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India vs Australia, a match that can thrill any cricket fan in the world, is finally around the corner. A series that was earmarked right at the beginning of the year is here and the buzz around it is only increasing.
The long tour kicks off with the first T20I between India and Australia at the Gabba, Perth on Wednesday, November 21. As India look to establish their dominance Down Under, they will be eager to kick things off on a winning note.
The visitors come at the back of a 3-0 drubbing of West Indies on home ground. Australia, on the other hand, are hurt after losing the T20 series against South Africa only days before India vs Australia series. The Australian side will be desperate to turn things around when they lock horns with the Men in Blue on Wednesday.
Best economical pick: Although Australia has been struggling in the last two series against Pakistan and South Africa, Marcus Stoinishas been exceptional for them. The all-rounder has been productive with both bat and ball and will be a crucial member in the Australian team that faces India. The pressure is on the player to deliver for his team and we will have to wait and see how Stoinis responds to it.
Top captains & vice captains: India is very lucky at the moment to have two of the best batsmen in the best form of their careers. Joining Kohli in breaking records is the Hitman, Rohit Sharma who scores big knocks for fun and has been an integral part of India's batting attack. Sharma captained India during the 3-0 victory against West Indies at home and even scored a century in the third T20I. Sharma will look to pick things where he left off.
After sitting out of India vs West Indies T20 series, Virat Kohli is back in the side. The skipper, who has had quite a bit of history in Australia, will look to dominate the home side during the tour. Moreover, Kohli is in fine form and has already amassed over 2,000 runs in this calendar year across all three formats.
Smart pick: Jasprit Bumrah is one of the finest pacers in the world right now. Forming a two-pronged attack with Bhuvi, Bumrah is lethal in good conditions and will look to exploit the Australian batting. We chose Bumrah over Bhuvi because of the form that he is in and also because of the ability to bowl well during the death overs.
Cautious Pick: Manish Pandey once again may be relegated to the bench during the T20 series as the middle order looks settled for now. With the line-up already filled, Manish might find it difficult to make it to the playing XI. He will most probably get an opportunity to play only if one of the top or middle order players gets injured or decides to rest.
My XI: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Virat Kohli (Vice-Captain), Marcus Stoinis, Jasprit Bumrah, Lokesh Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav,Billy Stanlake, Alex Carey, Shikhar Dhawan, Ben McDermott, D'arcy Short.