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Australia vs India T20 series got off to an exciting start as the home side managed to win by just four runs. It was a closely fought match where neither of the two sides put in its best performance. There were errors made on both sides, the rain played a role, and both sides struggling to get the fluidity ion their game that we are used to seeing.
Winning the first match in a three-match series is very important. It ensures that the next two matches become must-win situations for the team that lost the first match. The pressure of staying in and winning this T20 series is now completely on India.
Can Virat Kohli and his men bounce back from an indifferent performance? Has Australia finally found its missing mojo?
Aaron Finch decided to leave out Nathan Coulter-Nile and play Adam Zampa in this match, the only change from the side that played South Africa. It was a good decision to play Zampa but we still believe that Behrendorff should have been the player dropped.
It is unlikely that we will see Australia change a winning side unless there is some injury or player unavailability for another reason.
Let’s start with the batting. Australia struggled at the top of the order and did not get off to a great start. At 64 for 2 in 8.3 overs, the Aussies were not yet in top-gear. This is when the trio of Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stoinis changed things around.
There were four sixes hit by Lynn and Maxwell each, while Stoinis added another. All three of the players scored at a strike rate of more than 170.00. They took the attack to Krunal Pandya and Khaleel Ahmed in particular and ensured that Australia finished with 158 for 4 in 17 overs.
The rain came down when Australia had faced 16.1 overs and so the DLS adjusted target set to India was 174 from 17 overs.
Some dropped catches from India and a hit to the spider-cam or flying fox as it is being called saved Maxwell as well to add to Australia’s luck. All things considered, though, this was a very good batting performance from Australia. It came in their typical fashion of high-risk approach with sixes being favored.
It came off this time but we are not sure if that is the right approach to take.
The bowling was put under pressure by Shikhar Dhawan but Australia persisted and kept taking wickets. Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers ending with two wickets for 22 runs. He is going to be the main threat to India in this limited-overs leg going forward as well.
Marcus Stoinis picked up a couple of wickets in the end, Billy Stanlake bowled with fire, but Behrendorff and Tye went for plenty of runs.
It is a rare occasion to see Tye struggle in T20 cricket and perhaps this will serve as a wakeup call to him for the remainder of the series.
D'Arcy Short, Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, AJ Tye, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorfff.
India is a notoriously slow starter while traveling overseas. It often seems that the side out-thinks itself, particularly when it comes to selection decisions. It was a strange but understandable choice to leave out Yuzvendra Chahal for the first match but one that we are almost certain will be rectified in the next match.
Chahal is a genuine wicket-taker and has performed brilliantly for India in the past. His partnership with Kuldeep Yadav has been one of the reasons why India has been so consistent in T20 cricket off late. Krunal Pandya seems to be the most likely candidate to miss out if Chahal does make it into the playing eleven.
India must also consider playing Umesh Yadav in place of Khaleel. The left-armer is a military medium bowler at best and is cannon fodder on these pitches. Someone like Umesh Yadav can ramp up the pace and hustle the Australian batsmen.
India also made the very strange and completely befuddling move to shift Kohli down the order. Why would India want its best batsman (also the best batsman in the world) to face fewer deliveries?? Particularly when Rohit Sharma got out early and the target was a stiff one. There is no justification.
Shikhar Dhawan’s good form is a very encouraging sign for the future. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are going to score runs, it is just a matter of time, and now with Dhawan firing, the top-3 looks very dangerous.
Lokesh Rahul should be shifted to 4 while Karthik and Pant seem to have done enough to keep their place in the side.
India was trying to buy some insurance with Krunal Pandya at 7 but that move backfired and must be re-examined for the next match.
Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, and Kuldeep Yadav were very good with the ball. Kuldeep took two wickets for 24 runs in his four overs, Kumar gave away just 15 runs in his three overs, and Jasprit Bumrah returned figures of 21 for 3 from his three overs.
All is not doom and gloom for India moving forward. A few things need to e changed around and the side should be back in order. They are now under increased pressure, though, because they were expected to win this series and cannot afford another slip-up.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, V Kohli, Lokesh Rahul, RR Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, JJ Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed.
The side winning the toss is expected to want to field first with the threat of rain around
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The second T20 match between Australia and India is to be played at the MCG in Melbourne. The weather forecast for the match does not seem too encouraging. There is rain predicted throughout the day and we can just hope that it does not hit the MCG during the time when the match is scheduled.
It looks likely that rain will play a part in the match.
The pitch is a drop-in and has been very flat for limited overs matches over the last few years. Another high-scoring encounter should be played out, provided the rain does not play spoilsport.
India played far from its best cricket in the opening match but came very close to beating Australia. They have the batting to really make a dent in the Aussie attack on a flat MCG pitch. We think they are going to be better prepared for the next match and back them to hit back strongly.
Back India to win.
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