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India vs Australia: Top 5 player battles to watch out for in T20I series

India vs Australia: With the first T20I taking place on Sunday, here’s a look at the Top 5 player battles to watch out for in the series.

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2019 16:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs Australia,India vs Australia T20I,India vs Australia T20
Virat Kohli (L) congratulates teammate Khaleel Ahmed on dismissing Australia's batsman D'Arcy Short.(AFP)

Virat Kohli returns to lead India in their final rubber before World Cup 2019 with two T20s followed by a five-match one day international series as the hosts look to continue their brilliant run of form in 2019. With the first T20I taking place on Sunday, here’s a look at the Top 5 player battles to watch out for -

Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins

The Indian skipper is back in the side after sitting out the latter stages of the New Zealand tour on account of workload management. Kohli will be expected to continue scoring with the same consistency that has defined his batting in recent years but he will have a formidable opponent in Cummins. The visiting Indian team recorded a historic bilateral ODI series win Down Under but their task was made easier as the frontline Australian attack was rested. A well rested Cummins, in particular, will relish the challenge of bowling to the Indian batsmen on unforgiving pitches.

Aaron Finch vs Jasprit Bumrah

The Australian team were beset by their poor form of their misfiring skipper during their recent series against India. And Finch will look to set the record straight in the two T20Is in India. However, he will first have to cope with the fiery quick bowling of India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. The Gujarat bowler wreaked havoc in Australian conditions and will look to bowl with same venom after being rested for the New Zealand tour.

Glenn Maxwell vs Yuzvendra Chahal

Maxwell is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world in shorter formats of the game. But his inconsistency is a major cause of concern for the Australian management. He has often hauled out at deep mid-wicket against the spinners and Chahal will look to exploit the same chink in Maxwell’s armour. However, if Maxwell connects well chances are he will be clearing the ropes with relative ease.

Rohit Sharma vs Jason Behrendorff

The Indian opener has had his issues against left-arm pacers in the past. He doesn’t quite play them with the same abandon that he does other bowlers and Behrendorff will be eager to test Sharma with his pace and the ability to bring the ball into the right-handers. Sharma has scored runs on all kinds of pitches and he will be more than up to  Behrendorff’s challenge at home. The Australian pacer can be unplayable on his day, however, as he proved in only his second T20I, against India in October 2017.

Ravindra Jadeja vs Marcus Stoinis

Australian legend Matthew Hayden recently lavished praise on his compatriot Stoinis, and declared him to be better than his Indian rival Hardik Pandya. “Stoinis has adopted a wider approach to his game which is winning matches for his country. Hardik Pandya also has the same responsibility, but I think right now Stoinis is a better player”, Hayden said. Pandya will miss the chance to prove the legendary Aussie wrong but his replacement, Jadeja, will have his task cut out.

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 16:20 IST