First T20 - IND vs. AUS
MATCH UP STATS
First T20 - IND vs. AUS
Best bets for top bowlerIndia: Jasprit Bumrah - $4 at William HillAustralia: Nathan Coulter-Nile - $4.50 at William Hill
AUSTRALIA’s squad for the Twenty20 leg of their subcontinental sojourn features some notable changes from the mob that was so thoroughly beaten in the recent One Day International series.
Gone are Hilton Cartwright and the injured Ashton Agar, making way for the experienced all-round duo of Dan Christian and Moises Henriques.
Matthew Wade and Peter Handscomb are also out, with a resurgent Tim Paine taking back the gloves in an early audition for the upcoming 2017/18 Ashes campaign.
West Australian seamer Jason Behrendorff is in line for an international debut, while T20 specialist Andrew Tye will have another chance to stake his claim at the highest level.
Few would bat an eyelid if India headed to Ranchi with the same group that ran out 4-1 winners in the ODIs, but some well-travelled customers are pushing for selection this weekend.
One is the evergreen Ashish Nehra, who could come into the bowling attack if either Jasprit Bumrah or Bhuvneshwar Kumar is given a rest.
Top-order bats Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul both fell out of favour on the recent tour of Sri Lanka, but Ajinkya Rahane’s omission from the squad should give at least one of them a shot at redemption.
India T20 squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul.
Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Virat Kohli betting specials
- Over 26.5 runs – $1.88 at CrownBet
- Top India batsman – $4 at Bet365
- Top match batsman – $5.50 at Sportsbet
- Most sixes – $6.50 at Bet365
- Man of the match – $8 at Sportsbet
By his ludicrously lofty standards, the Indian skipper was some ways short of his match-winning best during the ODI series.
While he made strong starts in all but the first game, only once in five innings did he pass 50.
We can expect much, much more over the next three outings from a man who has turned T20 batting into an inimitable artform.
Kohli averages 53.82 in Twenty20 Internationals – a figure that puts him leagues ahead of any other player, past or present.
He also leads the all-time rankings for most scores of 50 or better (17) and fewest innings to reach 1000 career runs (27).
Both squads feature players who can hit it further and score a bit quicker, but none are as consistently and effortlessly damaging as Kohli.
India vs. Australia match prediction
The hosts could quite easily win all three of these games.
While the Aussies are not as apathetic about T20 cricket as they used to be, their squad struggles to match up on a man-to-man basis.
David Warner and Aaron Finch are two of the best hitters in the world, but Steve Smith is nothing special in the short format, Travis Head is yet to make a real impact on the international stage and Glenn Maxwell is Glenn Maxwell.
While India are not quite at full strength, the fact they can afford to leave a player of Rahane’s quality out of the Twenty20 squad altogether speaks volumes of their strength in depth.
The bowlers are in reasonable touch as well, so we are siding with Kohli and company.
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