Match Preview – India vs Australia, Australia, India 2023/24, 1st T20I

Big picture: More India vs Australia coming your way

Nothing highlights the complexity of the international cricket schedule like this T20I series between India and Australia. Starting a five-match series four days after the ODI World Cup final is absurd, yet 12 months ago England were forced to stand up for a three-match ODI series against Australia four days after their T20I. World Cup win.

Besides, haven’t these two sides played enough against each other this year? They played a four-Test series in India in February and March, followed by a three-match ODI series. They played in the World Test Championship final in June after the IPL ended. They then played in the second three-match ODI series in India in September, just two weeks from the ODI World Cup, where they met at the start and end of the tournament. Not to mention that the two teams played a three-match T20I series in India in September last year. Australia’s involvement in the Ashes series and India’s Asia Cup and Asian Games adventures only add to the completely idiotic scheduling of this series.

But, it’s in motion and we’ll see. India have rested almost all of their World Cup squad except Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Prasith Krishna, though Kishan played two matches in the World Cup and Prasith none. Shreyas Iyer will return for the last two games of the series after being retired for the first three matches, while coach Rahul Dravid also missed the series, with VVS Laxman taking over as coach of the victorious Asean Games team.
Australia have fielded seven players in their World Cup squad in India and Tanvir Sangha will be traveling throughout the tournament. They have only added seven new faces, including captain Matthew Wade, meaning at least four of those celebrating Sunday’s victory should be fit enough to take the field. David Warner was originally selected to play in the series but decided to pull out late on and was replaced by Aaron Hardy. Spencer Johnson has also been left out of the original squad due to injury and has been replaced by Kane Richardson. Pat Cummins, the ODI captain and Mitch Marsh, the T20 captain from the last series Australia played in South Africa, flew home along with Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green. Australia coach Andrew MacDonald has also visited Australia, and Andre Borovec has taken over as assistant coach for the first time.

While there are plenty of reasons not to play in this series, it is worth noting that the next T20 World Cup is only 7 months away. For both teams, these five matches are the only 11 T20 matches scheduled before that World Cup.

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It should also be noted that this gave Travis Head an opportunity to take his place as Australia’s ODI World Cup opener as Australia’s three-match ODI series against England last year was meaningless after the T20 World Cup. Cummins is likely to captain ODIs for the first time. With this in mind, there are chances that both the sides will be bedridden in next year’s T20 World Cup.

Form Guide

India WWWWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Australia WWWWW

Note: Kishan and Wade

This is a golden opportunity Ishan Kishan The wicket-keeper should lie down before the next World Cup. Kishan featured in India’s first eight T20Is this year, but lost his place after two games in the five-match series against the West Indies in the Caribbean and America in August, and was replaced by Sanju Samson. There is no place for Samson in this team and Jitesh Sharma has been appointed as the second wicket keeper. With both Yashshwi Jaiswal and Rudharaj Gaekwad in the squad, Kishan could be caught in a three-way battle for the starting spot. Kishan has batted outside the opening slot only twice in his 29-match T20I career – at No. 3 in March 2021 and at No. 6 in July 2021.
This is a very interesting series Matthew Wade. His captaincy in the absence of Cummins and Marsh indicates he is still highly regarded by the Australian selectors, but he admitted he is unsure whether he will be the first-choice wicketkeeper at next year’s T20 World Cup. Josh Inglis has taken over from Alex Carey in the ODI World Cup squad, and despite seemingly modest returns, he has shown his skills in big moments and is one of Australia’s best spinners in the middle overs in both white-ball formats. But the Marcus Stoinis-Tim David-Wade axis at 5-7 has actually been the most reliable aspect of Australia’s T20 batting over the last couple of years. There must be a good reason to crack the squad for the T20 World Cup, given their experience in big moments and their power on slower pitches. If he bats, keeps and leads well in this series, the Wade debate can be taken off the table entirely.

Group message

Guessing the two XIs will be a fun trivia game for any fans ahead of the series. India’s XI has been a complete mystery as they have played a variety of combinations in recent times, but Suryakumar will slot in at No.3 and Ishan Kishan will keep it, but where he will bat remains a mystery. Axar Patel will be a lock to return.

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India (Probable): 1 Ishan Kishan (week), 2 Yashvi Jaiswal, 3 Suryakumar Yadav (capt), 4 Thilak Verma, 5 Shivam Dubey, 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Akshar Patel/Washington Sundar, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Prasit Krishna/Avesh Khan, 11 Mukesh Kumar

Australia is looking for completely relaxed cricketers. Steven Smith was the opener in the T20I series against South Africa before he picked up a wrist injury. Both Marcus Stoinis and Sean Abbott should play after missing the World Cup semi-final and final, and Tanveer Sangha will get a chance to rest Zamba.

Australia (Probable): 1 Steven Smith, 2 Matthew Short, 3 Aaron Hardy, 4 Josh Inglis, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Tim David, 7 Matthew Wade (capt/week), 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Nathan Ellis, 10 Jason Behrendorff, Tanveer Sangha

Pitch and conditions

It will be humid with a chance of a couple of showers in the afternoon. Similar weather conditions prevailed when these two teams met in an ODI at the same venue in March, and helped Australia win by 10 wickets. Australia also won a low-scoring T20 at the same venue in 2019. The ball tends to dominate the batting in the three T20 matches played at the venue.

Quotations

„Traditionally, the pitches here are very good for batting. In the West Indies, they tend to be slow and have a bit of spin. So any opportunity to come to a slow wicket with a bit of spin is an opportunity for someone to put their hand up and show what they can do.”
Interim captain of Australia Matthew Wade Regarding conditions in Visakhapatnam

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