India vs Australia 2nd T20I: India Ought To Win To Save Series

Team India fought blatantly after a mediocre performance with the bat in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) of the two-match series. However it was not enough as Umesh Yadav failed to defend 14 runs in the last over to give away Australia a 1-0 series lead. 

The two teams will play in the second and final T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. 

While the focus will still be on giving the fringe players a chance to prove themselves ahead of the all-important World Cup 2019 but India will surely go all out in a bid to avoid a series loss at home to Australia.

Following the defeat in Visakhapatnam, India captain Virat Kohli had spoken about giving “game time” to KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant looking ahead to the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

While Rahul hit a fine half-century in the first T20I, Pant was involved in a mix-up and was run-out for 3. Barring three players (Rahul, Kohli and MS Dhoni), no other Indian batsman could even reach double figures as the hosts were restricted to 126 for seven.

The below-par 126 with the bat denied bowlers a decent shot at securing a win even though the Jasprit Bumrah- led attack did all it could to keep the home team in the game till the final over of the match.

India rested opener Shikhar Dhawan to give game time to Rahul, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands by smashing 50 off 36 balls in his comeback game.

He had a disastrous Test tour of Australia before he and Hardik Pandya were provisionally suspended for their loose talk on women during a TV show.

The ban was later revoked though they still face an inquiry.

With the series on the line, it remains to be seen if Dhawan is brought back into the side to open alongside Rohit Sharma or the team retains the opening combination which featured in Vizag.

While Bumrah showed his class after coming back from a break, the other pacer in Umesh Yadav leaked runs and was not able to defend 14 in the final over.

India could replace Umesh with Siddharth Kaul or bring in all-rounder Vijay Shankar to beef-up the batting department.

The hosts played with a long tail in Vizag and that impacted their final total following an inexplicable batting collapse from 69 for one in the ninth over.

Pant, a strong contender for a World Cup 2019 berth, will be itching to perform after getting out cheaply on Sunday, and so will be Dinesh Karthik, who is left with just one game to make a compelling contribution before the World Cup.

Focus will also be on MS Dhoni the batsman who stuttered to an unbeaten 29 off 37 balls in Vizag.

Teams:

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), D’Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb (wk), Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.

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