Riding high on the success by defeating South Africa, India have a tough task at hand, as this time they prepare themselves to face the heat down under. India would have to stand up against Australia when they tour the island continent starting from January 12, 2016.
India would be playing Australia in a 5-match ODI series held from January 12 to January 23, 2016 while the 3-match T20 series begins on January 26 with the last match being on January 31, 2016.
Even though they won the Test series, one should know that India lost both ODI and T20 series against South Africa at home. Batsmen failed to gather big totals on the board, leaving bowlers no margin for error while it was their chance to restrict the opposition.
Leaving the past where it should be, the men in blue have to work on their batting department majorly. The fast and bouncy pitches in Australia would greet Indian batsmen with bouncers going past their heads. While fast bowlers will have to work overtime as Indian fans would put their hopes on them, the most, considering the pitch conditions favouring their style of bowling.
Talking of bowlers, the selectors would look to include the maximum of bowlers who can bowl fast and swing the ball simultaneously. The likes of fast bowler Umesh Yadav should be a favourite when the selection of the squad takes place. Medium fast pacers Ishant Sharma and Bhuwaneshwar Kumar would also be given their spot in the probable 15 for the former’s great experience in Australia and the latter’s ability to swing both ways. It would interesting to see how Mohammed Shami would make his comeback after injury forced him out of the national scene for almost a year. He proved to be India’s one of the most successful bowlers in 2015 World Cup.
Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina will have to come out of their low phase. More poor performance could mean the selectors will have to turn their eyes towards the substitute players to replace only the last 2 players, as Kohli remains to be the vice-captain.
Coming back to the international circuit with a great comeback performance in Tests, selectors could look to gamble with Ravindra Jadeja being included for both ODI and T20s as India remains short of quality all-rounders in their pool of players.
The selection committee would be announcing the squads for the tour of Australia tomorrow on December 19, 2016. We, however, bring you a probable 15-member squad which could be shown tomorrow if predictions go the right way –
(Probable squad) ODI:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay/Kedar Jhadhav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma
(Probable squad) T20:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma
Out of the box pickings – The selectors may surprise everyone by picking some players out-of-the-box. Eager to make a comeback, stylish all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has been one of the best all-rounders the game has seen so far and his recent performances make him a worthy contender to be selected in the T20 side ahead of the World T20 2016, probably his last outing in any of the major ICC world Cup tournaments. If domestic performances are taken into account, batsman Shreyas Iyer can also be given a lifetime opportunity to be selected in the top 15. His performances in IPL make him a strong contender to be given his maiden India call-up.