'On our way to India': Australia gearing up for big three-match series ahead of T20 World Cup
Australia tour India for a three-match T20I series starting on September 20 as they begin their run-in to their title defence at the T20 World Cup which they will host.
Australia begin their final run-up to the T20 World Cup, which they host later this year, by facing India away from home. While India had played in the Asia Cup, Australia beat New Zealand in a three-match ODI series 3-0 and will next host England in a three-match T20I series before the start of the marquee tournament. Fast bowler Pat Cummins, who is also Australia's captain in Test cricket, posted a photo on his social media handles in which he said that the team is on its way to India.
The first match of the series will be played in Mohali on September 20. This will be followed by the second match in Nagpur on September 23 and the final match will be played in Hyderabad on September 25.
Australia are touring India after the high of beating New Zealand 3-0 in the ODI series in their home turf. The team from down under will be missing some its key players namely Mitchell Starc, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis on the tour. Aaron Finch, who recently announced retirement from ODI cricket, will be captaining the Australian team in the T20I series.
On the other side, India have completed the missing firepower in its arsenal with the entry of bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Harshal Patel in the squad. Shami will be hungry to deliver a spectacular performance against Australia and make a case for himself in the playing XI for world cup.
The visitors are currently ranked 6th in the world while India sits at the top in the rankings. But given the nature of the format, the series is expected to be a close fight with some nail biting matches. The first T20I of the series will be played in Mohali on September 20, Tuesday.
Australia will be without three key players for the India tour. Mitch Starc (knee), Mitch Marsh (ankle), and Marcus Stoinis (side) have all been ruled out of the tour, and Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams, and Sean Abbott have been added to the squad in their place. David Warner was already unavailable since he was provided with a break.
The three injuries are mild, but Australia has taken a prudent stance ahead of the T20 World Cup, which gets underway on October 22 when they play New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the India tour involves travelling to three different locations for three games in India.
Marsh and Stoinis suffered injuries during Australia's ODI series in north Queensland against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, but Starc was forced to withdraw from the tour after a scan on his knee was conducted today in Sydney. Warner, Marsh, Starc, and Stoinis are all anticipated to be available for Australia's home T20 series against the West Indies and England leading up to the World Cup.