India will play a three-match T20I series against Australia Down Under. India and Australia share a great rivalry across formats. And T20I is no different. The two cricketing nations have played 20 T20Is, with India winning 11, Australia 8, and one ending in no result. They first played in the 2007 World T20, and it's been 13 years since then, and every time, the two teams take on each other, it's an exciting battle between players of the two sides.
So, here's the best XI ever of the two teams in the T20Is.
Aaron Finch, Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and Aaron Finch would form a deadly opening combination, and they have fared well against each team. Rohit has scored 3 fifties against Australia in T20Is, but averages a low 22.71 but that is because he started opening only from 2013. He has scored 318 runs in 19 T20Is against Australia. Finch is the second highest run-getter in India vs Australia T20Is, aggregating 405 runs @ 31.15 with 2 fifties in 13 matches.
Virat Kohli (captain)
Kohli is the most outstanding batsman from either side in T20Is, aggregating 584 runs @ 64.88 with 6 fifties. His best run against Australia in the T20I series came in 2016 Down Under when he cracked 3 fifties in 3 games as India posted a 3-0 whitewash. He also gets to lead this team as he is the best player from either side in this format.
Apart from Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell is the only Australian player to score a ton against India in T20Is. He scored 113 not out against India in the Bengaluru T20I in 2019 to seal a 2-0 series win for Australia. Although Maxwell is not the same player now, he is included in this XI for his masterful 113 not out off 55 balls with 7 fours and 9 sixes as he butchered the Indian bowling attack.
Yuvi used to love feasting on Australian bowling attack during his hey days. His records against them speak for itself. He averages 56.60 against Australia in T20Is, the next best after Kohli among players who has played at least 10 T20Is against the Aussies. He also boasts of a strike rate of 161.71 - the best among players in India vs Australia T20Is.
Dhoni has been included as he has no better competitor for the keeper-batsman's slot in this XI. He has scored 313 runs @ 39.12 in 17 T20Is against Australia. He has played some amazing cameos lower down the order for India against Australia in T20Is. His 18-ball 36 at Durban in 2007 World T20 semi-final against Australia gave India a big match-winning total.
Watson has been an outstanding all-rounder for Australia across formats, but he has always reserved his best for India. He is the first Aussie to score a ton against India in T20Is, but unfortunately, it came in a losing cause. He has scored 302 runs @ 50.33 with 1 ton and 2 fifties in just 8 T20Is against India. He has also taken 10 wickets against India in T20Is.
Ashwin has always been a tough challenge for batsmen across formats. And Aussies batsmen have struggled to read him. Ashwin is the joint second highest wicket-taker in India vs Australia T20Is, bagging 10 wickets @ 26.30 in 9 games with the best bowling figures of 4/11 in the 2014 World T20 match that India won by 73 runs.
Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker in India vs Australia T20Is, bagging 15 wickets @ 20.13 in 11 matches. He made his international debut in the limited-overs series against Australia in 2016 Down Under and made immediate impression. He bagged 6 wickets in the T20I series that India won 3-0.
Bhuvi has been the next best standout medium-pacer in India vs Australia T20Is, bagging 8 wickets @ 18.37 in 7 games. He has the best economy rate of 6.21 among medium-pacers in India vs Australia T20Is.
Behrendorff makes the cut among Australian medium-pacers in this XI, bagging 7 wickets @ 14.57 in 6 games against India. His best figures of 4/21 came in 2017 Guwahati T20I that helped Australia bowl out India cheaply for just 118. It continues to be the best bowling performance by a pacer in India vs Australia T20Is till date.
All- time XI: Aaron Finch, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (keeper), Shane Watson, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jason Behrendorff.
Cover image courtesy: BCCItvofficial