Our prediction is that India will level the series with a win in the second T20 international against Australia!
After winning the first of the 2-match T20I series Australia lead the series 1-0 against India. The next T20I will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on 27th February 2019.
India rested their main players, such as Bhuvi and Kuldeep Yadav, for the T20I series so as to give more game time to players like KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav. A slow-paced wicket made the situation dire for the Indian team batting first at Vizag. The pitch got slower and slower as the match progressed. So much so that India could only score 35 runs in last 8 overs losing 4 wickets finally reaching just 126. It was due to some effective bowling, and some Bumrah magic, that led to a situation where India looked favorites to win.
However, a gutsy finish by Australia lower order helped them go one-up in the series. It will be interesting to see if and how India bounces back after that defeat in the first T20I.
India seem to be looking beyond the individual series now. All they are looking at is the World Cup 2019. As is evident from the first T20I, as the players that were out of the squad to rest or injury or suspension were preferred over a more balanced squad. When Umesh Yadav comes in to bat at number 8 in a T20I match, you know something isn’t right. Mayank Markande made a debut in the first T20I.
Losing the toss batting first India quickly realized that this pitch is not a belter. Rohit fell cheaply to a ball that did not come on to the bat to play the scoop successfully. There would be many such instances throughout the match as India crawled to 126 in 20 overs despite a gutsy half-century from KL Rahul who was returning after suspension.
The bowlers, especially Bumrah with the match figures of 16 for 3, still made a match out of this with the help of Australian batsmen who were involved in a couple of needless runouts chasing a small target. Umesh Yadav looked out of touch and failed to defend 14 in the last over against the tail-enders. He might miss the next match as India would like to bring in specialists to save the series.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Mayank Markande, Jarprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krunal Pandya.
Just like the T20I series in Australia during India’s tour there late last year, the Aussies have drawn the first blood here as well. The fact that it took them 20 overs including 14 in the last one to get to a paltry target of 127 must worry them.
Winning an all-important toss on a tough wicket Australia chose to bowl first. Although India got to 90 in 12 overs with 7 wickets in hand, Australia always looked to be in the game on the slowish wicket. Once Coulter-Nile removed KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik in the 13th overs, the screws were tightened and weren’t let go off till the end as they were set just 127 to win.
With 26 needed off 28, Australia found ways to get out but more importantly scored just 12 in 22 deliveries losing 4 more wickets. 14 to get in the last over Cummins and Richardson did enough to secure it off the last ball. India are going to come back harder in the second ODI. Can Australia stop them one more time?
Aaron Finch (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, D'Arcy Short.
M Chinnaswamy stadium is the home venue for RCB and has seen a lot of high scores made and chased with ease. In T20 internationals also the teams batting first have won 60% of the matches. The small boundaries and flat tracks make this a chasing paradise.
The team winning the Toss should look to Bowl first here. With the target in mind, the chasing team should play the field on a small ground to secure a win.
India is not taking Australia lightly but they are testing their own limits. That wasn't the best squad they chose for the first T20 international. They seem to be ready to lose the battle to win the war – the World Cup. However, nobody is happy about losing a series at home. After all, India have not lost a series at home since Oct-2015. Australia must have realized that and must be expecting India to come back stronger in the second T20I on a batting friendly track.
Our prediction is that India will bounce back to win the second T20 international at Bengaluru to level the series on 27th February 2019!
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