M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
February 27, 2019; 19:00 IST
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The main picture
For India and Australia, the first Twenty20 International was a good workout aside from the fact that the visitor played the crucial stages of the match better and won off the last ball.
From India’s perspective, they got plenty out of the match even if they did ultimately suffer a last-ball defeat which, given how Jasprit Bumrah had delivered the 19th over and given Umesh Yadav 13 runs to defend, must have hurt Virat Kohli and co. Among the positives for India were KL Rahul making a substantial score on his return to the national team; Jasprit Bumrah proving that the break has only freshened him up and not affected his rhythm, and Mayank Markande, on his debut, bowling quite well amid an onslaught from Glenn Maxwell, who walked in at No. 4 after the two early wickets of Marcus Stoinis and captain Aaron Finch.
Australia will take great confidence from the fact that they restricted India to just 126 after Rahul and Kohli had given India a platform to post a score above 150 at least with their second-wicket partnership of 55. Adam Zampa offered control and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who has the tendency to hemorrhage runs, picked wickets by bending his back and getting the ball to lift from the back of a length.
Heading into the second T20I, the objectives for the two teams will continue to be the same: give opportunities to players who are making their comebacks and eyeing a World Cup place, and see if they can produce a good performance with the bat or with the ball. Ultimately, both teams want to go into the World Cup in a good frame of mind and with all the players having the weight of runs or wickets behind them.
For Indian players, in particular, the scenario is different given that the IPL season begins on March 23 and almost each of the 15 players who make the World Cup squad will face a great deal of exertion over a month-and-a-half. The IPL can work in both ways—build up the confidence of players or potentially put a dent in confidence should one not have a good season—but by playing a proper Australian team (even minus three integral players in David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc), India also get to know what they can expect from the defending world champion when these two teams face off on June 10.
Played under lights, T20 cricket, in particular, can make for exciting viewing at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the ball flies quite frequently into the stands and the batsmen take advantage of the smaller boundary at the venue. Therefore, the fans can once again expect to be entertained even though the teams will potentially be trying out combinations and might not play with their full-strength line-ups.
Pitch report and weather forecast
The Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch has become slower in recent years, with spin playing a significant role. While the boundary is smaller and even mishits can carry over the rope, the pace and bounce in the pitch and the level of dryness will dictate what sort of a match we witness (a high-scoring, bat-dominated fixture or a match with bowlers having a greater say).
The forecast says that Wednesday evening will be cloudy with a temperature of 18 degree Celsius.
India vs Australia playing 11 for 2nd T20
Possible India playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Rishabh Pant, 6 Dinesh Karthik/Vijay Shankar, 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Krunal Pandya, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Mayank Markande/Siddarth Kaul
Possible Australia playing 11: 1 Aaron Finch (c), 2 Marcus Stoinis, 3 D’Arcy Short, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Jhye Richardson/Kane Richardson, 11 Jason Behrendorff
Despite all the personnel changes that are bound to be made, the quality of players in both ranks is likely to treat us to another good match.