India and Australia played a scorcher of a game in the 1st T20I at the Manuka Oval on Friday. Ravindra Jadeja's heroics with the bat followed by an equally stunning performance by Yuzvendra Chahal and Thangarasu Natarajan with the ball guided Virat Kohli's men to a narrow 11-run victory.
There have been several happenings since. Australia have included Nathan Lyon into the squad, replacing an injured Ashton Agar while Cameron Green has been omitted as well. Their captain Aaron Finch is struggling with fitness too. For India, they are set to miss the services of Ravindra Jadeja for the remainder of the while-ball series.
So with that being said, here are two players from each team that we believe can help you in the fantasy league.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has been underwhelming in his last two outings, but his figures at the Sydney Cricket Ground pose some kind of threat. The 35-year-old has scored 104 runs in his last two games at the venue, albeit in the ODIs. It is needless to say that being a T20 specialist, Australia will have to lay a blueprint in order to get the better of him. Statistically, Dhawan needs just three sixes to complete 50 maximums in T20Is and 87 runs to reach the 8000-run mark in T20 cricket.
D'Arcy Short was one of the few good performers for the Aussies with the bat, chipping in with 34 runs through a steady innings. He did put on runs but those figures came at an expense of a whopping 38 deliveries. Short's T20I shortcomings can be laid down with the fact that he has struggled to set the momentum in the powerplay overs. He takes a whopping 5.11 balls to score a boundary in that phase, but with captain Aaron Finch a doubt, Australia would rightly demand a speedy performance from the 30-year-old.
A lot was said about Yuzvendra Chahal's inclusion as a concussion substitute of Ravindra Jadeja in the first T20I, but the leg-spinner managed to deliver a Man-of-the-Match spell, picking three wickets for just 25 runs in four overs. Prior to the Friday's fixture, Chahal had just two wickets in his kitty against the Aussies in four T20Is, but the figure jumped to five in as many games after the first T20I of the three-match series. A three-wicket haul on Friday means Chahal is one of the four Indian bowlers who have picked three or more wickets against Australia in the shortest format. Safe to say he will certainly be a threat.
Mitchell Starc has struggled with his line since the ODI series, but the fact remains that he is a potent weapon for the Australia team. On Friday, the pacer gave away 34 runs but picked two wickets as well, including that absolute scorcher against Shikhar Dhawan. Starc, in fact, has a great record against the Indian opener, having dismissed him twice in two innings while conceding a mere 11 runs. As things stand, he is three wickets shy of completing 50 T20I wickets for Australia. If he manages to pick those many scalps, he will become the first Australian to reach the landmark by surpassing Shane Watson’s tally of 48.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / David Gray