Monday, January 25, 2016

India Vs Australia - First T20 International, Adelaide Oval - Match Preview

A Fantastico match awaits us as India takes on Australia in the first T20 International at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow evening. With the ICC WT20 2016 looming, each and every T20 international match assumes importance as they will provide the teams with a chance to test newer players and test their fringe players.

For India, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will look to continue their stellar form from the ODI matches to the shortest format of the game. They will need to provide a quick and fiery start so that the Indian middle order can capitalize and post a total which can challenge the Australian line up. Suresh Raina returns to the team in his favourite format after spending time on the side-lines due to poor form.

Virat Kohli would probably bat at number 4 and he will look to be the buffer between the start that India get and look to guide the lower middle order and close out the innings. Yuvraj Singh also returns to the team and to the same format he last played for India. He would have bitter memories of that WT20 Final match against the Lankans which India lost as Yuvraj failed to provide the final thrust that India were looking for in that game. MS Dhoni along with Ravindra Jadeja would look to provide the final touches in the slog overs.

It would be interesting to see if India goes for R Ashwin or Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin was dropped in the latter part of the ODI series but Bhajji too has not been in very good form recently. The ageing stalwart Ashish Nehra returns to the Indian team after a long hiatus and he will be eager to give a decent performance and seal his place in the Indian squad for the World Cup.

The Australian opening combination of Warner and Finch are as destructive and powerful as they come in this format. If they tee off, then Australia will be looking at a very huge total. Aussie captain Steve Smith will follow these two and look to continue the momentum. The dynamic Glenn Maxwell misses out due to a hamstring niggle and hence one of either Lynn or Head can get a game.

Australia have also recalled Shane Watson, a master of the T20 format and he along with James Faulkner and Wade will provide plenty of big hitting options to Australia down the order.

Australia have also gone for Shaun Tait, the once fearsome fast bowler after he produced good performances in the recently concluded BBL, in the absence of injured Starc and retired Johnson. Nathan Lyon will audition for a spinner that will play a very important role in India. It will be interesting to watch how he goes after he took a bit of stick in the final ODI match.

Fantastico Battles to look out for:

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan Vs Shaun Tait
Yuvraj Singh Vs James Faulkner
David Warner and Aaron Finch Vs Ashish Nehra
Steve Smith and Shane Watson Vs the 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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