India vs Australia 1st T20I Gabba: BCCI has announced a 12-member squad for the 1st T20I against Australia at the iconic Gabba twenty-four hours ahead of the first T20I. All-rounder Krunal Pandya and young pacer Khaleel Ahmed have been included in the Indian team for the first game of the three-match series. There were no real surprises in the Virat Kohli-led team, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting for the tourists, with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to follow. Rishabh Pant would be the wicketkeeper as expected and Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would lead the pace battery. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be the two regular spinners in the side.
India would be a more confident side going into the 1st T20I at Gabba, given they have been in good form recently and on the other hand Australia without David Warner and Steve Smith look inexperienced and have been in poor form lately in all the three formats.
India 12-Man Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Yuzvendra Chahal.
In a bid to assert themselves as favourites for the Test series, which starts December 6 in Adelaide, India would be hoping to dominate the three T20Is. The touring side has won its previous seven T20I series dating back to November 2017, and its last defeat in the format was against West Indies in July last year.
Not to mention, on their last visit here, the Men in Blue won the T20I series 3-0. So, they will be riding high on a wave of confidence and eager to make an early mark on this trip.
Australian cricket, in contrast, has been dogged by structural reform in the wake of the ball-tampering saga in South Africa in March and it has resulted in turbulence on the field as well. Only on Tuesday, Cricket Australia ruled out reducing the bans of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft in reply to a plea submission from the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA).
In the absence of Smith and Warner, Australia’s results have fallen off a cliff. Since the ban, they are yet to win a T20I series against an opposition of note since March.
They lost to England in a one-off game in June, then lost to Pakistan in the T20I tri-series final in Zimbabwe, lost 3-0 to Pakistan again in the bilateral series in the UAE, and then lost to South Africa in a rain-curtailed one-off match on Saturday.
Going by the initial trends it looks like this will be a highly watched clash as two heavyweights from the cricketing world lock horns. India would be outright favourites going into the series as they have the No 1 batsman on their side and he is in the form of his life.