India drew first blood in the T20 series against Australia in Canberra, defeating the hosts by 11 runs to claim a lead in the series. The two sides will move on to Sydney for the next two T20Is with different objectives. The men in blue will aim to claw their way back in the tour by winning the T20I series while Australia will want to level it and gain a foothold ahead of the Test series.
However, they have a plethora of injury concerns ahead of the second T20 international and want their every senior batsman to make telling contributions unlike in the first time. The home side needs to win those crucial moments against a dynamic Indian side to stay in the hunt to win the series. We could witness a string of changes to the Australian team and could derive some confidence, coming to Sydney.
We take a look at Australia’s eleven ahead of their second T20 international against India:
Aaron Finch (c):
Aaron Finch remains in doubt for the second T20 international against India, having suffered a hip or glute injury and faced problems while batting. Finch was one of the openers and gave Australia a blazing start in pursuit of 162 and eventually fell for 35 to provide the opposition with their first breakthrough.
Matthew Wade (wk):
Matthew Wade could most likely open the innings in the second T20 international against India, having batted at number six in the first. Wade came under pressure in the opening game as he was not able to get the big shots from the word-go, perishing for four runs. Wade will most likely open the innings, replacing D’arcy Short, who struggled to get going.
Steve Smith has posted two successive underwhelming scores after two consecutive tons in the first two ODIs in Sydney. Steve Smith got an excellent connection to the slog attempted in the first T20 international; however, Sanju Samson’s catch was too good for the former Australian captain. Australia needs a significant performance with the bat from the right-handed batsman to level the series.
Australia could hand a T20I debut to Marnus Labuschagne, who could lend stability to the batting order as well as capable of striking big. While Marnus Labuschagne does not have an outstanding T20 record, he could hold one end and settle as the batsmen in the other end could plunder the big shots.
After a prolific outing in the ODI series, Glenn Maxwell could not enjoy a solid opening in the first T20 international. Glenn Maxwell managed only two runs from three deliveries as T Natarajan pinned him on the crease for an LBW appeal as it resulted in a wicket eventually. The all-rounder needs to put on a compelling performance too.
Moises Henriques was the star of Australia’s bowling, picking up three wickets in four overs while conceding only 22 runs in the process. Moises Henriques’ wickets in the middle overs proved decisive as Australia pulled things back after India made a reasonably good start. With the bat, the veteran scored 28 runs and held the key to Australia’s victory for long before the pressure got to him.
Alex Carey could well replace D’arcy Short in a must-win game for Australia, giving the hosts a potent batting option as they desperately needed in the first T20I. Alex Carey has been in fine form with the bat and is a designated match-winner with the bat. The southpaw could also keep wickets, leaving Matthew Wade as the fielder.
Mitchell Starc seemed in a much better nick in the first T20 international, picking two wickets for 34 runs in four overs. Mitchell Starc accounted for Shikhar Dhawan and Washington Sundar and is also a handy batsman down the order. He will take the new ball.
Josh Hazlewood bowled exceedingly well with the new ball and if it was not for his last over, Australia could have won the first game. Josh Hazlewood leaked 23 runs in the 19th over that helped India go past 150, handing India the competitive edge and ultimately post a winning score. He ended with figures of 4-0-39-0.
Adam Zampa continued his excellent form from the ODIs and delivered yet another tidy spell in the first T20 international. Adam Zampa finished with figures of 4-0-20-1, picking the wicket of Manish Pandey and controlling the run-flow in the middle overs.
Mitchell Swepson bowled too short during his two-over spell where he gave 21 runs and picked up the wicket of Virat Kohli. It was a soft-dismissal as Kohli chipped it back to the bowler, trying to work it to the off-side. Despite giving away two fours and a six, the leggie could keep his place.