Tune in to Fox Cricket on channel 501 from 6.30pm as Australia takes on India in the first T20 international.

Australia cannot afford to bathe in the glory of its one-day international success over India for too long — on Friday night (first ball 7:10pm AEDT) the two sides face in the first of three Twenty20s, with the hosts looking to finish the series back on top of the format’s rankings.

Australia slipped to second on the ICC’s T20I rankings on Tuesday following England’s 3-0 series win over South Africa.

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MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs India live scoreboard, video highlights and commentary

India prevent ODI clean sweep


To reclaim top spot the Australians must win the coming week’s series against India. Conversely, India could leapfrog Aaron Finch’s side if it pulls off a surprise whitewash of the hosts.

Australia trumped India 2-0 in the last bilateral T20 series between the two sides, but the tourists have reason to be confident heading into the opener at Manuka Oval.

Since that loss to Australia in 2018-19, the Indians have not tasted a series defeat in the format, winning five of its past six campaigns with the outlier being a draw against South Africa. Across its past 10 T20Is it has only lost once.

The Indians boast two of the top 10 T20I run-scorers among full member nations since that series loss to Australia — KL Rahul (582 at 48.50) and Virat Kohli (531 at 53.1) — and you can expect both to play a big role.

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21-yr-old excites in debut


By comparison, the Australians have just the one — the injured David Warner (473 at 94.60).

The absence of Warner cannot be understated for Australia. More than any format, Australia’s success in T20 cricket has been built on its openers.

Finch (443 at 44.3) is the country’s next highest run-scorer in the aforementioned period but there is a chasm to its third-placed run-getter, Steve Smith (281 at 46.83), who is also the only other Australian with more than 100 runs in that time.

That’s not to say Australia cannot win without Warner. In fact, it won its most recent T20 against England without the left-hander, with Matthew Wade playing in his place.

Warner will not be the only absence for Australia, with Pat Cummins rested for the series. An injury cloud hangs over Marcus Stoinis but in a boost for the hosts Mitchell Starc is expected to be fit to play.

It would not be a huge surprise if Josh Hazlewood was given a break after playing all three ODIs, though the need for Australia to bounce back after Wednesday’s loss could dictate otherwise.

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India meanwhile has no serious injury concerns but may consider making changes with the upcoming Test series in mind.

Jasprit Bumrah played all three ODIs and looked better for the run by the end of the series but India will be wary of overworking him.

Mohammed Shami was given the third ODI off but there may still be temptation to keep him in cotton wool before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia possible XI: Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa

India possible XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, T.Natarajan, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal


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