India Vs Australia – a friendly evenly contested series.
India revived their 1992 jersey, and the tour started accordingly with twin defeats via the brilliance of Steven Smith. This tour will be remembered for the Australia media’s fascination for ‘King’ Kohli, international fielding of grade-school standards, emergence of Hardik Pandya, the Jadeja-Chahal concussion fiasco, and Wade’s non-review.
Australia, on the other hand, erased the poor IPL 2020 memories. Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell – all came back with a bang. Good performances by youngsters and comeback kids as well.
Here are my picks for the best moments of the series, the emerging players, and where these two teams go from here? COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.
Results – India Vs Australia
ODI Series: Australia Win 2 – 1
* Player of Match
- Australia won by 66 runs – Steven Smith*
- Australia won by 51 runs – Steven Smith*
- India won by 13 runs – Hardik Pandya*
|Player of Series||Steven Smith (Australia) |
– 216 runs, 2-100s
|Most Runs||Aaron Finch – 249 runs||Hardik Pandya – 210 runs|
|Most Wickets||Adam Zampa – 7 wickets||Mohammad Shami – 4 wickets|
T20I Series: India Win 2 – 1
- India won by 11 runs – Yuzvendra Chahal* (concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja)
- India won by 6 wickets – Hardik Pandya*
- Australia won by 12 runs – Mitchell Swepson*
|Player of Series||(Australia)||Hardik Pandya (India) |
– 78 runs at 156.00 SR
|Most Runs||Matthew Wade – 145 runs||Virat Kohli – 134 runs|
|Most Wickets||Mitchell Swepson – 5 wickets||T Natarajan – 6 wickets|
- India still have not solved their middle muddle. Shreyas Iyer returned with scores of 2, 38, 19, 12*, and 0 across formats. None of India’s batsman bowl and none of the bowlers bat well. The #4 position and the 6th bowling option is still a major worry.
- Chahal leaked 89 & 71 runs and was eventually dropped for the third. Although he was the man of the match in the first T20I, it is still a matter of concern in the flat ODI pitches. Time to bring Kul-Cha back together?
- First time since 2008 that Virat Kohli has not registered a century. Came close with a 89 and 63, but 2020 has just been that kind of year.
- Shardul Thakur has a knack of taking wickets as we can see from his 3/51 in the 3rd ODI.
- Although Sanju Samson gave India impetus with innings like 23(14) and 15(9), it was just not enough. With the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav in the background, Samson may not have too long of a rope.
- Hardik Pandya dedicated his Player of Series award to T. Natarajan and deservingly so. Although Pandya finished things off, Natarajan’s 3/30, 2/20, and 1/33 were crucial to limit India’s targets.
- India have found a balance in the finishing power. If one of the top order batsmen fail to finish the chase, Pandya will. If Pandya fails, Jadeja will.
- In 2016, Manish Pandey was among the rising stars scoring an unbeaten century in a 300+ run chase. Forward to 2020. Did not get a game in the ODIs and struggled in his only T20I opportunity – 2 (8).
- Steven Smith famously said a month ago that he “found his hand.” He was not joking as he displayed with scores of 105 and 104 in just around 62 balls both innings. WOW.
- Glenn Maxwell could not hit a fly in IPL 2020. Put the Australia jersey on and boy, was he on fire? The entire 2 months of IPL – 0 sixes. 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is – 16 sixes in total including quickfire 45(19), 63*(29), 59 (38), 54 (36), 22 (13) across formats. Australia have found their finisher.
- Although Smith & Maxwell were the catalyst, the solid platform provided by Aaron Finch with 2-100s and 1-50. He is growing in his captaincy role as well.
- Does Australia have a Mitchell Starc problem? 1/65, 0/82, & wide balls does not reflect the stature of Starc.
- D’Arcy Short comes up short. Wade not so much with blistering back-to-back 50s. Also a handy commentator behind the stumps.
- The leggie Mitchell Swepson joins the party. His 1st wicket of the series? None other than Virat Kohli.
- Moises Henriques made a comeback with important contributions with both bat and ball. In the 2nd T20I – 3/22 in his 4 overs along with a 30(20) got Australia close to the target.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
|Emerging Player||Mitchell Swepson||T Natarajan|
|Surprise Package||Matthew Wade/ Moises Henriques||Ravindra Jadeja + Hardik Pandya|
|Broken Cricket Dream||D’Arcy Short||Manish Pandey|
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please subscribe!
Where Do They Go From Here?
Earlier I had predicted 2-1 India for the ODIs and 2-1 Australia for the T20Is. The results were reversed, but this India Vs Australia series had closed contests regardless. By no means, did these teams perform at their bests. They have a lot to ponder over, especially heading into the Border-Gavaskar Test series and the World T20 next year.
In limited overs, India have to fix their middle over phase – both in batting style and the bowling combinations. For the test series, India have an Ishant Sharma size hole along with concussion/injury issues for Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.
Australia’s injury woes are at another level. First Stoinis and Warner in the limited overs series. Then, the debutant Green and Will Pucovski with concussions during the warm-up games and now even Steven Smith has a soar back. Here is the complete list:
World T20 Watch:
We will do a World T20 Watch from now till the world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.
So many bowling/all-round option for Australia.
- Wade/Warner, 2. Finch, 3. Stoinis, 4. Smith, 5. Maxwell, 6. Henriques/Green, 7. Cummins, 8. Zampa, 9. Hazlewood/Lyon, 10. Starc, 11. Andrew Tye/Sean Abbott
India’s limited overs selections need a rethink. ODIs and T20Is are now separate entities and hence, need different criteria. Gone are the days of the three format players barring a couple from each team.
Each position needs a specific role with a like-for-like understudy. Here is my World T20 XI for India as of now:
- KL Rahul, 2. Sharma/Kohli, 3. Pandey/Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, 4. Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan/Rishabh Pant, 5. Hardik Pandya, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Dinesh Karthik, 8. Thakur/Shami, 9. Bhuvi/Chahar, 10. Chahal/Kuldeep, 11. Bumrah/Natarajan
What did you think about the India Vs Australia series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!