India vs Australia 2020-21, 2nd T20I preview: Virat Kohli and co look to seal series with a win
First Published Dec 5, 2020, 2:23 PM IST
India are coming off a narrow 11-run win in the opening Twenty20 International, in Canberra. A win on Sunday would allow India to script their ninth consecutive win in the format. Meanwhile, Australia would look to turn things around, as they eye the top spot in the ICC Rankings.
After coming off a terrific and winning performance in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I), Team India get set to take on Australia in the second T20I, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), on Sunday. A win here would allow India to seal the series, along with their ninth consecutive win in the format, while the Australians would aim to bounce back, as they eye the top spot in the ICC T20I Rankings.
The opening game in Canberra saw an all-round performance from the Indians, as KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja rocked it with the bat. At the same time, Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan nailed it with the ball. However, there was a mild controversy, after Chahal replaced Jadeja as a concussion substitute. Meanwhile, we present the match preview for this upcoming encounter at SCG.
Current form: India have been in brutal form in the format, as they have won eight consecutive matches, including a 5-0 clean sweep in New Zealand. Meanwhile, the Australians seem to be struggling, as they even lost their previous series in England (1-2).
Squad composition: As of now, both the teams have a bowling-heavy squad, as was evident from the modest total being scored during the opening game. Nonetheless, the possession of more all-rounders by the hosts is to give them some advantage.
Injury concerns: India have suffered a setback from the opening game, as fertile all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out, owing to a concussion he suffered and has been replaced by pacer Shardul Thakur, who can come in handy with the bat too. As for Australia, skipper Aaron Finch seems to have injured his hip and is expected to undergo scans, before taking a call whether to play on Sunday. In case he misses out, Steve Smith might take up the leadership role.
Head-to-head: Considering their head-on clashes to date, India have the upper hand, having won 12 of the 21 T20Is, while Australia have won eight, with a tie ending in no result. Off the 10 games in Australia, India have won six, with Australia winning just three. At SCG, the teams have clashed on two occasions, with India being victorious each time.
Weather and pitch report: As for the weather in Sydney, it would be slightly warmer than Canberra, with temperature likely to be around 19 degrees, along with a 36% chance of humidity. As for the track, it has traditionally suited the spinners. However, with a new look flat track, it could be a run feast, while any total above 160 could be highly competitive.
India: KL Rahul (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer/Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar/Jasprit Bumrah.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c)/Marnus Labushagne, D'arcy Short/Alex Carey, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade (wk), Ashton Agar, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa.
Batsmen: Short, Finch and Henriques- Short and Finch can give the start, while Henriques can consolidate in the middle.
Wicketkeepers: Rahul and Samson- Rahul is the man in form with the bat and can also play as an opener, giving the right start, while Samson can go all guns blazing in the middle.
All-rounders: Pandya- The all-rounder has been in the explosive form of late, especially in the T20Is, and is expected to possess the same momentum
Bowlers: Zampa, Starc, Natarajan, Chahal and Chahar- Zampa and Chahal are undoubtedly expected to dominate with their spin on the tracks of SCG. Meanwhile, Starc and Chahar can do the same with their seam, while Natarajan has been in prolific form with his pace, terrorising the batsmen.
Players to watch out
Chahal: The leg-spinner was a surprise package in the last game, as coming on as a concussion substitute for Jadeja, he outshined everyone with his spin. Consequently, he would be backed by the Indian management to come up with similar performance.
Maxwell: The all-rounder has been struggling in the format of late, especially coming off a rough patch in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as the Australian management would expect him to brush his rustiness aside and fire off.
Date and day: December 6, 2020 (Sunday)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Time: 1:40 PM IST
Where to watch (TV): Sony Six, Ten 1 and Ten 3 (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Sony LIV