Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)

Throwing away all the predictions out of the window, Australia got the better of favourites India in Brisbane. In a rain-truncated affair, the home team was boosted by some impressive performances across departments as they recorded an important win against a top side that will do them a world of good going further. However, it was a wake up call for India who are in hunt for their eighth consecutive bilateral T20I series.

India clean swept a three-match bilateral T20I series last time in Australia. However, this time, despite the pre-series hype, they have been jolted early and will have to work on several fronts including a settling on a combination to give them an edge. At the Gabba, Krunal Pandya and Khaleel Ahmed were taken apart by the Australia batsmen.

Then KL Rahul, while batting at No. 3, failed again. Virat Kohli gave away his preferred spot to Rahul and his own performance also took a dip. Judging a team’s performance from a single match won’t be appropriate but it does give the tourists an idea of what they need to work on to draw level in Melbourne on Friday.

Date: November 23, Friday

Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground

Time: 1:20pm (IST)

Weather: Windy, showers predicted

Team News

India

In the absence of allrounder Krunal Pandya, India are struggling to strike a balance. While Krunal was decent against the Windies, he was taken apart by Glenn Maxwell on Wednesday. However, dropping him after one off night will be harsh. What India could do is drop Khaleel and bring in legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal for a three-prong spin attack. Kohli should also move to the No. 3 spot.

Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (c), 4 KL Rahul, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Dinesh Karthik, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Australia

Could Aaron Finch have asked for a better start to the series? Probably yes but the result is more important as that puts them in a good space of mind. However, that also means he would be unwilling to tinker with the winning combination.

Probable XI: 1 Aaron Finch (c), 2 D’Arcy Short, 3 Chris Lynn, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Ben McDermott, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Andrew Tye, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Billy Stanlake

Statistics

=>Rohit Sharma needs 58 runs more to become the highest run-getter in T20Is

=>Jasprit Bumrah needs three wickets more to complete 50 wickets in the format

=>Should India lose in Melbourne, their run of seven-straight bilateral T20I series wins would come to an end

Quotes

“Melbourne is like a homecoming. I live there, my family lives there, so I am looking forward to enjoying there. There is no extra motivation as such. I just want to go and enjoy myself.” – Shikhar Dhawan

“We have got good memories in the team. We dominated T20s last year. We were in good form not so long ago. Obviously, things have not gone our way, but we know we are still a good side.” – Marcus Stoinis