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As we approach the eve of the 2nd T20I of the 3 match series between Australia and India, We can be ensured of a captivating battle for a resurgent India who seems to be picking up steam against the mighty Australians. The 1st T20I wasn't without its own drama with India seeming to be faltering again, when Jadeja provided a late push for a decent score later substituted by Yuzvendra Chahal, The concussion substitute putting in a man of the match performance.

This is a must-win game for the hosts at the Sydney International, so the fans can expect them to give their all-out to stop India from clinching the series. There is also the loss of Ravindra Jadeja to cope with, but the performances of T Natrajan and Kl Rahul should instill some confidence that the Australian storm can be weathered. 

Kl Rahul top-scored for the Indian side with a half-century amidst the regular fall of wickets and when at one stage 150 looked like a tough ask. But a brisk 44 of 23 from Jadeja and a strong performance on the field was enough to restrict the Australians and win the game by 11 runs. 

The Indians who lost both their games at the SCG will be hoping they can carry on the winning momentum to wrap up the series. Will the loss of Jadeja and the awe of SCG prove too much? Or Indians have the firepower to finally turn it around in Sydney?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 21, Australia- 8, India- 12, N/R- 1

Team news

There was some ease of tension in the Aussies camp as their spearhead Mitchell Starc was declared fit for the 1st T20 International and showed glimpses of his true potential by bagging the prize wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. Baggy Greens will still be without the services of David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, and Ashton Agar.

As per the latest reports, the injured Ashton Agar has been replaced by experienced off-spinner Nathon Lyon and that middle order Cameron Green has been dropped from the T20I squad. The inclusion of Lyon means that Mitchell Swepson will have to make way for him.

On the other side, Team India will be forced to make a change with their key all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja injured due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the 1st T20I. Though his replacement produced a match-winning performance to clinch the 1st t20 international, The men in blue will not have much to worry about and he is likely to replace Jadeja for the upcoming T20I.

Pitch and conditions  

Looking at the ODI’s we are in an absolute belter of a match as the pitch looks an ideal strip for batting, As we saw both the teams score more than 300 runs in all the four innings. As expected a high-scoring thriller is on the cards and the toss-winning captain should be looking to bat first. Any score of more than 185 is likely to put the chasing team under pressure.

The conditions seem ideal for cricket as a sunny, clear sky is expected throughout the day. The temperature is expected to hover in the 27-23 degree range and the humidity at the peak is expected to reach the 35% percent mark making sure the conditions will be relaxing compared to the last few matches.

Probable Playing Xl

Australia (Aus): D'Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Nathon Lyon, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

India (Ind): Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami/Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal

Key Battles

Aaron Finch (Aus) vs Washington Sundar (Ind)

Aaron Finch Washington Sundar India
Aaron Finch (Aus) vs Washington Sundar (Ind)

Aaron Finch looked in exquisite touch helping the Aussies make a good start and flinging the momentum in their direction. It looked like Finch will make short of the chase of the target set by Indians before getting out at 35 at 26 balls.

Washington Sundar surprised everyone by continuing his IPL heroics in Australia, Sydney being a batting paradise it will be interesting to see if Washington can continue to make the batsmen struggle for a run. Finch’s frustration against Washington was clearly to be seen as his struggle to make 4 off 14 bowled to him.

Shikhar Dhawan (Ind) vs Mitchell Starc (Ind)

Shikhar Dhawan Shikhar Dhawan India
Shikhar Dhawan (Ind) vs Mitchell Starc (Ind)

Something felt off with Stark in the first two ODI’s and he missed the third one due to some minor injury. But in the last T20, though not back fully to his best he showed us something closer to his true potential. He did find his old line and length that has always made it hard to play him, troubling the batsmen in his first 2 overs.

Dhawan will have a point to prove as Stark got him out rather cheaply in the 1st T20 International. Seeing a full-length delivery, Dhawan leaned forward to drive it, But a late swing surprised him and crashed onto his off stump.

Prediction

With India’s bowling compared to the ODI’s look completely different, there is bite and fiery. With good performances by T Natrajan, Washington Sundar, and Yuzvvendra Chahal, It looks like India has what it takes to wrap up this series.

The conditions do favor Australia if the ODI’s are anything to go by. But they do have a few key players missing, But India has improved their bowling and turned the table with momentum on their side.

Cricwizz Predicts India to win the 2nd T20I and seal the series