Stats: More Than Just Rankings, Trophy at Stake in India-Aus T20Is
All the stats involving India and Australia ahead of the three-match T20I series between the teams.
They suffered a 13-run loss in the final ODI at Canberra but hosts Australia will be eyeing a win in the three-match T20I series against India – which begins in Canberra on Friday, 4 December – as an opportunity to reclaim their position at the top of the ICC T20I Rankings.
Australia were the top-ranked team in the ICC T20I rankings at the start of the week, but have now slipped to second place after England clinched the top position following their 3-0 series win over South Africa.
A series win against India will ensure Australia climb back to the perch of the rankings.
For the Indian team, the series presents the opportunity to climb up to second place; if India are to win the series 3-0, like they did in 2016, Virat Kohli and company will displace Australia from the second place.
Australia, as a team, are playing T20 cricket better than ever before; their results in recent years are an apt justification as to why they are among the top two teams in the world.
Even if Team India haven’t won any ICC event in the T20 format since 2007, they’ve been consistently piling on the wins. However, after the 2-1 loss in the one-day series, they will know that the T20I series won't be an easy ride.
Looking back at Australia-India T20Is, the head to head is tilted towards Team India. Even in matches in Australia, the numbers are slightly tilted towards Team India. In recent times though, it is the Australians who have tasted more success in matches against India.
Can Team India extend their winning streak?
The series opener in Canberra presents Virat Kohli and company the opportunity to make a place for themselves in the record books. The Indian team have been victorious in the last seven T20 Internationals, and if they are able to win in Canberra, it will make it eight wins in a row – Team India's longest winning streak in the format. Team India has on three other occasions won seven matches in a row, but they have been unable to extend that streak to eight. Could Friday be the day India make it eight wins on the bounce?
Key Personnel Missing
Both teams will be missing key personnel in the series. Australia will be missing their top run-getter in the format – David Warner, while Team India will be missing Rohit Sharma – the only player with four hundreds in T20Is.
The Indian camp should be wary of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell; the two players had underwhelming and disappointing IPL seasons respectively, but they are very destructive in T20Is. Maxwell's strike-rate of 158.37 is the highest among batsmen who have scored more than 1,000 runs in T20Is, while Finch's strike-rate of 154.65 is the third-highest in the format.
Spotlight on KL Rahul and Virat Kohli
In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Team India will look towards KL Rahul – the top-ranked Indian batsman in the ICC T20I rankings – to score runs like he did in the recent IPL season, albeit with a touch more aggression. Rahul bagged the Orange Cap for being the top run-getter of the IPL 2020 season, but his strike-rate of 129.34 came in for plenty of criticism.
Like his deputy KL Rahul, Captain Virat Kohli, too, had an underwhelming IPL season; he scored 466 runs – definitely respectable returns, but those runs came at an unimpressive strike-rate of 121.35. Kohli hasn't scored a half-century in six innings in T20Is this year, and he will be keen to end that streak.
The Indian team management will also be hoping Hardik Pandya can extend his smashing form in the IPL into this series. Playing for the champions Mumbai Indians, Hardik Pandya scored 281 runs at a strike-rate of 178.98 and hit 25 sixes – the third-highest in the league season. The 27-year-old was the most frequent six-hitter in the IPL season.
On the bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal might have come in for plenty of stick in the ODI series, but captain Virat Kohli will be hoping the pair can replicate the form one saw them in during the IPL 2020. The duo were the most successful Indian bowlers in the competition; Bumrah (27 wickets) was the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition, while Chahal (21 wickets) was the most-successful spinner in the competition.
India’s Likely XI:
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan, Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia’s Likely XI:
Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
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