India and Australia lock horns in the first T20I of the three match T20 series at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali on Tuesday. Both the teams would like to sort out their final combinations and sort out their playing XI, before the T20 World Cup, 2022. India are coming of a shock exit from the Asia Cup, 2022 and the world no.1 would like to get back to their winning ways. They are now in the final stages of their WC preparations as they now only have just a one more three match T20 series against South Africa before they begin their WC campaign. Australia, on the other hand have more breathing space as they play two more T20 series against world no.2 England and T20 powerhouses West Indies, before the WC at home.

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India certainly have a lot more on their plate, since their Super-4 stage exit from the Asia Cup. The opening is still a headache, since KL Rahul is still facing lean patch. However, skipper Rohit Sharma has reiteriated his support to the Lucknow Super Giants’ batter, saying,” We are clear what is cooking but I want to make it clear for people. There is no confusion. We are very clear about what KL brings to us. He is a very, very important and a quality player, and a match-winner as well. His presence at the top is very, very crucial for us.” 

India now has the same top three as at the previous World Cup in the UAE in 2021. Rohit Sharma looked in good form this Asia Cup, however, he couldn’t convert the starts into big scores. However, Indian batting lineup is more or less sorted, especially since Virat Kohli came back in form. The Run Machine had a phenomenal tournament, scoring two half centuries and his maiden T20 century. He would again like to score against his favourite foes, against whom he has an average of about 60 and strike rate of 146 in T20Is. Even in the two teams’ most recent match, which took place in Sydney on December 8, 2020, Virat Kohli played a fantastic innings, scoring 85 off 61 balls which included four fours and three sixes.

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Australia, inspite of being number six at the World T20 rankings, will be go into the series brimming with confidence. They go into the series after defeating Sri Lanka 2-1, which gave them a ot more idea about the subcontinent conditions.  However, they will not be in their full strength when they face the Men in Blue. The management has gone into precaution mode ahead of the WC. Due to what have been described as “low-level injuries,” Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis were not included in Australian squad. Steven Smith has been moved up the order at no. 3 in the upcoming match and Tim David also has a high chance of making his long awaited debut. 

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Mohammed Shami will not play in India’s T20I series against Australia that gets underway on Tuesday in Mohali because he tested positive for Covid-19. He has been replaced by Umesh Yadav, who may soon play his first T20I in more than two years. Umesh has been a mainstay in the IPL circuit despite his limited appearances in international cricket. This past IPL season, he was one of the top bowlers in the powerplay, taking 16 wickets total at an economy rate of 7.06 . India will be near full strength, as they also welcome back Jasprit Bumrah, who was not a part of the Asia Cup campaign.