India targeting unassailable T20 series lead over Australia
Australia will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 37-run defeat to India in the opening T20 on Tuesday when the second clash of the three-game series gets underway on Friday.
India’s spin bowlers Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja were the difference makers in Adelaide, striking down the Australian batsmen with four wickets to halt their 189 run chase.
Virat Kohli was the star with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 90 off 55 balls to inspire the visitors past their lacklustre rivals.
Given little hope following a crushing 4-1 defeat to the same opponents in the recent ODI series, India comfortably defeated Steve Smith’s side with a spirited performance.
Australian batsmen Chris Lynn and Travis Head failed to reproduce their supreme Big Bash League form at the Adelaide Oval as the hosts lost their way in the middle overs.
Smith found runs hard to come by – he picked up just 21 runs – and saw his day end early in the ninth over owing to Jadeja. That loss triggered a 7/54 collapse on the way to defeat.
India arrive at the MCG having won two of their last four ODI appearances in Melbourne since the start of 2015 but history proves meetings between the two sides are typically tight affairs.
Australia’s 17-man squad means there are options available, with the Aussies willing to rotate their line-up as preparations for the T20 World Cup become increasingly acute.
It has been confirmed David Warner will sit out the two remaining T20 games, with the prolific batsman rested ahead of the New Zealand tour.
Glenn Maxwell could return to the team in place of Shane Watson, whilst neither Shaun Tait, James Faulkner nor Kane Richardson are confirmed of their spot after being hit for at least ten an over each.
India are expected to name an unchanged side following the convincing performance in the series opener, with an experienced squad set to be named once more as they chase a 2-0 unassailable lead.