The Big Picture
After a nerve-wracking loss in the first T20I, the Men in Blue will look to get back to winning ways as the caravan now moves to the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru for the second match of the T20I series.
That India even came in a winning position was largely due to the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah, and Umesh Yadav's inability to defend 14 in the last over should not take away the spotlight from what was an insipid batting display by the Men in Blue.
On a sluggish track, the middle-order in Pant, Karthik, and Krunal Pandya squandered the start given by Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, by playing rash shots. KL Rahul played some audacious strokes during his stay at the crease, defying what was a pretty difficult wicket to bat on. The right-hander made good use of the opportunity and signaled a return to form with a 36-ball 50. His dismissal was perhaps the turning point of the Indian innings as the batsmen that followed him, tried to emulate him, failing catastrophically for the hosts' as Nathan Coulter-Nile and co tied the screws on the scoring-rate.
The failure of the middle-order- especially Rishabh Pant, would have disappointed the team management. The Test wicket-keeper gifted his wicket away by going for a non-existent run, allowing Australia to get back into the game when Rahul was going all guns blazing at the other end.
India's tactics were also baffling at Vizag. With Hardik Pandya injured, it is an ideal time for the side to test Vijay Shankar as a potential all-rounder, but Kohli instead opted to go with three wicket-keepers in the side which meant he had just five bowling options which included a debutant Mayank Markande. Any bowler can have a bad game in T20 cricket, hence having as many bowling options as possible, especially when you are resting two of your main bowlers like India have done for this series, becomes paramount.
But, India will also realize that while they were not at their best in Vizag, neither were Australia. The visitors' made heavy weather of the poultry target, showing just how overreliant they are on Glenn Maxwell. Aaron Finch's struggle against the incoming delivery continued while D'Arcy Short played a scratchy inning before getting run-out at a crucial juncture.
Unlike Vizag, the pitch at the Chinnaswamy is expected to offer a plethora of runs, but in the end, it will be a battle of supremacy between both sides' middle-order, and whichever comes out trumps, will go on to dictate the narrative of the game and the series.
Venue- M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Match Timing:- Wednesday, February 26, 2019, 07:00 PM IST
Small ground. Flat track and a plethora of power-hitters in both sides'. Expect a run-fest at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Do you know?
- India has a W/L ratio of 2.00 at the Chinnaswamy with two wins in three games, including the famous tie at the ICC World Twenty against Bangladesh in 2016.
- The last time India played at the venue, Yuzvendra Chahal recorded career-best figures of 6-25 to help India to a series win against England.
- Yuzvendra Chahal needs four wickets to become the third Indian bowler to claim 50 T20I wickets.
- Not since late 2015, has India lost three T20Is in a row.
- Virat Kohli is yet to lose a series at home across formats as captain.
Team News & Playing 11-
India:- The Men in Blue are expected to continue giving fringe players game time which means Rohit Sharma might be rested for the game. The other possible changes could be Vijay Shankar getting an opportunity at the expense of Dinesh Karthik and Sid Kaul in place of Umesh Yadav.
Rohit Sharma/Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli [c], Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik/Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mayank Markande, Sid Kaul, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia- Why fix something that ain't broken? The Aussie should field the same playing 11 that helped them take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series.
Aaron Finch [c], D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb [wk], Ashton Turner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendroff, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins