When a three-match home series against Australia gets underway here on Tuesday, India will try to organise their line-ups, especially in the middle-order, while giving their plans and preparations for the T20 World Cup a final shape. Though a few fast bowlers will get a break during the course of the six games leading up to the World Cup—three matches against South Africa will come after the Australia series—India will still have a full roster available to them to decide on line-ups.
The T20 format emphasises flexibility, but India captain Rohit Sharma said before the first T20 that his team would prefer to gather “all the answers” from their players before the ICC’s premier event in Australia.
India used a lot of changes throughout the Asia Cup even though they batted brilliantly. It was also made clear that they lacked depth in the bowling department, but Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah are now back to support the assault.
Although Virat Kohli might get the chance to begin with Rohit in Australia, Rohit has made it plain that K L Rahul will be his opening partner. There will always be a temptation to force the star batsman to bat at the top, especially after he scored a spectacular hundred in his most recent T20 innings.
Will India choose to maintain the left-handed Pant over Karthik, the team’s chosen finisher, now that Ravindra Jadeja is injured? Karthik would be hoping for significant playing time over the next two weeks as he barely got to bat at the Asia Cup.
Although Deepak Hooda participated in every Super 4 game in the UAE, his position in the team is still unclear.
Jadeja’s injury at the Asia Cup threw off the team’s bowling balance. India was limited to using five bowlers out of a possible six bowlers.
India will have the additional bowling option if they play both Hardik Pandya and Jadeja’s like-for-like replacement, Axar Patel.
Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal, and Hardik can make up the pace attack, with Axar and Yuzvendra Chahal serving as the two spinners.
The management will conduct its operations while bearing in mind that the conditions in Australia will be very different from those here.
On the other hand, Australia has travelled to India without some of its key players, including David Warner (rested).
Prior to the World Cup, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, and Mitchell Marsh have also remained in Australia while recovering from minor ailments.
The attention will be on captain Aaron Finch, who recently announced his retirement from ODIs following a protracted dry spell. Before the World Cup at home, he will be looking for a lot of runs.
Power-hitter Tim David, who is due to make his Australia debut after playing international cricket for Singapore, is another guy who has drawn a lot of interest.
David has established a reputation for himself through his achievements in T20 competitions all across the world, and he will seek to do the same at the top level.
Australia: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
India:Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.