Aussies will test India

Monty Panesar Thursday 16th January 2020 06:59 EST

The ODI series between India versus Australia has commenced. We will know how good the current Indian team really is when they conclude the series against Australia. The key battle in the series will be between the Australian fast bowlers and the Indian batsmen. The intensity of the Australian team will test India. Prior to this series Mitch Starc has only played his second one-dayer in India. This seems a surprising factor for someone who was man of the series during the World Cup in England. Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc will pose a huge challenge for the Indian batsmen who haven’t been exposed to this kind of intensity in the recent matches. Australia will always bring intensity to the one-dayers.

The recent T20 series between India versus Sri Lanka showed that India have depth in their T20 squad. The real find of the series was Navdeep Saini. His rapid 4 overs went for 18 runs and resulted in 2 wickets. He reminds me of Brett Lee and the impact he can have on a T20 match. India’s bowling department looks strong and the combination of Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur should make it to the T20 World Cup squad. Shardul Thakur is a brilliant all-rounder and he showed that in the second T20 with a blistering finish. He will play a key part in T20s for India this year. Left arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan was a positive for the Sri Lankan team. Dropping Sanju Samson caused an uproar amongst cricket fans in India. Claiming a place in the team is becoming very competitive in India. You don’t want to mix and match too much with the squad especially against a side like Australia. Has Indian cricket become so strong that they can field two teams in international cricket?

India are looking to play both Shikar Dhawan and KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli has decided to bat at number 4. I think he should stay at number 3. He looks comfortable in that spot and he can impose his intensity on the team when the ball is harder and new. His approach at number 4 will be different when the platform is set, and he might be unsure about the tempo at which to play the game. I feel he is a better player when he can set the pace and dictate the run rate. We all know he is the best chaser in the game because he quickly gets in command of the run rate and the target.

Is Shikar Dhawan the right man to open the batting? He often seems to get a good start but doesn’t seem to make it count.

The difference between Virat Kohli and other Indian batsmen is that he finishes the job or puts India in a commanding position.

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