India vs Australia 1st T20I: Preview and Prediction

Aaron Finch and Rohit Sharma at the toss in one of the matches in the past

Rohit Sharma & Co. are set to take on the T20 World Champions Australia, eyeing preparation for next month’s ICC T20 World Cup.

Both teams would look to gain momentum ahead of the biggest competition, and nothing is better than competing against each other. Undoubtedly, the conditions in India are not going to be similar to those in Australia during the major event, but playing against a top-quality bowling attack would help India to gain confidence.

The first T20I will take place in Mohali on Tuesday and the pitch in Mohali is known to assist the seamers giving a good chance for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah to set their tone early in the series. 

Bumrah is coming back after an injury and will look to grab the opportunity with both hands in these upcoming six T20Is against Australia and South Africa. Harshal Patel is also making his way back into the squad after an injury and he would want to give his best to be in the playing XI for the World Cup.

Mohammad Shami, who was included in the series against Australia, is now out of the squad for the initial matches after testing positive for COVID-19. Recently, it surprised almost every cricket fan when Shami’s name was not in the top 15 for the T20 World Cup, though he was there as a standby player. However, it is highly unlikely now that he will get a game in the major event.

What have the teams done so far?

India might have had a below-average performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup, but they are in the zone of playing T20Is. Also, playing at home will help them perform better against Australia. On the other hand, Australia last played a T20I series against Sri Lanka in June, where they won 2-1, losing the final match to the heroics of Dasun Shanaka.

It could be possible for Australia to take some time to settle into the format. From the first game, it is not going to be easy for them to score runs against opposition like India. They have been playing more ODIs these days, which could be the reason for their downfall in T20Is.

Head to Head Record in T20I

Australia is the current World Champion, but they have lost more T20I games to India. In a total of 23 matches to date, India has beaten the Kangaroos 13 times while Aaron Finch’s men have won on 9 occasions. However, one game was a no-result affair.

Key Players

Virat Kohli: ‘Batsman’ Virat Kohli is back with a bang in the recently concluded Asia Cup. Though his heroics couldn’t help India win the title, his great form is a sigh of relief for every cricket fan. Kohli’s 71st century was celebrated like a festival by the Indian fans, and it came just at the right time ahead of the T20 World Cup.

If Kohli continues with this kind of form, no one can stop India from scoring big runs in the tournament. The game against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup was a glimpse of the old Virat Kohli, where we witnessed every shot from him from cover drives and flicks to pulls and sweeps.

This time, he will be up against bowlers like Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, and Josh Hazlewood, who are all world-class bowlers. King Kohli’s form would be crucial in this T20I series for India. Mohali’s pitch will give help to pacers and Kohli is one of the best batsmen in the world who plays better against fast bowlers and it would be interesting to see the battle.

Glenn Maxwell: Known for his exceptional power-hitting, especially in T20 matches, Glenn Maxwell is one of the most unpredictable players on the planet. This is the perfect time for Maxwell to get into his zone before the World Cup.

Moreover, it won’t be easy for him to play against Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel. Both of them have variations in their bowling which they are surely going to use.

The Mohali pitch can suit a player like Maxwell as the ball comes to the bat nicely after being pitched. He will most probably bat at number 4 or 5, which could make things easier for him as the ball will get old till the time he arrives at the crease.

Predicted XIs

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Josh Inglis, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood


India would definitely have home advantage in this series. The fast bowlers will benefit from the first game in Mohali, and the comeback man, Jasprit Bumrah, will be one to watch with Virat Kohli’s recent form being another advantage for India. The Indian team looks better on paper, but one can never underestimate Australia as they are World Champions right now.

The only advantage Australia has is that they will be playing with three regular pacers, while India will have only one genuine fast bowler as Harshal and Bhuvneshwar are medium pacers with more variations.