India looks to extend T20 domination

A confident India will look to extend its domination, while a hapless Australia would aim for a change of fortunes in the three-match T20 series beginning here on Saturday.

M.S. Dhono and Axar Patel at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi on Friday.   -  Manob Chowdhury

A confident India will look to extend its domination, while a hapless Australia would aim for a change of fortunes in the three-match T20 series beginning here on Saturday.

India dominated the limited over series against Australia with a 4-1 win to reclaim the No.1 ODI rankings and Virat Kohli and his men would be keen for a perfect finish to the T20I series.

A reliable pool of bowlers in both pace and spin department to complement its traditional batting might is what makes Virat Kohli's side look so formidable.

Read: Australia captain Smith leaves India tour over injury

The side has looked flawless, be it against reigning world champion Australia or a new-look Sri Lanka.

The rise of Hardik Pandya, the guile of the two wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, have made life difficult for Australia in the one-day series.

But come T20Is, it could be worse for Australia as India boasts of a 9-3 head-to-head record.

In the last T20I bilateral series, India made a 3-0 clean sweep in Australia in January last year while it has lost only once out of the five series played between the two nations.

For India, all eyes would be on old warhorse Ashish Nehra who has been recalled for the T20I series, having last played against England in February this year.

The 38-year-old's ability to notch up pace and his death bowling ability will be a key factor for India as the left-arm pacer would add variety to the pace attack of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.

Nehra has played 26 T20Is and took 34 wickets and still has the world batsmen in awe, something that was seen during the Sunrisers Hyderabad's campaign in IPL.

For Australia, it's paramount to get back to winning rhythm with the Ashes series beckoning in a month's time. It’s over reliance on Steve Smith and David Warner and the middle order's failure to capitalise was the reason behind Australia's failure in the ongoing series.

Since his outstanding tour of India in February and March, Smith has managed 347 runs at 34.70 in 10 ODIs in the Champions Trophy and tours of Bangladesh and India, and is yet to score a century.

With middle order equally inconsistent, the onus will be on the opening duo of Warner and Aaron Finch to give them a strong start.

Finch scored 250 runs in three innings, while Warner made 245 runs from five outings in the just-concluded ODI series and they would hold the key to its campaign in the T20Is.

Match Starts at 7pm