The format changed but the result didn’t. India were relentless in the shortest format of the game as well following their thumping 4-0 win in the ODI series. The first T20I in Ranchi didn’t bring any merry moment for the visitors and once again, they succumbed to the might of the hosts.
The story of the game wasn’t too different from the those of the ODIs. A decent start from Aaron Finch and then the 2 Indian wrist spinners spoiled the party to halt them to a paltry score. Rain played its part too and India were the beneficiary of a curtailed target to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-T20I series.
It’s now do-or-die for Australia in the 2nd game at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati. The stadium is India’s newest venue which will host its first ever international game. As per the curator, the pitch is going to offer plenty of runs and this perhaps could be the best chance for the visitors.
But it’s easier said than done as the woes for Australia just hasn’t disappeared. The side failed miserably and they will have to play out of their skin to stay alive in the series. On the other hand, Virat Kohli and his men would not want to reduce the ruthlessness one bit and would dearly love to seal the series in Guwahati itself.
Rohit Sharma began well in the last game with a couple of big strokes but lost the wicket early. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli then finished the job without too much fuss. The middle-order didn’t get a chance to bat and the likes of Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya would love to spend some time in the middle.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was terrific at the start as he removed David Warner in the first over. Jasprit Bumrah, as usual, was lethal at the death and ended up with a couple of wickets. But the show once again was stolen by the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as they broke the backbone of the Australian line-up and didn’t let them flourish at all.
The stand-in skipper Warner began with a couple of boundaries but lost his wicket to the canny Bhuvneshwar. Finch ended up playing the lone hand of 42 while the next best score in the innings was 17 from Glenn Maxwell and Tim Paine. The middle-order was once again disappointing and needs to stand up big time if a turnaround is going to happen.
The bowlers didn’t really have much on the board to defend as the curtailed target for India by the DLS method due to rain was just 48 from 6 overs. With the quality of Indian batsmen, it was close to impossible for the bowlers to restrict them. Nathan Coulter-Nile bagged the sole wicket of Rohit but the others bowled just one over each. The pacers would be hoping for a good show in Guwahati.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Daniel Christian, Tim Paine (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye
Here is our prediction for the game
Case1: If India bat first
First Innings score prediction: 190-200
Result prediction: India will win the match by 20-30 runs
Case2: If Australia bat first
First Innings score prediction: 170-180
Result prediction: India will win the match by 5 wickets
A high-scoring encounter is expected in the 2nd game and with the might of Indian batting, the advantage lies in favor of the hosts. Unless the visitors come up with something extraordinary, the men in blue should seal the series with a game in hand.