India succumbed to their first defeat in a T20 International in a span of more than 15 months as Australia beat them by 4 runs in the first of the three-match series. Without too much time to regroup, the Indian think-tank needs to sit down and reassess their playing combination while aiming for a turnaround in fortunes when they take on the hosts in the second T20I. For Australia, the result at Brisbane comes as a fresh wave of positivity after a string of poor results. Finch and his boys will eye another good result and close the series.
India lost the first match of the series in a nail-biting encounter. However, it might lead to some changes in the playing XI for the second T20I in Melbourne on Friday. With the Australians struggling against the wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal might be drafted into the playing XI.
MCG boasts of massive boundaries which effectively means batsmen will need to put in the extra effort to hit the spinners out of the park. Hence, Washington Sundar could also make the cut in place of Khaleel Ahmed. With KL Rahul looking out of sorts, Manish Pandey is another player who could slot into the team to provide solidity to the middle order.
More than 70,000 spectators are expected at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and hence the weather might play a key part in the outcome of the match. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), 3 to 10 mm rain is expected on Friday. “There’s a high chance (80%) of showers, most likely in the morning and afternoon,” sbs.com.au quoted BoM as saying. Thereby the toss also becomes critical and whichever team wins the toss will look to chase.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Washington Sundar.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.