After a convincing 37 run win over the Australians in the first T20I at Adelaide, the teams will clash again tomorrow in the second of the three match series at the Melbourne cricket ground.
India will be looking to close out the series while Australia will look to keep the series alive going in to the third T20.
Rohit Sharma continued his good ODI form by blasting a quick-fire 30 in the first match. He was the one who took Tait on in the first few overs. Dhawan struggled but we all know how dangerous he can be when in full flow.
Kohli was the lynchpin around whom the whole Indian batting seems to revolve these days and he made an enterprising 90* in the first match. He will be looking to capitalise on his good form down under and continue in the same vein. Australia fielded Boyce over Lyon in the first match and I feel that Lyon will be back in this game for them as Boyce has an average game. Raina struggled for timing and placement but he seemed to be regaining some of his vintage form by the time he got out in the last over.
Dhoni showed glimpses of his old hitting ability when he deposited Faulkner in to the stands off the first ball that he faced. Yuvraj will be looking to get a chance to bat in this ODI as he was not required in the last one.
The Australian openers got Australia off to a quick start and Steve Smith followed it up with a quick innings as well but none of the top three could carry on and make a sizeable total. This hurt them as the new comers Lynn and Head struggled against the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja. In the absence of Warner and Smith, who are rested, Shaun Marsh might get a look in.
Watson was playing after a long time in the Aussie shirt and he and Faulkner remain extremely dangerous players down the order. Although chances are there that Watson might shift up the order in the absence of Warner.
Ashish Nehra, making a comeback, started off well and made full use of the chance given to him. Jasprit Bumrah was the bowler who created the most impact as he bowled with good control and hurried the Aussie batsmen even slipping in a couple of deadly yorkers which the Indian bowlers are rarely seen to bowl. Pandya picked up 2 lucky wickets but he lacked control and direction and he will have to improve on his showing.
All in all this promises to be a Fantastico battle between two very good T20 teams. The huge crowd that is expected to fill the MCG will only add to the atmosphere.
Fantastico Battles to Look forward to:
Indian Openers Vs Shaun Tait
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina Vs James Faulkner
Yuvraj Singh Vs Nathan Lyon
Australian Openers Vs Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah
Australian Middle Order Vs Indian Spinners