First T20I – 6:08pm local time on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at Adelaide Oval
$1.50 at William Hill
ICC ranking: 2nd
T20I form: W L W W L
$2.75 at CrownBet.com
ICC ranking: 8th
T20I form: L W L L L
AUSTRALIA will look to continue their summer of dominance when they face India in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals this Tuesday.
Having taken out the five-match ODI series 4-1, the hosts are well favoured at $1.40 (Sportsbet.com) to back up with another series win in the shorter format.
The bookmakers are forecasting another convincing outcome, with WilliamHill.com offering $3.40 for the Aussies to secure a 3-0 whitewash.
But first they will have to negotiate Australia Day at Adelaide Oval without the in-form Glenn Maxwell, who has remained in Melbourne to rest a sore hamstring.
“He has still got a little slight hamstring niggle so … he will spend a few days in Melbourne at home and join the squad when we get there in a couple of days,” acting coach Michael Di Venuto told reporters on Sunday.
Maxwell’s absence will open the door for Travis Head, who starred with bat and ball for Adelaide Strikers throughout the 2015-16 Big Bash League season.
The likes of Chris Lynn, Andrew Tye, Cameron Boyce and Shaun Tait will also hope for the chance to stake their claim ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in March.
“Obviously there is a big carrot at the end of this with the World Cup team being picked, and you can only pick 15 people so we want to give people opportunities to see what they can do,” said Di Venuto, who is standing in for Darren Lehmann after the head coach was hospitalised recently with deep vein thrombosis.
“It was a bit of a scare yesterday with Boof [Lehmann] going for a scan and then straight into hospital with DVT,” the former Australia ODI batsman said.
“The good news is he’s on the road to recovery. I spoke to him this morning, he’s in good spirits and his health is improving … hopefully Boof will be right in a week or so.”
Also worse for wear are India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane, who will sit out the Adelaide clash through injury.
Kumar was a late inclusion for the ODI leg of the tour after Mohammed Shami pulled out with a hamstring strain, but the right-arm seamer will head home early after sustaining a hairline fracture of the thumb during the defeat at Canberra.
Manuka Oval was also an unhappy hunting ground for middle-order bat Rahane, who split the webbing of his hand while fielding.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann will stay on as cover after featuring in the last three matches of the ODI series, but Rahane will remain with the squad and could feature in the latter fixtures.
While those two are notable absentees, the Indians will gain some heavy artillery as the experienced trio of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh – all overlooked for the One Day Internationals – join the touring party for the 20-over fixtures.
Australia Twenty20 squad
Aaron Finch (captain)
India Twenty20 squad
MS Dhoni (captain)
Gurkeerat Singh Mann
Result – Australia to win ($1.50 at William Hill)
Most match sixes – India ($2.50 at Sportsbet)
Highest opening partnership – Australia ($1.85 at CrownBet)
With India missing a few players through injury, it’s no surprise to see the home side heavily favoured to celebrate Australia Day with a win at Adelaide.
The tourists are also lacking form in the 20-over game, having slid to eighth in the official ICC rankings after losing four out of five matches since the 2014 World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.
On the flip side, the Aussie squad could hardly be better prepared: the ODI players are riding high after a big series win, while the T20 specialists will come in fresh off the Big Bash League.
Travis Head betting markets
With Maxwell out injured, the stage is set for another hard-hitting allrounder to grab the limelight.
For although Lynn was named the official player of the tournament, a hefty portion of the country’s cricket-watching population voted Head as the standout performer of BBL 05.
It’s not hard to see why: 299 runs at a strike rate of 154.92 were integral to Adelaide Strikers finishing top of the table and securing a home semifinal.
He also put in one of the great T20 performances on New Year’s Eve, smashing an unbeaten 101 off 53 deliveries to secure an unlikely victory against Sydney Sixers.
The last 56 of those runs came off only 15 balls, including three consecutive sixes to bring up his century and clinch the win.
But there is much more to the young South Australia captain than lusty leg-side hitting, as he showed with a decisive three-wicket haul in the Strikers’ win over Melbourne Renegades.
With T20 World Cup looming, you can bet Head will want to impress on debut in front of a packed house at his home ground.
Man of the match – $13
Top match runscorer – $10
Top Australia runscorer – $6
Top match wicket-taker – $29
Top Australia wicket-taker – $17
To score 25+ runs – $2.50
To score 50+ runs – $7
To score 100+ runs – $34
Odds provided by www.Luxbet.com
More Australia vs. India T20 fixtures
First T20I – Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at Adelaide
Second T20I – Friday, January 29, 2016 at Melbourne
Third T20I – Sunday, January 31, 2016 at Sydney
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