India seek to reverse ODI blues against Australia in T20 (Preview)

Adelaide, Jan 25 (IANS) India will seek to reverse their One-Day International blues and hit upon some form ahead of the World Cup Twenty20 when they face Australia in the first T20 International of a three-match series here at the Adelaide Oval ground on Tuesday.

India go into the series after suffering a 1-4 defeat in the One-Day series. They are to host the World T20 from March 8 to April 3.

India will take on New Zealand in the opening match of their campaign on March 15 at Nagpur.

They were dominated in the first four matches, but avoided a whitewash after chasing down a mammoth target of 331 runs in Sydney in the final match.

The team looked short on experience in the ODI series, losing from positions of strength on several occasions.

But they will be boosted with the inclusion of experienced trio, left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Ashish Nehra.

They are expected to be named in the final XI on Tuesday.

Besides them, left-handed batsman Suresh Raina, who was dropped from the ODI squad will be waiting to prove himself once again after a successful domestic season.

Raina led Uttar Pradesh to maiden glory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament recently.

India’s bowling attack was hammered in all the five ODI matches and the team will hope Nehra uses all his vast experience to good effect in the T20 series.

Young Japrit Bumrah, who made an impressive debut at Sydney, claiming two crucial wickets, is likely to feature in the bowling line-up alongside Nehra and Rishi Dhawan. Dhawan replaced seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the series as he got ruled out due to a fractured left thumb.

The batting line-up will be bolstered with the coming in of Yuvraj and Raina. They will add more firepower to the in-form trio Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who were among runs in the ODIs.

Australia is sweating on the fitness of their hard-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell who is struggling with an injury.

But they have enough batsmen in form to cover for his absence with David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh all among runs.

All-rounder Shane Watson was included in the T20 squad after being dropped from the One-Dayers and he will be raring to give his all both with the ball and the bat.

Pacer Shaun Tait has been recalled by Australia after an absence of almost five years and the 32-year-old will aim to use the conditions to good effect and mark a memorable comeback in international cricket.

India who are currently ranked eighth have managed five wins out of nine matches against Australia in T20Is.

India can claim the top spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I rankings if they make a clean sweep of the three-match series, which could serve as an added motivation for the M.S. Dhoni-led side.

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