India vs Australia: Captains of both teams pose with trophy

Ruben Holloway
November 20, 2018

India's first T20I is at Brisbane, a venue where Rohit feels batting poses a stiff challenge considering the bounce, and while Australia may be without the star trio of Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood for the T20Is, the likes of Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye and Nathan Coulter-Nile will not make life any easier for the Indian batsmen.

It remains to be seen whether being on home turf would raise the spirits for the once invincible Aussies. India who blanked West Indies in the the three-match T20 series earlier this month travel Down Under in high spirits.

While it undoubtedly strengthens the visitors, all eyes will be on how the Aaron Finch-led Australian side deals with the best batsman in world cricket at the moment.

"We have come here to compete against Australia, they are the home team and we definitely will not take anything for granted here regardless of any kind of situation that is present our focus as a team is to play good quality cricket and win games".

On his early trips Down Under, he has never quite been the Australian fans' favourite. He scored 199 runs in three innings during that 2016 T20I series' whitewash.

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Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri with captain Virat Kohli ahead of their departure for Australia.

"To be honest, they still have world-class cricketers", quipped Kohli. Rishabh Pant will don the gloves in his absence as the team is looking for the veteran's long-term replacement.

Ignored for the tour of England, Rohit put up stunning performances in the Asia Cup and the series against West Indies, which rewarded him a berth in the Test squad for the tour of Australia. In England, the skipper Kohli had batted at number four, allowing KL Rahul to bat at number three in light of his stupendous form in the 2018 Indian Premier League.

The other option is to leave out Manish Pandey, who has got limited opportunities of late.

However, perhaps with an eye on the four-Test series against Australia after the T20s, the Indian team management has made a decision to give Pant a chance at keeping wickets in coloured clothing as well. The left-arm pacer has bolstered India's fast-bowling resources and provided a much-needed variety to the one-dimensional attack. With the Board of Cricket Control in India announcing the 12-man squad for the 1st T20 on Tuesday, it is nearly clear as to who will start and who will miss the cut.

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As far as the rest of the team is concerned, Krunal Pandya has managed to retain his place after an impressive show against the Caribbean side. A few days back, when Australia suffered a 21-run loss at the hands of South Africa in a curtailed encounter, it was their sixth loss in eight games - with their only two victories coming against Zimbabwe and UAE. "But most of the guys have come to Australia before, they understand the conditions", Sharma said.

Test cricket is the format Rohit wants to excel in.

India's 12-member squad for 1st T20I: Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Meanwhile, for Australia, Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn are set to carry on at the top of the order.

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