The most anticipated tour of the year is all set to begin as India take on Australia in a full-fledged tour, starting with a three-match T20I series on November 21. The first T20I of the series will be played at the iconic Gabba in Brisbane. Virat Kohli-led Team India has been red-hot form as they have won all the away series in the shortest format, which includes triumphs over teams like – South Africa, Ireland and England. Recently, the men in blue whitewashed the world champions – Windies in a three-match T20I series at home. Australia meanwhile, are going through a rough patch, they lost a series against Pakistan before getting outplayed in the latest one-off T20I against South Africa in their own backyard. Also Read - Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan Come Forward to Help Minorities in Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic
The hosts will look to break the deadlock in the white-ball format, looking to register their first ever series win after the ball-tampering saga. As both the teams gear up for the highly-anticipated battle, we take a look at the top five players who can make a difference in the upcoming T20I series. Also Read - Yuzvendra Chahal Revisits Old Passion Amid COVID-19 Lockdown, Says Chess Taught Him How to Stay Patient on Cricket Field
#5 Khaleel Ahmed: Also Read - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom Participate in Lights Off Challenge as Sporting Fraternity Unite in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic by Lighting Candles, Lamps
Since making his debut for Team India, pacer Khaleel Ahmed has managed to carve out a niche for himself amidst the fast-bowling heavyweights like – Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Umesh Yadav. The left-arm pacer has bolstered India’s fast-bowling resources and provided a much-needed variety to the one-dimensional attack. The 20-year-old scalped 3 wickets off 2 T20I matches, against Windies. However, the series against Australia in Australia will pose a tough test for Khaleel but at the same time also provides him a great opportunity to show his skills against a quality opposition.
#4 Jasprit Bumrah:
Rated as world’s number one death bowling specialist, Jasprit Bumrah has made a name for himself in white ball cricket. Since making his debut against Australia in Australia (in 2016, Bumrah has emerged as the leader of Indian pace attack in the limited-overs format. Bumrah’s pacer and guile will definitely test the Kangaroos in their own conditions. He also boasts off a good record against the Aussies – picking up 10 wickets out of 6 T20Iss. Bumrah can definitely be a trump card for the captain Kohli in the T20I series.
#3 Aaron Finch:
In absence of batting stalwarts like Steve Smith and David Warner, the Australian team is highly dependent on their captain – Aaron Finch to provide them a good start. He is one of the highest run-getter in this shortest format of the game against India. Finch has scored 342 runs out of 8 T20Is at an average of 42.75 against the men in blue. However, it will be interesting to see whether Finch can once again rose to the occasion and inspire Kangaroos to end the series win drought?
#2 Glenn Maxwell:
Hailed as one the most destructive batsmen in the world, Glenn Maxwell is a force to reckon with in limited-overs cricket. Maxwell is largely seen as the backbone of present Australian batting line-up. However, Maxwell’s inconsistency has been a concern for him in the past years. But, this year – Maxwell has batted with a lot of maturity and scored 462 runs at an average of 42 with a strike-rate of 150 out of 16 matches. His form will play a major role in Australia’s show against dominant Indians in the T20I rubber.
#1 Rohit Sharma:
The ‘Hitman’ is in his red-hot form and will be the serious concern for the hosts’ bowlers. Rohit recently became the only player to score four T20I centuries and became the second highest run-scorer in this shortest format of the game. He has scored 2207 runs off 87 T20Is and 287 against Australia in 15 matches.
Full squads of both teams:
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Washington Sundar.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.