India are all set to take on Australia for a two-match Twenty20 International series and five-match One Day International series, starting from February 24.
Here are the five players who could make a difference for their respective sides in the scintillating battle.
1. Rishabh Pant
The recipient of emerging player of the year 2018, Rishabh Pant is a great find for India in recent years. The Orange Cap holder in IPL 2018 by scoring 684 runs with a strike rate around 160, Pant earned his maiden Test cap last year.
After that, there’s no looking back. He scored a century in the last test during India’s tour of England, in Oval and also had a decent performance with the gloves behind the stumps in the series. He kept his form intact and scored 350 runs at an avg of 58.33 with a brilliant 159* in Sydney against Aussies in four-match test series. He has amassed 696 runs in 9 Test matches so far.
Though he did not get that much of chance to show his worth in the ODIs due to MS Dhoni’s presence, in T20I he has done wonders in recent times. His ability to score quick, as well as big, will help India in the middle-overs. This series will be crucial for him to be selected as a second wicket-keeper in the upcoming World Cup.
Also Read: 5 lesser known facts about Rishabh Pant
2. D’Arcy Short
The star left-hand opener of Australia is back in business and will be looking to make the most of the Indian tour prior to the World Cup this year.
The 28-year old is coming from a wonderful Big Bash League 2019 where he scored a total of 637 runs in 14 matches for the Hobart Hurricanes this season. Along with this, Short also picked up 10 wickets and was awarded as the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
He was a part of the squad in their previous series against India but couldn’t showcase his talent. This time he will try to maintain his blistering form from the BBL. His inclusion will give extra strength in batting as well as in bowling for his side.
3. Marcus Stoinis
Another player of Australia who could make a difference is none other than Marcus Stonis. One of the go-to all-rounders, Stoinis is a hard-hitting batsman, as well as, he has death over bowling skill. He has a batting average of 42.47 with a strike rate of 96 and also has a bowling economy of 6.06 in ODI which makes him an important player in the squad. In the shortest format of the game, he has a strike rate of 126.33 with the bat.
Stoinis had a great season in the recently concluded Big Bash League as he scored 533 runs at an average of 53.3 and took 14 wickets. He also guided his team Melbourne Stars to the finals.
He has been in a formidable form. Moreover, he has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his experience and current form can pose a great threat to the opponents.
4. Kuldeep Yadav
The one player who has the ability to turn the table single-handedly is Kuldeep Yadav. He has been in a tremendous form for the last couple of years. He has 77 scalps from 39 ODIs and 35 wickets from 18 T20Is so far.
Currently no. 2 among bowlers in the ICC T20I Ranking, Yadav has been an integral part of the squad for the last couple of years. He took two four-wicket hauls in the recently concluded series against New Zealand in ODI and picked up two wickets in the last T20I encounter against New Zealand. He has the ability to take wickets in the crucial times and can surely make a big difference in this series.
5. Jhye Richardson
Jhye Richardson is another addition in the players’ list who will play an important role in the upcoming series. He came into limelight after his stunning spell of 4/26 against India in Sydney. He has picked up 13 wickets with an average of 29.46 from the 13 ODIs so far. He has also 9 wickets from 7 T20I matches in his name.
This is his first tour to sub-continent and this series will help him to grow as a bowler. This series will play a crucial role for him prior to the team selection of the upcoming World Cup.
This series will be interesting as Australia will try to take revenge for their loss in their home soil in the recently concluded series whereas India will try to continue their winning streak.