India vs Australia: Preview, Dream XI of first T20I
India and Australia gear up for the first T20I to be played on February 24 in Vishakapatnam. Both teams would be wanting to start strongly in the two-match T20I series ahead of the ODIs. Momentum is key here for India, who suffered a 1-2 defeat against New Zealand in the shortest format recently. Here is everything you need to know.
India's top order will want to lay strong foundation
The return of Virat Kohli will boost India and provide the solidity in the top order. India will be aiming to seek a strong foundation and they possess the steel to do the same. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are likely to open the innings and their experience is vital. KL Rahul provides back-up, but India could prefer him for the second match.
Focus on Rishabh Pant in middle order
Rishabh Pant will be tried out in the middle order and there is a chance for him to show his credentials. The youngster will be handed the license to express himself ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019. In MS Dhoni, the side has the desired experience in the middle order. A lot depends on these two to consolidate against the Aussies.
Bumrah return hands boost, Markande could be handed debut
Krunal Pandya and Vijay Shankar are the two all-rounders of this side. Expect the two to share the bowling. Jasprit Bumrah makes a return to the side after being rested in recent times. Umesh Yadav has been in form and gets a deserved recall. With Kuldeep Yadav missing, India might be tempted to give Mayank Markande his debut. He could bowl alongside Yuzvendra Chahal.
Australia have plenty of positivity to count upon
Australian players will be looking to bank upon the recent exploits in the Big Bash League. D'Arcy Short ruled the BBL and scored lots of runs. Pacer Kane Richardson was among the wickets and will be using his variations. Aaron Finch will look to battle his poor form in international cricket. His side won the BBL08 title and that can propel him.
IND vs AUS: Here's our choice of the Dream XI
Rohit gets the captaincy nod and will open the batting with the in-form D'Arcy Short atop in this fantasy side. Kohli comes in next and Pant follows suit to add some variety. Dhoni is the wicket-keeper batsman. Aussies Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are the two all-rounders. A three-man pace attack sees Richardson, Umesh and Bumrah (vice-captain) feature. Chahal is the lone main spinner.
Timing, TV listing and India's performances at this venue
The first T20I between the two sides will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. The match is set to start at 7:00 PM IST on Sunday. One can stream the match live on Hotstar. India had earlier beaten Sri Lanka here in 2016. The other T20I match between India and New Zealand in 2012 got abandoned.