Wed. May 29th, 2024

IND vs AUS T20Is | Chance for youngsters to test their skills against a quality side

By Sampad May1,2024
New think-tank: Coach Laxman and skipper Suryakumar discuss the game-plan.

New think-tank: Coach Laxman and skipper Suryakumar discuss the game-plan.
| Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

The memories of the World Cup final between India and Australia are still vivid, and for the Indian fan, the wound from the loss has barely begun to heal. It was a spectacular campaign for the hosts and they only faltered at the final hurdle against the mighty Aussies.

On Thursday, the two teams will meet here at the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium to kick off a five-match T20 international series.

Not surprisingly, India has opted for a new line-up, giving most members of its World Cup squad a much-needed rest after a gruelling two-and-a-half months which started with the Asia Cup in September. Only three players, Suryakumar Yadav — who will lead the team — Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna continue from the ODI squad.

Though cricket’s marquee event just ended, the ICC T20 World Cup, the next big event, is justs seven months away. With India set to play just 11 T20Is from now till June next year, apart from the Indian Premier League, the preparations for the tournament in the West Indies and the U.S. will begin in earnest here on Thursday.

Since winning the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, India has had a poor run in the tournament, reaching the summit clash only once (in 2014) where it lost to Sri Lanka. In last year’s event in Australia, England blew India away by 10 wickets in the semifinals.

The squad for this series includes many youngsters who have shown promise in the IPL and were part of the successful tour to Ireland and at the Asian Games. But the next 10 days will be their first real chance to test their skills against a top-quality international team and stake a claim for a more consistent run at the highest level.

It will be interesting to see if Ishan Kishan dons the big glove or if Jitesh Sharma, who practised his keeping skills on Wednesday, will do the job. The series also offers a chance for all-rounder Axar Patel to get back into the groove after missing the World Cup due to a quadricep strain.

Australia will have as many as seven players from the World Cup-winning squad for this series, with wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade leading the side. With conditions in the West Indies likely to be similar to India, the Men in Yellow would want the youngsters to get acclimatised to spinning pitches.

Though Travis Head, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell are part of the squad, Wade insisted they won’t be pressured into playing the first match.

Despite resting its front-line quicks, Australia has a strong bowling attack led by pacers Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis and Jason Behrendorff, with leg-spinners Adam Zampa and Tanveer Sangha to complement them.

While the scheduling of this series might not be ideal, coming just four days after an exciting World Cup final, Suryakumar’s men will look to overcome Sunday’s loss and start preparations for India’s next big target.

The teams (from):

India: Suryakumar Yadav (Capt.), Ruturaj Gaikwad, 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 and Mukesh Kumar.

Australia: Matthew Wade (Capt.), 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 and Adam Zampa.

Umpires: Nitin Menon & Rohan Pandit; TV Umpire: J.R. Madanagopal; Reserve umpire: K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan; Match Referee: Javagal Srinath.

Match starts at 7 p.m.

By Sampad

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