Player of the Match
Player of the Match

T20 prelude to World Cup prep as India and Australia meet again

Manjrekar: Dhoni can be rested (6:36)

Sanjay Manjrekar and Shaun Tait pick their playing XIs ahead of the first T20I between India and Australia (6:36)

Big Picture

India versus Australia. Haven't we just had this? Well, seemingly, there's always room for more. Thoughts are turning towards the World Cup, but it's T20 which begins the latest tussle between these two teams. The corresponding series in Australia during November was shared 1-1 so it's all to play for. Sort of.

India have recently completed a T20I series against New Zealand - which they lost 2-1 - and Australia's players are fresh from the Big Bash so most involved should be reasonably in tune with the format.

It was interesting to hear Justin Langer bundle these two games in with the five-match one-day series a little while ago when talking about the importance of World Cup preparation. Australia have the same squad here for both the T20Is and ODIs, although that does happen to include both the BBL's highest scorer in D'Arcy Short and leading wicket-taker in Kane Richardson after the latter replaced the injured Mitchell Starc.

India have brought back two big guns, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, who were rested for the New Zealand series, so while context may be somewhat lacking, skill and entertainment should not be.

Form guide

(last five completed matches)

Australia LWLLL

In the spotlight

D'Arcy Short was the player of the tournament in the BBL. He will stay on for the start of the one-day series as a short-term replacement for Shaun Marsh, who has remained at home for the birth of his second child, so having been dropped from the ODI side during the Australian season, these two games are a chance to force his way back in. There is debate about who will open with Aaron Finch but it would be strange if it wasn't Short given his BBL returns. However, he struggled against spin during his IPL stint so if he does get a berth he will need to show he has improved his game in that area.

Chief among those spinners Australia will need to combat is Yuzvendra Chahal who has good memories against them after taking six wickets in the deciding ODI in Melbourne when he switched places with Kuldeep Yadav. How Australia tackle the wristspinner will be key to their chances of coming out on top.

Team news

Australia have a lot of options to partner captain Aaron Finch in the opening role; Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell could all be thrown in there, but Short has his recent BBL success behind him. If Pat Cummins makes the XI it would be his first T20I for two years.

Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 D'Arcy Short, 3 Peter Handscomb, 4 Marcus Stoinis, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Kane Richardson

India might have to decide between Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul in the middle order. While Karthik has had success of late, Rahul has built his case by getting runs for India A. Given that this is the first match of the tour, India might prefer to go with more experienced bowlers, which means Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande would miss out.

India (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik/KL Rahul, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Rishabh Pant, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Krunal Pandya, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Pitch and conditions

The forecast is for brilliant sunshine in the day-time and clear skies at night, when the match will be played.

Stats and Trivia

  • This will be the third T20I held at the venue. In 2012 an India-New Zealand match was abandoned without a ball bowled and in 2016 India dismissed Sri Lanka for 82

  • Australia played 19 T20Is in 2018, comfortably their most in a year, despite it not including a T20 World Cup. India also played 19, but that was their second highest tally of games in a year

  • Rohit Sharma needs two sixes to be the most prolific six-hitter in T20Is


"We obviously expect a stiff competition overall from the Australian team but if I had to single out one player that can make more impact, that would be Marcus Stoinis because he's come around really well during the BBL and he's making standout performances. You can see he's grown in confidence and he's definitely going to be a very important player for them."

Virat Kohli on who is likely to be the biggest threat in the Australian team.

Australia 2nd innings Partnerships

1st5DJM ShortMP Stoinis
2nd0AJ FinchDJM Short
3rd84DJM ShortGJ Maxwell
4th12DJM ShortPSP Handscomb
5th1PSP HandscombAJ Turner
6th11NM Coulter-NilePSP Handscomb
7th0NM Coulter-NilePJ Cummins
8th14PJ CumminsJA Richardson