Shikhar Dhawan vs Billy Stanlake
If there’s pace on offer, Dhawan goes all guns blazing. Bowl him outside off and he will please the cricket purist in you. But if there’s extra bounce, Dhawan finds it difficult to change his footwork and falls prey. We witnessed the same against the Windies: Oshane Thomas got the better of him twice in limited-overs.
Australia have the services of the lanky pacer Stanlake. His jump adds more venom to his bowling. Bounce out Dhawan with the help of correct field placements, and the job is half done. However, Dhawan pounces on deliveries that are short and wide. Execution is the key.
Glenn Maxwell vs Kuldeep Yadav
Yuzvendra Chahal had made Maxwell his bunny the last time Australia visited India, but that is less likely to happen in the T20Is. India prefer Krunal Pandya as the fifth bowler and Kuldeep as the ace spinner.
Maxwell likes going after spinners. If the ball is in his arc, he dispatches it into the stands. Kuldeep will have to be mindful of his lengths. Maxwell can also effectively reverse-sweep, further making it difficult for the spinners. That being said, dominating a chinaman bowler like Kuldeep is an uphill task, for seldom does he put a wrong foot. One mistake and Maxwell will be walking back to the pavilion.
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Chris Lynn vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar has been off colour since his return from injury, and Lynn has not been able to emulate his domestic performances at the international level. This battle is between the two struggling players who will look to find their lost mojo.
Rishabh Pant vs Andrew Tye
Tye has an array of variations in his bowling armoury, the reason he could take three hat-tricks in T20s last year. He is a T20 specialist and so is Pant. The southpaw scored 684 runs in IPL 2018, including a hundred and five half-centuries.
India will rely on Pant to accelerate their innings and Australia on Tye to put a break on India’s momentum.
Virat Kohli vs Australia
Kohli has played 11 T20Is against Australia, scoring as many as 423 runs at 60.2. The numbers get better when playing in Australia: the average shoots up to 84.
Kohli had scored 199 runs in the three-T20I series that saw India whitewash Australia less than three years ago. He scored a fifty in each innings, with a highest score of 90*.
Kohli likes playing fire with fire and especially against a team like Australia which likes giving it back. To cut long story short, Kohli thrives on aggression. If Australia want to succeed, they better keep Kohli calm, for he likes annihilating them.