2nd T20I: India eye series win, Australia look to stay alive

After clinching the first match by a narrow margin, Virat Kohli-led India will look to continue their momentum when they take on Australia in the second T20I of the three-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.

The Men in Blue took an early 1-0 lead in the series after registering a 11-run triumph over the Aaron Finch-led side at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday, courtesy three-wicket haul each by concussion substitute Yuzvendra Chahal and debutant T Natarajan.

After India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan (one) and skipper Virat Kohli (nine) cheaply, KL Rahul (51) smashed a crucial half-century before Ravindra Jadeja brought up an unbeaten 23-ball 44 to help India post a decent total of 161 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs after being asked to bat first.

In reply, Chahal–who was called up as Ravindra Jadeja’s concussion substitute after the all-rounder got a blow on his helmet while batting in the last over off a Mitchell Starc delivery– went on to produce a match-winning performance as he bagged three crucial wickets of Aaron Finch (35), Steve Smith (12) and Mathew Wade (7) while conceding just 25 runs.

Meanwhile, T20I Natarajan removed D’Arcy Short (34), Glenn Maxwell (2) and Mitchell Starc (1) to help India restrict Australia to a score of 150 for seven.

The Men in Blue will now be keen to capitalise on their victory in the first T20I and seal the series with a game to spare.

Australia, on the other hand, will look to rebound strongly and clinch the win in the second match in order to stay alive in the series.

As far as squads are concerned, Jadeja has been ruled out of the remainder of the T20I series against the Aussies due to concussion. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has called up Shardul Thakur in the national squad as a replacement for Jadeja.

Meawnwhile, Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon has been included in the Australian squad for the remaining two matches against the Virat Kohli-led side in the shortest format of the game.

Lyon, who has not played for the side in the 20-over format of the game since October 2018 and has appeared in just two T20I matches, has been called up as a replacement for Cameron Green. Green has been released by the national side so that he could join the Australia A squad for a three-day red-ball clash against an Indian side from Sunday at Drummoyne Oval.

Meanwhile, Ashton Agar has been ruled out of the series with a calf injury.Mitchell Swepson was brought in as cover for Agar in the series-opening clash on Friday and he finished with figures of 1/21 in two overs he bowled.


India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper).

Australia T20I squad: Aaron Finch (Captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner, Adam Zampa.



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