Obviously the Aussie team will look different without Steve Smith and David Warner, who were banned due to that fatal ball-tampering scenario in Cape Town.
Smith and Warner are also our two best batsmen. However, I still think we can beat India at our home ground – but it is India’s best opportunity in recent times to get a series win in Australia.
Overall I’m a fan of the squad. Although I am a Glenn Maxwell fan, I can understand why he’s not in the team.
I don’t, however, see much value in International T20s especially with BBL being so popular. Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis would be better suited playing for their respective state sides trying to put forward their claim to play in the test team, rather than playing one-off T20s vs South Africa on the Gold Coast.
Aaron Finch was always going to be selected as he performed well in UAE and he deserves a chance on his home ground.
Marcus Harris burst into the forefront of selectors minds after a blistering 250* as he is an explosive left-hander similar to Warner.
Matt Renshaw misses out again although he’s still quite young and will get his opportunity, he was dropped quite prematurely, criticized perhaps for his slow run-rate.
A slow run-rate is what Australia require at the moment, putting a price on your wicket and adapting to conditions, however, he didn’t put forward scores in State cricket so doesn’t warrant selection at the moment.
I’ve always been a fan of Usman Khawaja – that may sound like a cop-out now that he’s one of our best players, but I rate him highly. He should be in our one day team when fit.
I haven’t really been a big fan of Travis Head but he does put up good scores for South Australia. However, I don’t see him getting into the starting middle order though if Khawaja is fit; Khawaja at 3, Shaun Marsh at 4, Peter Handscomb 5.
I feel Tim Paine should bat at 6 and allow Mitch Marsh more freedom at 7 to play his shots.
I wasn’t a big fan of Mitch being given the vice-captaincy as he still hasn’t put consistent performances in for Australia, I would prefer to let him focus on that and just have Josh Hazlewood as vice-captain.
Shaun and Mitch Marsh have taken over from Shane Watson in who the public criticize most, however, they play well in Australia as last Ashes proved with both of them making big hundreds on flat pitches, nonetheless still got to make them.
More responsibility will be on both Marshes to perform as Smith and Warner aren’t there to set the platform for big totals.
It seems as if the lethal bowling lineup have lost some of that superiority they felt after the Ashes and during the start of that fatal tour vs South Africa.
They come up against a good batting order of Dhawan, Pujara, Sharma and of course Virat Kholi who excelled here in 2014/15 Test series.
I believe CA should invest in curating pitches with grass cover to offer bounce and swing to the bowlers.
India have good fast bowling stocks as well with Umesh Yadev, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. However, I think they should create fast pitches to provide better opportunity for our bowlers to get 20 wickets.
If there are pretty flat pitches Virat Kholi may repeat what he did over here in 2014/15 and the problem is we don’t have Steve Smith to counter-act it.
I believe India’s fast bowling stocks are better and more equipped than when they toured here last. Also from a fans point of view it seems the last series in Australia when there were consistently quick pitches was 2013/14 Ashes where Mitchell Johnson terrorized the English batsman.
It seems CA are more focused on Test matches going for five days rather than preparing quick pitches, which is what I would like to see this summer.
If the worst happens one of our bowlers does break down I would prefer Chris Tremain to get the nod over Peter Siddle as he offers a bit more pace and bounce than Siddle.
However, Siddle should definitely be in the plans for the Ashes coming up as his bowling is suited to those conditions. I’m also a big fan of the forgotten man James Pattinson as he offers something with the bat also.
Overall happy with the squad – hopefully Australia win and we can smile with them.