After a tight first game to start their series, Australia and India were frustrated by the rain as the second T20I was abandoned in Melbourne after Australia made 132/7 in 19 overs. The T20I series plays out its last hymn in Sydney on Sunday. Rest assured, it will be a tight encounter with both sides eager to get one up over the other ahead of a busy summer.
The Australians were short changed just before the toss as fast bowler Billy Stanlake was injured in the warm-up. It got worse on the field as they started horribly with the bat. Quick wickets kept pegging them back and at no point did Australia look like taking charge.
Ben McDermott (32* from 30 balls) was the lone saving grace which was great for fantasy cricket coaches who selected him for cheap, and together with Nathan Coulter-Nile (18 from 9) took them past 100 and a decent score. However, captain Aaron Finch will be worried about the inconsistencies in the side which keep haunting them every other game! Of course, the return of Mitchell Starc should boost the side for the third T20.
India were hard done by rain in the first T20I, where the DLS system robbed them of a win even after scoring more than the Aussies. They were on the money right from ball one in Melbourne as seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/20) and Khaleel Ahmed (2/39) kept them ahead of the game.
A series loss will be cruel on the visitors, who have been impressive for the most part of the two matches so far. Should a full T20I be played in Sydney, the signs from Melbourne showed that India are ready to take the game to Australia and pick up a win to draw the series.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Glenn Maxwell still remains the top bet for Australia, as the other big names in the batting line-up continue to flounder. His ability to find the big shots at will makes him a favourite with the fantasy teams.
Nathan Coulter-Nile has been surprisingly effective with the bat, and you expect him to play his part with only the ball. That makes him an interesting all-round option for fantasy cricket teams.
Shikhar Dhawan will be gutted that he didn’t get to bat in Melbourne, because he looked in great tough in the first T20I at The Gabba. The left-handed opener should once again be the focus man for India.
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Australia (probable XI): 1 Aaron Finch (Capt), 2 D Arcy Short, 3 Chris Lynn, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Ben McDermott 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Mitchell Starc
India (probable XI): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (Capt), 4 KL Rahul, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Rishabh Pant, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah