National pride will be at stake when India and Australia clash at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday in the first of the three-match Twenty20 international series. India will be banking on the collective experience of Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh to overturn the miseries of a 4-1 defeat in the ODI series that concluded in Sydney on Saturday. Catch live cricket scores and updates here. (LIVE SCORECARD | SCHEDULE | NEWS)
Yuvraj Singh’s return to international cricket will be under the spotlight as India bank on veteran stars to draw first blood against Australia. The shortest format of the game will also give an opportunity for Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra to establish their credentials as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team starts preparation for the World Twenty20 in India in march-April.
Australia have looked solid in the ODIs. In-form Steven Smith and David Warner will lead the batting charge with veteran pacer Shaun Tait returning to buoy the bowling unit. The return of Shane Watson reinforces the middle-order and the fact that most Aussie players are fresh from the Big Bash League, gives them a healthy edge.
Man for man, India and Australia are equally matched. There are four players in each squad who are yet to make their T20I debuts. Rishi Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Gurkeerat Singh and Hardik Pandya are the future of Indian cricket while Nathan Lyon, Travis Head, Andrew Tye and Scott Boland have emerged from Australia’s large talent pool for the limited overs cricket.
The average first-innings score this summer at the Adelaide Oval has been 167. With so much experience in their squad, India should be able to dictate terms on what should be a good batting track.
India and Australia haven’t played too many Twenty20 internationals in 2015. India suffered a 2-0 defeat against South Africa at home but the current team has far more experience and skill to do a better job against a quality opposition.