India and Australia face in the 2nd T20I at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur, after their defeat by four wickets in the 1st T20I. This is a crucial game for the home team as this is not only a do or die game, but more importantly, only India only has five more T20Is before its World Cup opener against rivals Pakistan.
India, the World No.1 T20 team still has an unsettled playing XI. It has been more so after an injury to mainstay Ravindra Jadeja. The first T20I and the Asia Cup also showed how massively over reliant is India on Jasprit Bumrah. India’s inability to hold Australia to a 200-plus score at Mohali was a good example of some of the existing weaknesses in their bowling lineup. In the final overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggled once more, and Harshal Patel, returned back to the side also leaked many runs. The return of Bumrah may solve the problem, for now. All Indian bowlers went at over 10 runs an over, with the exception of Axar Patel, who is very ably filling the boots of Jadeja in the bowling department.
However, loss of Jadeja also means a loss of good fielder, and India’s poor fielding was on full display at the PCA Stadium. With the T20 WC on the horizon, the management clearly has to work on that. The Indian camp was able to draw some positives from the first game despite India’s fast bowling unit’s shaky performance. At the top of the order, KL Rahul made a brilliant half century. Suryakumar Yadav just missed a well deserving fifty and it was because of Hardik Pandya‘s MVP knock that the Men in Blue were able to reach 208.
Australia, on the other hand go into the second match with a lot of confidence. Cameron Green, who isn’t even a part of Australia’s squad for the World Cup, made full use of the opportunity given to him by the team management. Also, Tim David and Matthew Wade are giving Australia’s batting order the necessary firepower down the order going into the 2nd T20I and in the upcoming World Cup.
Nathan Ellis was Australia’s best bowler, in a pitch where over 400 runs were scored. He consistently varied his lengths and pace and the visitors will be pleased with his performance. The Baggy Greens are nevertheless concerned about a few things. One of them is skipper Aaron Finch’s dismal performance; in his last nine international games, the Australian captain has only registered one score of 20 or more. On the other side, fast bowler Pat Cummins went for more than 11 an over in the opening T20I. Both of them would like to improve their performance and help their team clinch the series.