Change as good as a win?
The good news for India is that in this shortest form of the game, luck plays a significant factor and a brilliant one-off performance can wrestle a game...
Chris Cairns ponders whether a format change will make a difference to an Indian side that struggled at times during the Test Series to even hit a twenty-twenty score.
A change of format for the Indian team is about as good a tonic as they could get to try and resurrect what can only be described as an horrendous tour of Australia to date.
The good news for India is that in this shortest form of the game, luck plays a significant factor, and a brilliant one-off performance can wrestle a game and the initiative, thus putting a win on the cards.
The bad news for India, however, is that the players in this Aussie T20 side have all just completed five weeks of intensive T20 and will have their skills honed accordingly.
The Aussie selectors have put their faith in batsmen, spinners and allrounders. Brett Lee provides the only real spearhead on the bowling front. Lee has been in tremendous form, and with excellent back-up spin, the Indians may target Christian and Marsh as the ones to dictate scoring against.
The Indian batters will also enjoy the chance to free their arms and express themselves. Sehwag will be dangerous because here the consequences of getting out caught on the boundary differ to a Test match. Kohli is playing well and the only success story of the tour so far, but in the Indian innings I am backing Rohit Sharma. I think he is an excellent player and such a good timer of the ball. He has also been watching the current carnage from the sidelines and will no doubt be fired up to show his value as India look to the next generation. For the Aussies, keep an eye on Travis Birt. Brutal and precise, a lethal combination.
On the bowling side of things for both sides, I expect Lee to produce more of his domestic form and has the ability to pick up wickets, and along with Ashwin in the Indian side, who is tough to get after, both these men are picks for most wickets.
Sydney will no doubt produce an excellent pitch for this match, but I expect Australia to be too strong in either department. India's best chance will come from chasing down a target.
Lastly, with these next two T20 fixtures, I feel that it's important for the powers that be to quickly get some context for these games. Gone are the exhibition days of T20 -- there are serious leagues around the World now that fans follow and enjoy.
International T20 outside of the T20 World Cup has a shallow feel to it.
In my opinion, cricket administrators need to fix this.