While almost all past and present cricketers swear by Test cricket, there is no doubt that India’s best suit in international cricket now is in the shortest format – T20 Internationals. With almost the entire team being nurtured on the T20 format till about a week before leaving for Australia, it is no surprise that the mindset was also seen in the One-day Internationals, and even could be seen in the coming Test series. Those may not work, but for now, we are in truncated mode, and there India are as good as anyone, including hosts Australia. So, the win in the last ODI could well see the confidence filtering into the T20I team, making this series possibly India’s strongest suit during the tour Down Under.
This is a format where ascendancy needs to be maintained for a shorter time, making the differences between the sides narrower. Here, a knock of 70 or 80 at less than run-a-ball is good enough, as opposed to the 50-over format, where that may not get you past the finish line, as India found out time and again.
The ODI series was effectively sealed by two centuries from Steve Smith and another from Aaron Finch, with the rest chipping in. In contrast, India had one, or two, coming good per match, giving them 300-plus runs in all the games but just one win.
As for the bowling, there too it would seem the Indian bowlers would be happier bowling shorter spells. Typically, Yuzvendra Chahal was carted all around in 10-over spells, while four, sent in two or even three spells, could be different. Same applies to the other bowlers.
As for Australia, they are essentially more professional in their approach. India works a lot on hype and body language, not least from skipper Virat Kohli, to egg them on. The Aussies, on the other hand, have learned to channelise this aggression into their batting and bowling, and the results are there for everyone to see.
In essence, India have their best chance of winning a series Down Under in the T20I format and could begin well at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
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