Australian cricket team is on a verge of facing another series loss as they have experienced their worst fears for the limited-over tour to India. They are not only struggling for the confidence of winning a game but also missing the Australian mindest in themselves.
After witnessing their performance in Ranchi, the T20Is also seems to be the less exciting one, unless the team from down under uncover a talisman and put a life to this largely forgettable tour. India’s demonstrative home advantage might get diminished slightly at the new Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.
However, the shortest format of the game has been known to bridges gaps in quality between teams. When the first T20I was further shortened by a rainstorm to a six-over chase, Australia tried their best to claim an unlikely victory, but Virat Kohli and his men didn’t even need to gove their 100 percent in order to make their visitors look helpless. Indian bowlers had already sealed the game for India, as it also becoming a pattern under Kohli.
India’s dominance in the first T20I became evident when 6 out of 8 Australian wickets were bowled, which clearly means that Indian bowlers had deceived the down under men. But Australia must believe they can still produce an upset and keep the series alive, if they make the basics right.
Given Australia’s middle-order performance in the ongoing tour, they are completely dependent on the top-order (which is also missing Steve Smith). It is perhaps the best time Australia to regain some of the lost reputation, to prove their worth at least in the shortest format of the game.
Pitch and Weather conditions
Talking about the conditions, spinners had always been the beneficiaries at this venue, but the curator Mukut Kalita is hopeful his surface will produce a runfest. Guwahati experienced rains on Monday afternoon but the ground’s drainage facility, praised to be one of the best in India, should make sure that interruption doesn’t have a huge effect.
With another series on the line, India might not be making any changes to the squad as they haven’t got to test their batting, which may still lack a little ‘x-factor’. While the composition of batsmen may not be changed, Hardik Pandya as a bowler in T20Is is still a matter of concern for Virat. However, Hardik recovered well after conceding 23 in his first two overs in Ranchi, but on a flat track, India’s bowling line-up could get exposed.
On the other hand, Australia needs to rethink about their batting line-up as the middle-order is very inexperienced and always seem vulnerable. Australia understands that the No.3 position demands a player who can anchor and attack according to the needs, so the misfiring Glenn Maxwell, who has become the bunny of Yuzvendra Chahal, might not be the be the best fit for that position. Their bowling line-up hasn’t been tested but Jason Behrendorff, the left-arm pacer, might have impressed the team management.
Facts and Figures
Did you know?
– The Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati will be the 49th Indian venue to host an international match.
– India has beaten Australia in seven T20Is in a row now. Only one team has had a longer winning streak against a particular opponent as Pakistan has won all their nine T20I encounters against Zimbabwe.
– In the six matches, India and Australia have played in 2017 across formats, Yuzuvendra Chahal has dismissed Glenn Maxwell on five occasions.
India: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni(wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Australia: David Warner(c), Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Moises Henriques/Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Christian, Tim Paine(wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa