India dug deep with the bat to scrape to a defendable score, then backed it up with excellent execution with the ball to take an 11 run victory in the first T20I. Ravi Jadeja was the hero with the bat scoring 44 off just 23 balls in a knock that proved to be the difference between the two teams, whilst Yuzvendra Chahal picked up 3/25 as he was controversially allowed on as a concussion substitute.
Australia have more injury woes with captain Aaron Finch likely to miss out on game two after picking up a hip injury on Friday. Finch’s injury is the latest to a long list for the Aussies as Ashton Agar, David Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Pat Cummins are out of action, with four of Australia’s best eleven in the format out, it’s going to be tough for the Aussies to pull off a series win. Finch’s injury also causes headaches within the leadership stakes. Matthew Wade, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques all have captaincy experience, with Wade being named as vice captain for game one, he looms as the favourite to take the reigns as skipper.
The Aussies have added Nathan Lyon to their squad as extra spin cover after Ashton Agar was ruled out for the rest of the white ball fixtures, whilst Cameron Green has been released from the squad ahead of the Australia A series. India will have a few changes to make to their side as Ravi Jadeja will miss game two with a hamstring injury, whilst Jasprit Bumrah will be expected after being rested in game one.
Australia vs India 2nd T20I Preview & Tips
2nd T20I, Sunday 6th December, SCG, 7:10pm AEDT
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, D'Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan
Like they did in the third ODI, Australia threw away a golden opportunity to win because of their inability to close out an innings with the ball. India scored 57 runs off the last 4 overs to rally from 5/104 to 7/161. Australia’s slow bowling philosophy once again served them with Adam Zampa (1/20) and Moises Henrqiues (3/22) controlling the middle overs. However Josh Hazlewood (0/39) and Mitchell Starc (2/34) failed to close out the innings, whilst fellow paceman Sean Abbot continued his horror stretch with 0/23 off just two overs. Australia could turn to Daniel Sams as a replacement for Abbott, who has been taken to the cleaners in his last two outings against the Indians.
The Aussies got plenty of starts with the bat as Finch (35), Short (34) and Henriques (30) all got going, but failed to put together an innings that could take Australia over the line. Finch’s injury also causes the Australian’s to think about their batting line up, Alex Carey looks the likely replacement, but where will he slot into in the batting order? With the log jam of bowling all-rounders in the team, Australia desperately needs to bolster some genuine batting depth, even if it sacrifices their flexibility with the ball.
Two years ago Adam Zampa was in and out of Australia’s T20 and ODI sides, struggling to have a consistent impact at the top level. Fast forward two years and Zampa has become Australia’s most consistent and important white ball bowler. Zampa continued his great form this summer, with an economical 1/20. His ability to restrict Virat Kohli’s ability to score through his flight and dip, whilst also consistently taking wickets through the middle overs, has caused India trouble in the four games they’ve played here so far this summer. Starc, Hazelwood and Abbott could only combine for two wickets in game one, as the Indian’s have lined the front line quicks well, scoring close to 10 an over off all three bowlers. With Australia’s quicks copping some brash treatment from the Indian batsmen, Zampa has found a way and on an SCG pitch that he’s performed well on before, expect him to produce again.
Zampa Top AUS Wicket Taker
Much like the third ODI, it was a brave performance with the bat from the middle order as they found a way to get to a defendable score, whilst with the ball they were absolutely phenomenal. There will be some headaches with selection for India, as Jadeja will be out for the rest of the white ball fixtures, whilst he’ll be racing the clock to be fit for the test series. Whilst their bowling has led the turnaround in fortunes for the Indian side, it can’t be understated how much their fielding has improved in their past two outings. Sanju Samson took an incredible catch to dismiss Steve Smith, whilst their ground fielding restricted Australia at the back end of their chase.
India moved to a more flexible bowling attack after the second ODI bringing in Deepak Chahar and Thangarasu Natarajan who have both produced excellent performances. Whilst Washington Sundar bowled a miserly 0/16 from his four overs, as the Australians failed to counter his in to the wicket, length bowling. Whilst there are plenty of positives for this Indian team, they need a more consistent performance from their batting line up. They can’t continue to rely on scoring outrageous amounts of runs in the last four overs of an innings.
KL Rahul continued his impressive start to the summer, smashing 51 of 40 deliveries to give India some sort of platform to capitalise on late. With wickets constantly falling around him, Rahul found a way to continue to score whilst India was struggling. With scores of 76 and 51 in his last three innings, Rahul is coming into some serious form against a side he performs well against. In his last three T20I’s against Australia he has scores of 50, 47 and 51. On a SCG surface that will have plenty of runs in it, expect Rahul to continue his great form, at $3.60 he is an excellent choice to be India’s top run scorer.
Rahul Top IND Runscorer
Remarkably, India once again start as the underdogs. With the injuries and uncertainty around the Australian line up, coupled with the terrible performances closing out innings bat and ball, it’s hard to go past India in game two. The Indian bowlers have come to play and the Australian batsmen are struggling to score off the likes of Natarajan and Washington Sundar. With Australia’s most in form batsmen in Aaron Finch out it not only leaves a gaping hole in the batting line up, but tactically it will be a massive loss not having Finch on the ground running the show as skipper. With a depleted Australian line up, plus an Indian team that is finally hitting its straps, expect the Indians to cruise to a comfortable victory and take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.