Second T20: India look to clinch series

India will not feel the need to tinker with a winning combination — something arrived at after a struggle during the one-day series.

The Indians will be looking to clinch the T20 series in Melbourne.   -  AP

A new-look, resurgent India holds the opportunity to claim a first bilateral series victory of any sort in Australia — as much as these things matter — in the second KFC T20 international at the MCG here on Friday. India will be optimistic, not least, because of the manner in which Ravindra Jadeja and R. Ashwin shackled Australia in Adelaide. With the scoreboard exerting pressure of its own, the home team’s batsmen were forced to attempt big hits against spin, leading to their demise. Ashwin went for 17 from his first over, but finished with figures of two for 28 from four overs. There was turn for Jadeja during the third ODI here. That and the MCG’s immense square boundaries mean the two bowlers may expect more joy.

India will not feel the need to tinker with a winning combination — something arrived at after a struggle during the one-day series. Ajinkya Rahane, recovering from a split webbing, faced only gentle throws-down in the nets, and that after all the other batsmen had finished. He is unlikely to be risked.

For Australia’s part, David Warner and Steve Smith will be missing from the squad for the next two matches in order to prepare for their team’s ODI series in New Zealand. Glenn Maxwell’s return to fitness, however, will be welcomed. It rained briefly on Thursday afternoon, with more showers forecast for Friday, although that means little in Melbourne, with its notoriously fickle weather.

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya has received an official reprimand for the send-off he gave Chris Lynn during the first T20 international in Adelaide on Tuesday. Pandya was found guilty of breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The ICC cited Article 2.1.7 of the Code of Conduct, which relates to “Using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal during an International Match”.

In a release, the ICC said Pandya had "celebrated excessively in close proximity to the dismissed batsman, which could have provoked an aggressive reaction."

After the game, the Baroda all-rounder admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by the match referee, Jeff Crowe.

The teams (from):

India: M. S. Dhoni (Capt.), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishi Dhawan, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Ashish Nehra, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Umesh Yadav.

Australia: Aaron Finch (Capt.), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, and Shane Watson.

Officials: Umpires: Simon Fry and Paul Wilson, TV umpire: John Ward, Match referee: Jeff Crowe, Reserve umpire: Sam Nogajski.

Match starts at 2:08 p.m. IST