Cricket Article

Australia v India live & preview 2nd T20I at Melbourne

Australia v India live & preview 2nd T20I at Melbourne Photo: TT

For almost the first time this Australian Summer, the Baggy Green Caps find themselves under pressure going into the second match of the T20I series against India in Melbourne on Friday.

India followed up their consolation win in the fifth and final ODI of a series in which they were beaten 1-4, with a 37-run success in the first of the three T20Is, at the Adelaide Oval.

India would be more than happy with a repeat of the result the last time that they played a T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), when back in 2012 they triumphed by 8-wickets.

However, the match at the MCG prior to that Indian success was played in 2008, when the tourists could muster a mere 75 all out, and they were crushed by 9-wickets.

Three members of the Indian squad in 2008 who suffered that humiliation nearly a decade ago, are still in the tourists ranks; Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh.

The first game of the current series was played in front of an impressive crowd of nearly 45,000 on Australia Day. Unfortunately, the tourists didn’t appreciate that they were supposed to roll over and allow the hosts to record another comfortable international victory.

Virat Kohli scored a scintillating 90 from just 55 balls faced, and led the way as India posted 188-3 in their 20 overs. Even then, the hosts looked as if they were capable of chasing the imposing target, when they stood on 89-1.

However, with Aaron Finch and Steve Smith dismissed within three deliveries, the batting subsided to a disappointing 151 all out.

While Jasprit Bumrah recorded impressive figures of 3-23, it was the spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who had been so ineffective in the ODIs who strangled the Australian batsmen.

Between them they conceded just 49 runs from the eight overs they delivered, and picked up two wickets each.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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