India and Australia face each other in a three-match T20I series, starting September 20. The first match is set to take place in Mohali while the rest two matches will take place in Nagpur (September 23) and Hyderabad (September 25). Besides looking to win the matches against each other, both sides will also use the series to find a settled playing XI ahead of the T20 World Cup that is slated to take place in Australia in October-November this year.
Talking about India, their batting department looks good. Meanwhile, their bowling is also more or less settled. It is certainly the pick between wicketkeepers Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik that will be the biggest dilemma for the selectors. The team management has given Karthik fair attention in the recent past but the lack of batting opportunities has kept the player’s form still in doubt.
Come what may, Karthik has definitely become a big competitor of Pant and if any of the two fail in their performances from here, it is likely to make place for the other.
Here is what we think could be India’s playing XI against Australia in the first T20I:
KL Rahul: The right-handed batter is failing to find rhythm post his return from injury in the Indian squad. He is lacking freedom in his stroke play and he must use the series against Australia to get back to his best.
Rohit Sharma: The captain has been in good batting form. Not many big scores have come in the recent past from his bat, but Rohit has looked extremely positive in his batting approach, something that has a lot of weightage in the T20 format.
Virat Kohli: The former India captain is finally back in his groove. After a sensational Asia Cup campaign on the individual front, Kohli should continue his good form in the three-match series against Australia.
Suryakumar Yadav: The right-handed batter needs to give himself more time at the crease. Form and confidence have never been a question for him, but his consistency will definitely keep things under control for the team considering the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Dinesh Karthik: The wicketkeeper-batter got negligible game time in the recently-concluded Asia Cup. The team management has shown its trust on the player but it should also focus on giving him some more batting opportunities ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022. This reason might help Karthik make a cut into playing XI.
Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder failed to impress in his last two matches in Asia Cup against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Hardik must be aiming for a good comeback in the upcoming series against Australia.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The right-arm off-spinner has been decent for India with his performance of late, but he must be aiming to contribute with the bat as well.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The right-arm pacer was taken to the cleaners in the death overs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the 2022 Asia Cup. He would be looking at the T20I series against Australia as an opportunity to fine-tune himself ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Harshal Patel: The right-arm pacer returns to the national team set-up after recovering from injury. Harshal has got a good opportunity to test his bowling skills against a quality team like Australia.
Jasprit Bumrah: The pace spearhead of Indian bowling is finally back to the team after recovering from injury. Bumrah is one of the extremely precious players for India and his form will have a big say in the performance of the team in the upcoming matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner was wicketless in his first two matches in the 2022 Asia Cup, but he finally returned to form against Sri Lanka with figures of 3/34.
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