India Vs Australia, 1st T20I: Three Key Battles to Look Forward To

A new look Team India will take on the dauntless, buoyant Australia in the five-match T20I series starting on Thursday, mere days after their defeat to the latter in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final. Here's a look at three possible player battles from the 1st T20I in Vishakhapatnam

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Match 5: India vs Australia

Australia defeated India in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 recently and it seems the wounds of that loss is still fresh. With both the finalists going head-to-head in the T20 format, expect fireworks in the 5-match series. (Streaming | Match BlogPreview | ScorecardCricket News)

For India, Hardik Pandya is injured, so the reins have been handed over to Suryakumar Yadav. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who led India to a historic gold at the Asian Games 2023, will be his deputy. There are some fresh faces in the Indian team with Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma amongst others getting a run-in. Mukesh Kumar, who impressed on the tour of the West Indies in Tests, has been included.

Australia on the other hand, have given David Warner a much-needed rest; Aaron Hardie replaces him the side. Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade will lead the side as the likes of Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa will look to add more woes onto the Indian contingent.

Here are the three key battles every cricket fan will be looking forward to for the upcoming India vs Australia 1st T20I:

Ruturaj Gaikwad Vs Jason Behrendorff

Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad is a capable T20 batter up the order. In T20Is, his strike rate is 127.65 and he also has a century to his name in the IPL with Chennai Super Kings. Gaikwad's rise has been commendable and, with T20 World Cup next year, the CSK opener will look to seal his spot. In his wake however, is Aussie pacer Jason Behrendorff. The left-arm fast bowler has featured in 10 T20Is but knows a thing or two about Gaikwad from his time in the IPL. Behrendorff's BBL career is quite excellent with 107 wickets in 86 matches at an economy of 20.13. This dual will really set the stage on fire and will really bring a great battle between bat and ball.

Tim David Vs Ravi Bishnoi

The sturdy Tim David did not feature in the ODIs for Australia but will mark his return in the T20I format. David's batting down the order is quite popular amongst many avid IPL fans but Ravi Bishnoi will look to halt the run-flow. Bishnoi has 25 wickets in his 16-match T20I career but with Indian conditions at hand, expect the spinner to give extra grip to the ball. David is known to be quite the aggressor against spin and Bishnoi will fancy this battle as the duo go head-to-head in the 1st T20I at Vishakhapatnam on Thursday.

Mukesh Kumar Vs Travis Head

Surprisingly, Aussie southpaw Travis Head will feature in the T20Is against India. His knock in the final is still fresh in everyone's minds but this time around, Head will face an all-new bowling attack. Mukesh Kumar is one who could be the 'X-factor' for Team India. The 30-year-old Bengal pacer is eyeing a continuous run in the Indian team with an eye on the T20 World Cup. Mukesh's pace is quite prominent and if Head starts to attack early on, it will be interesting to see how the Indian pacer keeps the Aussie southpaw quiet.

India vs Australia T20I series: Squads

India (IND): Suryakumar Yadav (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vc), Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shreyas Iyer (last two matches only)

Australia (AUS): Matthew Wade (c), Aaron Hardie, Jason Behrendorff, Sean Abbott, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa