Team India is touring Australia for a white-ball and red-ball cricket tour. The excitement is high amongst all fans as all the tickets for the limited-over series are sold. In today’s segment, we discuss the important factors for India to retain success in Australia. In limited-overs cricket, India has evolved new memories as it lost just one T20 in Australia out of six, and is the first team to have taken a clean sweep in T20s on the Australian soil. In the last tour, India defeated the Aussies 2-1 in the ODI series. The recent success over Australia put India ahead in white-ball cricket.
Last year, India and Australia faced each other in 9 ODIs, including the World Cup meeting in England. India won five matches and lost four. In the first away assignment, India secured a 2-1 victory. In reply, Australia pulled off a remarkable comeback in the series by beating India at home 3-2, getting down 2-0 in the series. In England, India defeated Australia convincingly, thanks to a brilliant ton from Dhawan.
What’s new in the ODIs this time? The COVID-19 outbreak will not affect India’s preparation as all players have played the Indian T20 League for more than a month. Aussies have also featured in this T20 tournament and played the white-ball series against England. Australia also defeated World Cup winner England in the ODI series, courtesy of a great chase from Alex Carey and Maxwell. The preparation is high, and the excitement has also increased with the media’s role. Fans will also be seen on the ground, so the atmosphere of the game will deliver a remarkable show of cricket.
The opening slot in ODIs
With Rohit Sharma included in the Tests only, whom India would try in the ODIs? The T20's opening slot is done with KL Rahul and Sikhar Dhawan, who had a glorious season at the Indian T20 League. Mayank Agarwal and Shubhman Gill have been included in the ODIs, and Agarwal might get the captain's final nod.
Mayank Agarwal has been a promising talent since his international debut in 2018, and he proved his worth in white-ball at the domestic level. He scored a fine century for Punjab this season and aggregated more than 400 runs in Indian T20 League 2020.
Hardik, the batsman not as an all-rounder
After the injury in 2019, Hardik Pandya is playing as a batsman, and in a batting role, the right-hand batsman was in great touch in Indian T20 League, scoring 281 runs with a strike rate of 178.98. Pandya has been a critical figure for India with the bowl in middle-overs, and it gave Kohli to look for depth in batting at number 7 or 8, but the scenario is changed. Hardik will not bowl in Australia means India will have to pick a proper pacer along with Shami and Bumrah. Will Kohli find a new way to crack this code in ODIs? It belongs to the skipper himself.
The middle-overs mystery and Jadeja
On overseas tours, India went with Kuldeep and Chahal as the main spinners, which was a great success for Kohli. The duo delivered breakthroughs in middle-overs, but Jadeja's late success with the bat made this duo problematic. Kohli dropped one spinner and picked Jadeja due to his all-around skill, but it becomes an unfavorable call. India toured New Zealand and suffered a clean-sweep in ODIs.
Jadeja is quite useful at the finishing end, but he is not picking wickets in middle-overs. With a prominent batting unit, if Kohli still backs Jadeja as the 5th bowling option considering Pandya as a proper batsman, India will suffer.
T20 side is more balanced than ODIs
If we break down the current squad in both ODI and T20 format, India looks more balanced in T20s. With KL Rahul and Dhawan at the top, followed by Kohli, Iyer, and Pandey in the middle, and Pandya at the finishing end, India is a dangerous batting unit in the shorter format. Jadeja and Washington Sunder are two good options, along with Chahal. One player will make a way, and Jadeja takes the final whistle.
In pace, Natarajan is a prominent inclusion who bowled exceptionally great, and with Bumrah, he can give India a right balance in death-overs. The recent success put Shami at the top, ahead of Navdeep Saini. In ODIs, the story is slightly different, and it keeps Australia a bit ahead in the 50-overs format.