2nd T20I, Preview: In-form India aim to cash in against injury-plagued Australia
How things have changed over the course of the week. Last Sunday, India were on the cusp of enduring a series defeat against Australia. But following a couple of wins, including the 11-run victory in Canberra on Friday, India have staged a gutsy comeback in the tour to stand on the verge of a T20 series win. The last time India and Australia played a T20I series Down Under, in 2018, the series ended in a 1-1 draw, with rain washing away the first game. However, there is no such weather forecast over the next few days, which assures us a winner.
With the debate surrounding Yuzvendra Chahal being brought on as Ravindra Jadeja’s concussion substitute refusing to die down, India have a chance to take the focus off it if they can wrap up the series. India appear to have a spring in their steps, with two remarkable comebacks thanks to their batting. From 152/5, India ended up posting 302 and from 92/5, finished on 161/7, both at the Manuka Oval. However, with Jadeja being at the centre of both revivals, India’s batting has received a major jolt with the all-rounder being ruled out. Due to which, the onus will be on India’s top six to put up a better show.
For Australia though, the injury list has grown. After David Warner and Ashton Agar, their captain Aaron Finch has been gripped by injury and remains a doubtful starter. If at all he misses out, there will be a change in guard, with Matthew Wade likely to take over. With no Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will have to share the bulk of the bowling responsibilities and hope that Sean Abbott, Moises Henriques and other chip in well. Cameron Green has been released to play for Australia A, so they are, as it is, an all-rounder short.
What: India vs Australia, 2nd T20I
When: Sunday, December 6, 2020
Time: 1:40 PM IST
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
India: On Friday, Chahal replaced an injured Jadeja. The only difference Sunday will be the inclusion of the leg-spinner from the very beginning. The opening combination is likely to remain the same, as does Manish Pandey’s place at No. 5. Prior to the start of the series, Virat Kohli hinted that Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will be rotated in view of workload management, and given Shami’s expensive returns in the first T20I, bank on Bumrah to get a game at the SCG.
Probable XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 KL Rahul (WK), 3 Virat Kohli (Capt), 4 Sanju Samson, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 T Natarajan, 10 Jasprit Bumrah 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Australia: Here’s where things get a little tricky. If Finch isn’t declared fit, Wade is the prime candidate to open the batting with D’Arcy Short, which gives Australia the option to include Alex Carey in the middle order. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has been added to the squad and he will give competition to Mitchell Swepson for the second spinner’s slot along with leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
Probable XI: 1 Aaron Finch/Matthew Wade (Capt), 2 D’Arcy Short, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Moises Henriques, 6 Alex Carey (WK), 7 Sean Abbott, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Mitchell Swepson/Nathan Lyon, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Stats and Trivia
- Going by wins only at the home of opposition (excluding neutral venues), India are on the winning streak of seven T20Is in the home of opposition starting from 6 August 2019 to till date.
- Mitchell Starc needs three strikes to complete 50 T20I wickets for Australia
- Virat Kohli has won seven consecutive T20Is as captain of India. One more win will make him the first Indian captain with eight consecutive T20I wins.
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- It was a quiet welcome as the youngster returned home to Mohali with the country still celebrating the 2-1 comeback victory.
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