watson
Shaun Marsh Vs Ashish Nehra
Glenn Maxwell and Usman Khawaja Vs Indian Spinners

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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