Injured Smith doubtful for Australia's T20 opener

Geneva Matthews
October 8, 2017

Virat Kohli called correctly in the first T20 against Australia at Ranchi and decided that India would bowl first. David Warner and Aaron Finch would look to carry on their fine touch & inspire their team but it's skipper Smith who might have to look inwards to rediscover his best form. But soon, in-form Finch and Glenn Maxwell (17) stabilised the Australian innings and forged a 47-run partnership for the second wicket.

In a deadly blow to Australia's prospects in the T20I series against India, skipper Steve Smith was ruled out with a shoulder problem and his deputy David Warner will lead the tourists in the three-match rubber starting here on Saturday. Gone. Australia 3 down. He scored two boundaries in five balls so far.

India were 4-0 down at the hands of Australia in the ODI series that preceded those three T20Is, before winning four successive games - one ODI and three T20 Internationals - to restore some kind of parity on the tour.

Australia captain Steve Smith will miss the Twenty20 series against India to return home due to a shoulder injury with the Ashes on the horizon. The 38-year-old's ability to notch up pace and his death bowling ability will be a key factor for India as the left-arm pacer would add variety to the pace attack of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Only Tim Paine (17) managed to cross the double-digit mark as Australia were reduced to 118 for eight in 18.4 overs when rain arrived. Finch was in two minds; whether to respond with a sweep or play it through the "V".

The Nawab of Najafgarh also reckoned that with opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is back in the side after a short break, will get a chance to open the innings alongwith Rohit Sharma.

The visitors' middle-order failed once again in Ranchi as Travis Head and Moises Henriques fell cheaply to Hardik Pandya and Yadav respectively.

India Playing 11 vs Australia: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

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