India out to 'make it count' in Australia

Elena Summers
November 20, 2018

India will be without the inspirational Dhoni in their tour-opening, three-match Twenty20 worldwide series that starts in Brisbane on Wednesday after the veteran wicket keeper was rested by selectors. "Their self-proclaimed superior "sporting culture", which they used to take vast pride in, is in tatters". "We are still very confident in this (T20) format", Finch told reporters on the eve of the series opener against India, who beat world champions West Indies 3-0 at home before landing in Australia. But most of the guys have come to Australia before. The visitors have never won a Test series in Australia, drawing three and losing eight of their 11 outings.

Australia test captain Tim Paine.

After all the talk around two of the biggest cricketing nations in the world, India and Australia are all set to lock horns in the first T20 at Gabba, Perth on Wednesday, November 21.

It may not have the bells and whistles of newer stadiums but Brisbane has been Australia's safety net for three decades of test cricket. The Indian team that was announced before the T20 series against West Indies does not feature MS Dhoni who was dropped for the first time since establishing himself in the squad more than a decade ago.

"The last time we played a Test series here, although we lost two games, I thought there were a few close games played".

"Similarly, we are taking no prisoners and we want to go out and put our best foot forward, focussing on our game rather than focussing outside", he sounded cautious. There's a really good feeling within the group in all three formats.

Questioned whether he or skipper Kohli has spoken to the team as to why they lost in South Africa and England, Shastri said that it was all about "seizing big moments". "When you do well in places like Australia, you feel good as a team". They still have world-class cricketers.

File image of Rohit Sharma. So, we want everybody to step up and make it count.

"Yes, it is challenging for all our batsmen when we come around here [but] most of the guys have come to Australia before". So we are ready to accept that, change our fortunes and come out with some exceptional performance. It's not going to be easy, but we have quality in our group.

Australia squad for India T20s: Aaron Finch (Captain), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, D Arcy Short, Ben McDermott.

With two T20I centuries already this year, Rohit has the maximum hundreds in cricket's shortest format with four scores of 100+.

He says he enjoys the higher bounce in Australia because he grew up playing on cement wickets.

The Twenty20 Internationals will be followed by a four-Test series beginning in Adelaide on 6 December.

Aaron Finch, Australia's limited-overs captain, said he did not expect Kohli to tone down his verbal instincts (which necessarily did not mean being abusive). So they understand the conditions. Along with the Indian cricket pundits, several former Australian players have touted the Men in Blue to clinch the first T20I tomorrow. It has always challenged us as a batting unit.

"When you play in places like Brisbane and Perth, the good bounce allows me to play my game because I have grown up playing on cement pitches back home". "So I have done well in limited-overs but the challenge is red-ball cricket, which right now I am not thinking of".

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