India looks to complete series win

India will be looking to complete its dominance over Australia across formats in the ongoing series when it takes on the visiting side in the second T20 International at the Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday.

Australia cricketers at the Barsapara Stadium on Monday.   -  PTI

India will be looking to complete its dominance over Australia across formats in the ongoing series when it takes on the visiting side in the second T20 International at the Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday. The Assam Cricket Association-owned stadium, which will be making its international debut, presents the perfect setting for the host to accomplish a win and seal the three-match series.

The contest between two of the most potent cricketing teams in the world has mostly been lopsided in the series with India prevailing over Australia in ODIs 4-1, showing a high level of efficiency. The comprehensiveness in India’s performance has been propelled by the good form of its key players in both batting and bowling departments.

This is likely to remain the story once again unless Australia is able construct something outstanding to undo the current competence of the home side. On the head-to-head count in T20, India enjoys a healthy 10-4 lead in the history of meetings between the two countries.

The team, under the leadership of Virat Kohli, thus remains the overwhelming favourite to win the match giving the new venue of International cricket in the country the scope to see a memorable initiation.

                                                                                          MATCH FACTS

# MS Dhoni is set to make his 80 th T20I appearance in this match. He will become only the 5 th player to make that many (Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Dilshan).

# Virat Kohli (1,852) is just 38 runs shy of eclipsing Tillakaratne Dilshan (1,889) as the second-most prolific run scorer in T20I history; only Brendon McCullum (2,140) has scored more than either of them.

 

India coasted to its seventh successive T20 win at Ranchi a couple of days ago, downing the Australians by nine wickets in a rain-truncated match. The possibility of the Duckworth-Lewis System coming into force is a strong possibility once again as overcast conditions and occasional drizzles made most of the day on match eve. While Australia could go through its practice session coming in the morning, the host had to forego its training because of rains. Weather is unlikely to improve in a day with rains forecast on Tuesday.

Going by the form of the host, it is going to prove a handful in any condition. The key element of India’s dominance in the limited-overs format has been the effectiveness of the ‘wrist spin’ duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Yadav’s ‘chinaman’ bowling has been the key area of concern for the visitors who have not been able to read through the technique of the bowler who has the ability to turn the ball both ways. Kohli has time and again praised Yadav’s ‘amazing’ ability of deceiving any batsman. Chahal has combined quite well with Yadav making his ‘wristy’ leg-spin a fine compliment for Yadav’s left-arm variations.

Despite a number of their batsmen playing in the IPL, Australia has struggled against the guile of the India’s new spin pair. Added to this is the discipline and control of the new-ball bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The latter has an uncanny ability of getting through the defences of the stand-in Australian captain David Warner. Kumar’s versatility in swing bowling is well established now and when it combines with Bumrah’s ability to fire yorkers the opposition often finds itself in a tight spot.

The Indian batting has also been fairly balanced with Kohli, Rohit Sharma, M.S. Dhoni, Manish Pandey and the all-rounder Hardik Pandya adding to its strength with fairly consistent contributions at appropriate occasions.

In absence of its injured captain Steve Smith, the Australians will have to regroup under his deputy, Warner. Skippering in absence of Smith, who last played the shortest format of the game in the 2016 World T20, Warner has a good record in the T20Is winning six and losing the last one against India. Warner’s opening partner Aaron Finch is the other mainstay in the Australian batting who has devised a way to tackle the Indian bowling attack with quite a success. But what has bothered the visitors is the middle-order where the likes of Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Daniel Christian and even wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine have not been able to do much.

The teams (from):

India: Virat Kohli (capt.), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.

Australia: David Warner (capt.), Dan Christian, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine (wk), Jason Behrendorff , Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis.

Match starts at 7 pm.