India go into the second Twenty20 International against Australia, in Melbourne on Friday, on a confident note. After 1-4 drubbing in the just-concluded ODI series, the Men in Blue have a brilliant opportunity to turn the tide in the Twenty20s. Catch all live cricket scores and updates here. (SCHEDULE | NEWS)
In the first Twenty20 international in Adelaide, which India won by 37 runs, Virat Kohli continued his sizzling form to score an unbeaten 90 off just 55 balls. He was assisted well by Suresh Raina (41), Rohit Sharma (31) and Dhoni (11*).
After a long gap, the Indian bowlers too fired in unison with Jasprit Bumrah being the pick of the lot. The youngster returned with figures of 3/23. Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Hardik Pandya too were amongst the wickets.
Ahead of the World Twenty20 at home in March-April, the way Team India coped with pressure against Australia definitely augurs well for future.
To add to India’s benefit, Australia will be without David Warner and Steven Smith, who have left the squad to prepare for the upcoming New Zealand tour. Though the duo could not do well in the first Twenty20, their presence alone can change the course of the game.
In their absence, a fit-again Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh are likely to have a look in and India need to tackle the big-hitters cautiously. Aaron Finch has been the lone bright spot for Kangaroos, but the likes of Shane Watson, Chris Lynn can be dangerous.
On the bowling front, with the exception of Watson, all other bowlers including Kane Richardson, James Faulkner and Shaun Tait had an economy rate of more than 7.50. While Australia would be eager to change that stat, Indian batsmen would not be too concerned as they have been going through a purple patch of late.
Only opener Shikhar Dhawan has been a bit shaky. If he can pull up his socks in time, this Indian side would definitely be the favourites for the 2016 World Twenty20, as predicted by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar to NDTV.