Will India Be Able To Turn Things Around Against Australia In The T20 Series?
India suffered their second consecutive ODI defeat against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SGC) on Nov 29 and lost the three-match ODI series 2-0. The third ODI will take place on Dec 02, and the Aussies will look to complete a series whitewash. They go in as the betting favorite with odds (8/15), and India has odds (6/4).
A three-match T20 series will follow the ODI series. We take a look at what India must do to turn things around and win the T20 series.
India Must Win 3rd ODI To Gain Confidence
The 3rd ODI will occur in the capital Canberra and will be an important game for India even though they have already lost the series. India needs to put up a better fight and win because it will take away Australia’s momentum and give team India the confidence they need for the T20 series and the test series.
When you look at the scorecards for the first two ODI’s, you will see that India lost the first match by 66 runs and the second by 51 runs. It appears that India actually got better because the margin of defeat came down, but truth be told, the men in blue were dominated in all formats of the game.
They never looked like winning in both games, and that will be the biggest concern for captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. The Indian think-tank decided to go with the same team and use the same strategy in the second ODI, and it backfired yet again.
India needs to make changes to their playing XI if they are going to win the third ODI.
Selection Blunders Must Stop In T20 Series
India has made crucial selection blunders in their overseas tours that have cost them games. The last tours of South Africa and England come to mind as the selectors got the playing XI wrong, and it showed in the end result. The same thing happened in the first two ODIs and cost India the series.
If India continues to make blunders with their playing XI for the T20 series, expect Australia to walk away with the T20 series as well. Shastri and Kohli are not selectors, but there is no question that they have the selectors’ ear. India has a lot of T20 cricket under their belt, given the fact that they just finished playing IPL 2020.
Our playing XI for the T20 series will be KL Rahul and S Dhawan opening the batting, followed by captain Virat Kohli at 3 and S Iyer at 4. Sanju Samson should take the gloves and bat at 5, and M Pandey should come in at 6. H Pandya should bat at 7 as the all-rounder. The four bowlers should be W Sundar, T Natarajan, and D Chahar, and J Bumrah.
Justifying Our Playing XI
The T20 squad to Australia lacks big hitters and accomplished all-rounders. We picked the playing XI with the resources that were available on tour to Australia. There is no R Sharma, and his absence makes a huge difference as Sharma controls the innings at the top of the order.
There is no R Pant to play the big shots in the middle-order, and hence we have to get S Samson in as early as possible as he needs to find his timing and get set. H Pandya will have a big role to play towards the end of the innings. It will be up to the top three batsmen to play a big knock and get India to over 160.
The bowling department is okay regarding the seamers as M Shami, and N Saini are the backup bowlers. J Bumrah has looked out of form during the ODI series, but he is an exceptionally T20 bowler. D Chahar gets the nod ahead of M Shami to keep things tight and get wickets early on. We went with T Natarajan as the third seamer because he brings something new to the bowling line up and has that X factor going for him.
We have not picked Y Chahal as he has been dreadful during the ODI series, and we have preferred to go with W Sundar, who is very economical and can be used to open the bowling.
What Will The Selectors Do?
We will have to wait and watch the third ODI to see what the selectors are thinking. If they make changes in the third ODI, it will indicate that they have realized they got things wrong and are willing to make the changes. If they persist with their selection, then the T20 series could very well end up like the ODI series – a lost cause!