Australia seek change of fortune in T20I series - First T20I Preview
Australia will have a chance to erase the scar of a 4-1 series defeat to India in the recently concluded One-Day International series when they face the same opposition in the first Twenty20 International in Ranchi on Saturday.
Steven Smith's men were outplayed in all three facets of the game and criticism evoked about the scheduling of the limited series ahead of the all-important Ashes against England that is scheduled to begin next month. Acting head coach David Saker admitted, "a lot of them are playing a little bit scared" while Aaron Finch urged his team to be 100 percent if they are to beat India in their own backyard. The visitors will be boosted by the addition of five new faces - Moises Henriques, Tim Paine, Jason Behrendoff, Andrew Tye, Daniel Christian - who could add fresh energies to a demoralised squad.
For India, the change in format will do little to their original game plan of building on a solid start and finishing well. The ability of Hardik Pandya with both bat and the ball has provided the much-needed balance while in-form Shikhar Dhawan and seasoned pace bowler Ashish Nehra will only add more strength to the squad that recently defeated Sri Lanka 0-3. Dinesh Karthik can also provide stability to the middle order apart from being the back-up wicket-keeper. The success of the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has successfully managed to keep seasoned campaigners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja once again.
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Pitch and Conditions:
The preparations have been hampered by heavy rains in the city and the forecast is for a thunderstorm on Saturday as well. However, with the game scheduled for an evening start of 7pm, there is a chance we can get away with a full match.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra / Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith (captain), Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Tim Paine (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
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