About the Match
India continued their dominance over Australia in the T20 format as they cantered to an easy win in the first match. The difference between the two teams seemed so stark at times that India never really had to out of cruise control. Is there anything left in the Aussie tank to keep this series alive or will India wrap that up with ease as well?
If India were to ask for a pitch that would suit them the most and Australia the least then it would probably be something like what Ranchi offered. It was low, slow and offered some spin. It was not bad enough that runs could not be scored but it was the kind of surface that India encountered on a daily basis in domestic cricket while Australia would rarely ever get one like this back home.
India won the toss and elected to bowl where they quickly deduced that a wicket to wicket line was the best option. Six out of the 8 batsmen to fall were out bowled.
To be fair to the Indians they made the most of the conditions and bowled brilliantly. Jasprit Bumrah was lethal with his yorkers, the spinners kept tight lines and picked regular wickets while Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was dependable as ever. Only Hardik Pandya found the going somewhat tough in his opening spell and could be targeted by the Aussies in the upcoming games.
India’s ODI victories came on the back of some amazing performances with the ball where Australia was never let off the leash. The same exact team with Shikhar Dhawan swapped out for Rahane handed out the same medicine to Australia and there is a good chance they will do it again.
That target that they eventually ended up chasing could have been tricky thanks to the reduced nature of the game but Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan ran it down with ease as well. The Indian batting in the T20’s has been guilty of not going hard enough at the top and lacking some power finishers down the order but with Hardik Pandya being elevated to 4 in the ODI’s, we could see a change in tactic being implemented here as well.
We don’t see India making any changes to the lineup that they used in the first ODI as they look to have all the bases covered.
The loss of Steve Smith before the first match can be considered a serious loss but not something this Australian team would have considered a fatal blow. The loss of someone like David Warner would be much more disadvantageous.
For a while it looked like Warner was in the mood to score some runs but the slow nature of the pitch and a tight line of bowling meant that he chopped the ball onto his stumps. After that, it was only Aaron Finch who looked in some form and capable of breaking the shackles the Indian bowlers had imposed.
Glen Maxwell batting at number 3 looked completely at sea and eventually just smashed a long-hop straight to the fielder. He seems to have regressed on this tour and maybe it is time Australia sit him out and give someone like Stoinis an extended run at the top of the order.
Even Tim Paine, someone who has had an excellent BBL or Moises Henriques who had considerable success in T20 over the world could be given a chance at the top of the order. By keeping things predictable, Australia is just playing into India’s hands and not putting up much of a fight.
The limp batting display meant that rain could have been their only savior, however, even that was not to be. Defending 48 off 6 overs with a brand new ball and all ten wickets intact was never going to be easy.
Nathan Coulter-Nile continued his penchant for picking up early wickets by removing Rohit Sharma but it was all India’s way from there on in. The Aussie bowling needs to adapt to the conditions they are playing in a bit better, although, the bowling lineup has been the better performing arm of this Australia team by far.
The left am quick, Behrendorff made his debut and was very impressive in the only over he bowled. He will definitely be someone we are keen to watch more of in the upcoming matches. His early swing back into the right-hander could allow him to target Rohit Sharma in a manner that has been his downfall in the past.
Andrew Tye, another T20 specialist who also had a hat-trick in the last IPL, Adam Zampa, whose favorite form of cricket seems to be T20 and Dan Christian, a more than useful all-rounder are all high-quality players that deserve a bit better from their batting.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Guwahati is expected to be a bit better for batting but much in the same mold as Ranchi. There is also some rain the air with a 30% chance of thunderstorms currently being forecast for match day.
Winning the toss and batting second could be the way to go if DLS is going to come into play once again.
India to wi