The caravan of the India tour of Australia returns to Sydney as the Men in Blue eye their 10th consecutive win in T20I cricket and in the process register yet another bilateral series win when they square-off against the Aussies at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.
A lot has changed from the last time, Virat Kohli’s men were in Sydney. After being hammered in the first two ODIs at the SCG, Team India has scripted a resounding comeback by winning the dead-rubber ODI and the first T20I at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Unlike in ODI cricket, the SCG has been a happy hunting ground for Team India in T20Is. They have won each of their two encounters against the home side in Sydney and in both Virat Kohli played a massive role (50 in 2016 and 61* in 2018).
India might have won the first T20I in Canberra owing to Ravindra Jadeja’s late onslaught and Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan’s brilliant spells, but it should not hide the fact that India’s batting was largely lackluster.
There was little to no intent by the batting-unit barring KL Rahul, who shifted gears after a slow start and to an extent Sanju Samson. Manish Pandey, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli did not look in any sort of rhythm.
With Ravindra Jadeja no longer available, India’s lower middle-order has weakened considerably, which puts the onus on the top-6 to not only lead the way with the bat but also break the shackles of conservative.
As far as Australia is concerned, the last two matches have once again exposed a couple of chinks in their armor. Firstly, they are heavily dependent on their top-3 to give them an ideal platform. With David Warner injured and Steve Smith failing in the last two games, the pressure of leading the batting-unit has fallen immensely on Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell.
Australia tried D’Archy Short at the opening spot and Matthew Wade- a specialist opener- in the middle-order in the last game. Both moves backfired considerably. It will be interesting to see if the home side slot-in Alex Carey, who himself has had a torrid time in T20 cricket- in the middle-order and push Wade at the opening spot.
Another facet of Australia’s white-ball set-up that has been exposed in the last two games is their death bowling. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Sean Abbott, and Josh Hazlewood have been taken to the cleaners by the likes of Jadeja and Pandya, something they will hope to improve on, in the upcoming game.
Australia vs India, 2020: 2nd T20I, Sydney: Weather Forecast
Another bright and sunny day awaits us in Sydney on Sunday. According to the BBC weather report, the temperatures are expected to hover between 17-30 degrees Celsius, while the humidity is set to hover around 36 percent. Chances of rain- minimal.