India seek redemption as T20 series begins
Outplayed in the ODIs, a faltering India will look to get the balance right as they eye redemption in a three-match Twenty20 series against Australia starting here on Tuesday which also kicks off their build-up for the World T20 Championships in March-April.
The Indian team was comprehensively beaten in the ODIs, losing the series 1-4 and the T20Is would be an opportunity for the side to pick some positivity from the so far disappointing tour. Both teams will also begin their run-in for the ICC tournament, particularly the Men in Blue who only have T20Is lined up before the big tournament begins.
The Indian team doesn't really play too many T20I matches. As such, since December 2006, when the Men in Blue first played a T20I against South Africa, they have only featured in 29 bilateral matches. And their record outside the World T20 isn't particularly impressive, with 15 losses and 14 wins.
Virat Kohli obviously picks himself at number three, and thereafter, Yuvraj Singh is primed to make his international return for the first time since the 2014 World T20 final in Bangladesh.
Sydney's centurion Manish Pandey isn't part of the T20I squad here, and as such Yuvraj, Suresh Raina and Dhoni are expected to form up nos. 4, 5 and 6, perhaps alternating as per the match situation.
Meanwhile, for the first time in this contest against India, even Australia are unsure of what their playing eleven combination will be like.
Aaron Finch takes over the captaincy reins from Steve Smith for the T20 format, and he will be hard-pressed to make some tough choices.
Glenn Maxwell is unavailable for this first match of the series, on account of his injured hamstring, and player of the Big Bash this season, Chris Lynn is expected to slot into the eleven in his place, ahead of left-hand batsman Travis Head.
Teams: Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Chris Lynn, James Faulkner, Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon, Cameron Boyce, Travis Head, John Hastings, Scott Boland, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Gurkeerat Mann, Rishi Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane. Match starts at: 2.08pm IST.