Australia bared their teeth as a force in white-ball cricket with a convincing ODI series victory over India on home soil.
Steve Smith was the star of the show for the Baggy Greens, capturing his best form in the opening two matches to guide his team over the line.
Australia’s batsmen were dominant to take their side beyond the reach of Virat Kohli’s men.
There is no time for Australia to marvel in their victory though, as they now must turn their focus to the game’s shortest format.
The two teams will be looking to round their outfits into shape ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.
Check out our preview and tips for the series below.
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Australia were outstanding to defeat India in the ODI series, building on their victory over England in September. Slowly but surely the Baggy Greens are on the way back in the 50-over format under Aaron Finch and Justin Langer.
However, they must now turn their attention to the T20s where they have notoriously underachieved. Australia have failed to triumph in the World T20 since its inception in 2007.
Langer has incredible talent at his disposal, including several stars of the Indian Premier League. However, they now must fire at international level to begin a surge towards the tournament next year.
India have been caught cold by Australia in the ODIs. Jasprit Bumrah and the India bowlers were put the sword by Smith, Finch and David Warner at the top of the order. Bumrah was off the pace but expect him to lead a response from the tourists.
There is too much talent, especially in T20 cricket for India to continue to be smashed around grounds in Australia. Kohli and his team have a fearsome record in T20Is of late, including their 5-0 whitewash over New Zealand last time out.
It would be a surprise if they were to produce below-par performances again. Failure may not be tolerated so there is plenty for the India squad to play for in light of the World T20 on the horizon.
1st T20I : 4th December 2020 – Australia v India – Manuka Oval, Canberra
2nd T20I: 6th December 2020 – Australia v India – Sydney Cricket Ground
3rd T20I: 8th December 2020 – Australia v India – Sydney Cricket Ground
Although Australia’s win over India in the ODI series was impressive, it was the old guard driving them over the line.
Warner, Smith and Finch are all proven performers and over the age of 30. The Baggy Greens will be looking for their next generation of stars to emerge, especially in the T20 arena.
Warner will miss the T20I series, but he has been replaced by a familiar name in D’Arcy Short. Finch will remain at the top of the order, while Smith should hold down the number three position.
It will be interesting to see where that leaves Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell, although the latter is beginning to adapt into a finisher at the end of innings.
Pat Cummins has been rested ahead of the Test series, leaving Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to lead the attack. Starc was extremely poor in ODI series, losing his line and length.
Hazlewood on the other hand was outstanding, but it will be curious to see whether he can tailor his game for the T20I series, which requires different attributes. Andrew Tye is on hand to replace Cummins in the line-up, as is Sean Abbott.
Adam Zampa is developing into a quality leg-spinner. The 28-year-old was excellent in the first ODI, claiming 4-54 at the SCG. Spin is a vital factor in T20 games and Zampa has certainly displayed stronger form that his Indian counterparts.
Zampa could well be the difference between the sides come the end of the series. Look for him to make a positive impact for the Baggy Greens.
Adam Zampa To Be Australia’s Top Bowler – 4.00 bet365
India were well off the pace during the ODI series, slumping to a comfortable defeat, which is becoming all-too common in the 50-over format.
It has led to calls for Kohli to be replaced as captain in favour of Rohit Sharma, although the opener is absent for the series due to injury and is unlikely to feature soon.
India’s record under Kohli in T20Is is formidable, and the skipper should point to their performances in New Zealand for justification for him to remain in his position.
India will be the top contender for the World T20 due to their plethora of stars and Kohli is the leading light. However, he cannot do it all himself.
Lokesh Rahul was incredible for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL at the top of the order. India need him to deliver his best against the Aussies, and he showed a semblance of his form with a half-century at Sydney.
Kohli will have concerns about the standard of Bumrah’s performances in the ODI series. He was poor to say the least, although the seamer was not alone in struggling.
The 26-year-old is the best white-ball bowler in the world at the peak of his powers. It would be foolish to suggest that he along with quality operators Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja will not bounce back.
Lokesh Rahul To Be India’s Top Batsman – 4.50 bet365
Australia were the last side to beat India in a bilateral T20I series, claiming a 2-0 win on their last tour. Maxwell scored a sensational century in Bangalore to guide the Aussies to a famous win, chasing down 191.
Overall, in their meetings, India have come off the better side, winning 11 of the 21 matches compared to Australia’s eight.
On India’s last tour of Australia, the teams played out a 1-1 draw in their series. Kohli delivered a match-winning performance to save his team from defeat. If history is anything to go by, we should have another close series of contests.
India had a series to forget in the ODIs. Expect Kohli and his men to come out firing in the T20I series. India’s players should be in prime form having only finished the IPL a month ago.
There is no excuse for them not to perform considering their outstanding performances in New Zealand earlier in the year. Time is running out in preparation for the World T20 and a statement win over the Aussies would send out a strong message that India are ready to take the crown.
Bumrah, Chahal and Mohammed Shami should all bounce back to their best in their preferred formats. For that reason, the visitors are our cricket tip to beat the Aussies on the road.
India To Beat Australia T20I Series – 2.30 bet365
India To Beat Australia 2-1 T20I Series – 3.10 Betway