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India match dire with dire: Hosts react to Aussies' understrength approach with a T20 team lacking firepower

21st November, 2023
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21st November, 2023
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India will carry an undermanned squad into the looming Twenty20s against Australia, with only three of their World Cup squad picked to start the series.

India’s selectors named a 16-man group on Tuesday for the five match series, as players came to terms with their World Cup final loss to Australia.

Suryakumar Yadav has been named captain and will be the only member from the final that will be available to play in Friday’s opener in Visakhapatnam.

Suryakumar Yadav

(Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

World Cup squad members Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna are also in the group, while top-order bat Shreyas Iyer will join them for the final two matches.

The series has widely been criticised as an example of an overly cluttered cricket calendar, given both sides reached the ODI World Cup decider.

The fixtures mark the beginning of preparations for next year’s global T20 tournament, but India’s squad only includes three players who reached last year’s semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in Australia, with Hardik Pandya also still injured.

Australia have also named an undermanned squad, with eight of their World Cup group staying on and the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Marsh flying home.

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AHMEDABAD, INDIA - NOVEMBER 19: Pat Cummins of Australia lifts the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Trophy following the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Final between India and Australia at Narendra Modi Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Ahmedabad, India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Coach Andrew McDonald has also been given a rest for the five games, with his assistant Andre Borovec to take over for the first time.

Steve Smith is expected to have the chance to open, after being left out of Australia’s team for parts of last year’s T20 World Cup.

The Test star then responded by scoring two centuries at the top of the order for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, making his case for a national recall.

There remains the potential that some of Australia’s Test players could fly out mid-series, to begin preparing for red-ball matches against Pakistan starting December 14.

INDIA SQUAD:

Suryakumar Yadav (capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shreyas Iyer (last two matches only).

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© AAP

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