After India dominated the first T20I in Ranchi, the second one belonged completely to Australia. For the first time on the tour, the visitors looked in total control of the game right from the start. Where Jason Beherendorff and Adam Zampa did the damage with the ball, Moises Henriques and Travis Head took the team safely past the line to make one apiece in the series.
David Warner won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first. Rohit Sharma cashed in on a full toss from Jason Behrendorff to find the backward point boundary off the first ball. A straight drive 2 balls later found the boundary once again and the batsman looked in fine form. But the bowler found his line right and an in-swinger trapped Rohit in front.
India suffered a major blow when the skipper Virat Kohli edged one onto his pad that popped back to the bowler as the home side lost 2 wickets in the 1st over. Behrendorff bagged another in his next over in the form of Manish Pandey for 6. Then, Kedar Jadhav got going with a six off Nathan Coulter-Nile but Behrendorff picked up Shikhar Dhawan in the 5th over to leave the opposition tottering at 27/4.
A damage beyond repair
MS Dhoni had to walk in to bat very early in the innings and along with Jadhav, tried to steady the ship. After adding 33 runs for the 5th wicket, Dhoni played an uncharacteristic shot and got stumped off the bowling of Adam Zampa. Hardik Pandya was the new man as the score read 61/5 after 10 overs.
Jadhav was castled by Zampa for 27 in the 12th over and Bhuvneshwar Kumar was sent back by Coulter-Nile for 1. At 70/7, India were in danger of being bowled out inside 100 runs. Pandya found the support of Kuldeep Yadav and took the score past the three-figure mark.
But while trying to clear the long-off fence, he held out at the boundary to depart at 25. Jasprit Bumrah got run out in the last over and Kuldeep fell off the last ball of the innings as India were bowled out for 118 in 20 overs. It was well below par of what the men in blue would have expected. But the pitch wasn’t the easiest to bat on and India still had hope.
An early scare
The hosts came out with the aggressive intent and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a decent first over to keep the crowd in it. Jasprit Bumrah accounted for the wicket of David Warner in the 2nd over for just 2 as Kohli was pumped up after taking the catch. Warner suffered another failure and Australia were rocked back early.
Bhuvneshwar removed the dangerous Aaron Finch in the next over to leave Australia in a spot of bother at 13/2. All of a sudden, there was a belief in the Indian camp. The crowd was involved big time and the ball was moving off the surface to trouble the batsman.
Australia promoted Moises Henriques at number 3 instead of Glenn Maxwell which turned out to be the masterstroke. He batted beautifully and found an able support in the form of Travis Head. The duo brought caution to the wind and took the attack to the bowlers.
Slowly but steadily, they took the game away from the opposition as the score read 67/2 after 10 overs. The dew on the outfield played its part and made it difficult for the spinners to grip the ball who proved to be ineffective. Henriques brought up his fifty in the 15th over and the game was distant from India’s reach at that time.
Fittingly, Henriques finished the match with a boundary in the 16th over as Australia won the match by 8 wickets with 27 balls to spare. He stayed unbeaten at 62 while Head scored 48 not out. With the victory for the visitors, the 3-T20I series is now level at 1-1 with the final game to be played on October 13 in Hyderabad.
Australia won the toss and opted to bowl first
India: 118/10 in 20 overs
Kedar Jadhav 27, Hardik Pandya 25
Jason Behrendorff 21/4, Adam Zampa 19/2
Australia: 122/2 in 15.3 overs
Moises Henriques 62*, Travis Head 48*
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9/1, Jasprit Bumrah 25/1
Australia won by 8 wickets
Player of the Match: Jason Behrendorff