Australia face another series defeat vs Virat Kohli’s dominant India
Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team will be aiming to continue their winning streak against Australia and seal a series win at the new international cricket stadium in Barsapara, Guwahati while David Warner’s side will be desperate to break their Twenty20 International jinx.Updated: Oct 09, 2017 21:06 IST
Winning has become a habit for India these days. And whenever Virat Kohli’s boys get close to a series victory, it is more anticipation than anxiety as the hosts face Australia in the second T20I of a three-match series here on Tuesday.
Having clinched a nine-wicket win in the rain-affected first game in Ranchi, a win would not only seal the series but propel the Kohli-led side to one point adrift of Pakistan, the No 2 ranked T20I side.
The simple equation has made the build-up a celebrated affair in Guwahati, which will host an international cricket match after seven years, and that too at a brand new 37,000-capacity stadium in Barsapara. Curator Mukut Kalita hinted at a high-scoring match on Monday.
Ticking all boxes
In the first match, India went about their business in perfect manner. Opting to bowl first, they removed stand-in captain David Warner in the first over and top-scorer Aaron Finch just when he was starting to accelerate. They then triggered another Australian batting collapse to restrict them to a low total.
It was the well-organised bowling unit that helped set up the win. Be it the tight bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the early overs or wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav hunting in a pair in the middle or Jasprit Bumrah’s accurate deliveries to clean the lower order, the bowling combination looks ideal to finish the task.
Facing India’s bowlers who are on song at home has been an onerous task for Australia, who are also without injured skipper Steve Smith.
Aaron Finch has been an exception. Since coming into playing XI in the third ODI, he has been the most consistent Australian batsman. He scored a century and almost got another in the fourth ODI. In the first T20I, his effort saw Australia get close to a par score in Ranchi.
But once he fell, the middle-order collapsed again. From 76-2 they were reduced to 89-5 in three overs, and from 111-5 they collapsed to 114-8 in one over.
Despite having David Warner and Glenn Maxwell in their ranks, the Australians’ lack of fight has made for poor viewing. Kuldeep and Chahal have read them easily. They outfoxed the rivals in Ranchi, on a pitch which stayed low and added to Australia’s despair.
The T20 has been a format where Australia have struggled. On the verge of yet another series loss, they would hope to give a better account of themselves.
In-form Indian batsmen
It is not only the Indian bowlers that Australia will have to contend with. The Indian batsmen too have made full use of familiar conditions.
Shikhar Dhawan returned after a long gap and stayed unbeaten while Virat Kohli guided India to another win.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and debutant Jason Behrendorff did bowl tightly in India’s six-over chase, to take the shortened T20I to the last over. They will have to do more of that, or Kohli would smile his way to a second T20I series win at home in 2017.
In the optional practice on Monday, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav took part, and enjoyed a game of football just like they did ahead of the previous games.
First Published: Oct 09, 2017 20:03 IST