After being thwarted in the first two One-Day Internationals, India made a stunning comeback in the third and final encounter against Australia and managed to earn a consolation win. Virat Kohli and Co. would now look to carry that momentum into the three-match Twenty20 International series, starting Friday (December 4) at Manuka Oval, Canberra.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Matches – 20 | AUS – 8 Wins | IND – 11 Wins | NR 1
Last 5 T20Is: AUS – 3 Wins | IND – 1 Win | NR 1
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details and team combination
The surface at Manuka Oval is more favourable to the batsmen than any other venue in Australia. In T20s since 2019, the batsmen here have scored runs at a rate of 8.4 and an average of 31.3 - highest amongst all venues in Australia (minimum 4 matches). The balls per dismissal of 22.4 is also the most amongst all grounds in this time period. Hence, it would be ideal to pack your XI with some solid top-order batsmen.
There's not much difference when you look at "pace v spin" when it comes to this venue. Since 2019, fast bowlers here have been more expensive but have a slightly better strike rate - 23.1. Meanwhile, spinners here have an average of 32.1 and a strike rate of 24.6 in this time frame.
Both Australia and India have some outstanding bowlers who are genuine wicket-takers. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Sams and a few more are proper wicket-takers. Both teams also have some fantastic spinners and it would be ideal to have at least two of them. It would also be good to have a couple of all-rounders in your XI.
KL Rahul: The wicketkeeper-batsman didn't have a great ODI series but when it comes to the shortest format of the game, Rahul is one of the best in the business. The Kings XI Punjab captain emerged as the leading run-scorer in IPL 2020, amassing 670 runs at an average of 55.83 and a strike rate of 129.34. The stylish right-hander batted at No. 5 in the ODI series but will be back at the top in T20Is. Rahul averages almost 50 in T20Is since 2019, and could also get you some crucial points from behind the stumps.
Virat Kohli: The Indian captain loves playing in Australia. Down Under, the batting maestro has slammed 317 runs in seven innings at an average of 79.25 and a strike rate of 145.4. Kohli smashed two fifties in the ODI series but didn't quite dominate the bowlers as everyone would have expected. The 32-year-old is in Australia only till the first Test and would look to make as many runs as possible. Kohli didn't have an outstanding IPL but when it comes to international cricket, he is a different beast altogether.
Glenn Maxwell: The flamboyant batsman had a horrible IPL but managed to turn things around in the recently-concluded ODI series, and he did that in some style. After having scored just 108 runs at 15.42 in the IPL, Maxwell set the roof on fire during the ODI series. The right-hander smoked 167 runs at a strike rate of 194.18 and would now look to take that form into the ODI series. Maxwell has done well in the seven T20Is he has played since 2019, averaging almost 53. If needed, the all-rounder could also chip in with his offspin and get you some extra points.
Aaron Finch: Just like Maxwell, Finch too struggled in the IPL but has found his form after returning to Australia. The Australian captain scored a century and two fifties and got the most runs in the ODI series. No other Australian batsman has scored more runs than Finch in T20Is since 2019. On top of that, Finch has a superb T20I record at home and would try to continue to dominate the Indian bowlers.