Our prediction is that India will win the second T20I against Australia at the MCG.
India tour of Australia took off in a grand style at the Gabba on Tuesday. If the first match is the sign of things to come, we can sure hope for a nail-biting series between these two teams. A result contrary to what everyone expected in the opening T20I has just spiced things up.
Before the start of the game Coulter-Nile wanted to bounce out the compulsive hooker in Rohit Sharma but at the last minute, he was replaced by Adma Zampa who was excellent in the middle overs getting the priced wickets of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to blunt India’s chase.
Rain interruption at the right time and thus a bit inflated target by DLS did the rest even though some of the other Australian bowlers had an off day. It will be interesting to see the duel in the second T20I at the MCG.
The win against India at the Gabba must have settled some nerves in the Australian camp. It’s not always that they start the home series without being the favorites to win. And the fact that they beat a top team like India must have boosted the confidence of the hosts.
Losing the toss batting first Australia started cautiously. First Chris Lynn and then Glenn Maxwell exploded against a couple of Indian bowlers playing for the first time in Australia. Each of Krunal Pandya and Khalil Ahmed got hit for a triplet of sixes in one over. Australia hit 9 sixes overall.
Luckily for Australia, the run rate explosion happened just before the rain interruption with just 3 wickets down. That helped them set a slightly bigger target as per the DLS rules.
Although Australia won the match, they must be wary that India did not lose by much and the fact that India scored 11 runs more than Australia in the allotted 17 overs must keep hosts in check for the second T20I.
Probable Starting XI:
Aaron Finch (capt), Alex Carey (wk), D'Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Billy Stanlake
India received a wakeup call in the first T20I against Australia. None should underestimate Australia, not at home at least. Some might argue that the DLS played a part in India's loss, however, without rain interruption and the way the Australian's were going at that time, India might have been chasing somewhere around 200 which was not an easy target on this big ground.
India still had some positives from this game though. With 113 needed in last 10 overs, many teams would have folded but India pushed on right till the end. Shikhar Dhawan until 12th over and Dinesh Karthik's at the back end of the innings showed a great fight. When everyone was getting clobbered Kuldeep Yadav showed why he is the best spinner India currently has.
What hurt India the most was the inexperience of Krunal Pandya and Khalil Ahmed in these conditions; both went at almost 14 an over. India might be tempted to play another wrist spinner in the second T20I.
Probable Starting XI:
Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav
Melbourne Cricket Ground is a big ground in every sense. The boundaries are longer, and the sitting capacity is huge too. Australia have won 7 out of 11 T20I played here while India have won 2 out of 3. This is not a high scoring ground with teams scoring above 160 in just 5 innings out of the 22 played at this venue.
The team winning the toss should Bat first here. On such low scoring big grounds, it is a good practice to put runs on the board and then defend it by manipulating the field and bowling according to it.
The loss in the first T20I was a setback India would want to put behind very soon. They must have learned the lessons in the defeat. One of them being Australia’s inability to pick the wrist spinner out of the hand and off the pitch. India might look to play another spinner if conditions justify. India still looks to be a team that can beat top teams at home in limited overs cricket and thus our prediction is that India will come back strongly to win the second T20I on 23rd November 2018 at the MCG to level the series.
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