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Update India tour of Australia, 2020-21 - Match news updates
#1

Australia vs India, 1st ODI: Aaron Finch slams 17th ODI hundred to put hosts in a commanding position

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Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch, leading from the front, slammed his 17th ODI hundred to provide his side with a robust start against visitors India in the first game at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Finch opened the floodgates after a cautious start as he and fellow opener David Warner stitched a century opening stand to put Australia in a commanding position.

The experienced opening pair notched up 150 against a hapless Indian bowling unit. Mohammed Shami provided India with the breakthrough by dismissing Warner in the 28th over. The southpaw departed after scoring 69 off 76 deliveries.

Finch, however, stuck in the middle to keep the scoreboard ticking. With occasional boundaries and singles, he played a captain's knock and reached the three-figure mark in the 39th over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. The right-hander weaved his impressive knock around 7 fours and 2 sixes. Finch also became the second-fastest Australian batsman to score 5,000 runs in ODIs.

Earlier in the innings, Finch reached his 28th half-century in the 19th over. The Finch-Warner duo also became the first pair to build four 150+ partnerships against a team in the ODI format. To assist Finch after Warner's dismissal, Steve Smith hit a flurry of boundaries and scored a brisk half-century in the middle overs.

In the recently-concluded IPL 2020, Finch had a below-par season for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side. While opening the innings with youngster Devdutt Padikkal, Finch managed to score 268 runs in 12 games at an underwhelming average of 22.33.

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#2

Team India players fined 20 per cent of match fee for maintaining slow over-rate

Team India players have been fined 20 per cent of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate against Australia during the first ODI of the three-match series on Friday. According to a statement from the ICC, India were ruled to be "one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration."

Virat Kohli has pleaded guilty to the offence and has accepted the sanction, and so, no formal hearing will be required.

Match referee David Boon imposed the sanction.

Earlier, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa talked about the slow over-rate in the first ODI.

"I don't know what the ruling should be, or if there should be punishment, but something definitely has to be done about it," Zampa had said.

"From a viewers' point of view it's probably not the best look for the game."

Australia defeated India by 66 wickets in the first ODI, and took 10 points in the ODI Super League. This was Team India's first international outing since March 2020, when the side last took the field against New Zealand in Tests.

Aaron Finch (114) and Steve Smith (105) scored centuries, while David Warner (69) and Glenn Maxwell (41) made key contributions at either ends of the innings to guide Australia to a mammoth total of 374/6.

In reply, India could only score 308/8 in 50 overs. It could've been a heavy defeat for Team India if not for Hardik Pandya (90) and Shikhar Dhawan's (74) 118-run stand for the fifth wicket.

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#3

2nd ODI: Steve Smith shines again, Australia defeat India to gain unassailable series lead

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Australia buried India under an avalanche of runs for a 51-run drubbing in the second ODI and an unassailable 2-0 series lead after the majestic Steve Smith produced another master-class in the form of a 64-ball 104 here on Sunday.

Batting first, Australia rode on five fifty-plus scores including Smith's blazing knock, to post an imposing 389 for four against a sluggish India.

This was the Australian run-machine's fifth century against India in the 50-over format and second on the trot after his ton in the series-opener, which came off 66 deliveries.

A target of 390 proved to be too much for India as they were stopped at 338 for nine, with captain Virat Kohli (89) and KL Rahul (76) finishing as their main contributors in what turned out to be another forgettable outing for the beleaguered visitors.

India started the big chase in earnest with the in-from Shikhar Dhawan (30) and Mayank Agarwal (28) dealing in boundaries from the onset.

If Agarwal found the fence twice in the first over, Dhawan struck Mitchell Starc for three successive fours to get the Indian innings going.

A magnificent cover drive by Agarwal took the visitors past 50 in 6.1 overs. However, in trying to go for one too many, Dhawan perished.

In came Kohli and as he has mostly done through his illustrious career, the Indian captain played some delightful shots on the way to his 87-ball innings to keep the visitors in with a chance.

During his stay in the middle, Kohli pulled, drove, flicked and cut with plenty of success as India tried to keep the required rate within 9-10 runs per over.

But pacer Josh Hazlewood provided Australia their biggest breakthrough when he had Kohli caught brilliantly by a diving Moises Henriques at midwicket.

That brought Hardik Pandya in the middle and the all-rounder, in the company of KL Rahul, played some big shots.

But they were never going to be enough.

Rahul departed after striking five sixes and four boundaries in his 66-ball knock.
India completely lost the plot after that.

Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins picked up 3/67 in his 10 overs.

Besides Smith's 104-run knock, swashbuckling opener David Warner smashed 83 off 77 while skipper Aaron Finch contributed 60 in a first-wicket stand of 142 in under 23 overs.

The duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell continued the onslaught to propel Australia to a humongous score in what was a must-win game for the visitors.
Labuschagne made 70 and the big-hitting Maxwell blazed away to 63 off 29 balls with the help of four sixes and as many fours.

Earlier, during his stay in the middle, Smith hit 14 boundaries and two sixes while Warner found the fence seven times and cleared it thrice before missing out on what would have been a well-deserved ton, thanks to a fine direct throw from the deep by Shreyas Iyer.

In his trademark unconventional manner, Smith played shots all round the wicket to torment the Indian bowlers.

To dislodge Smith, India needed Pandya to bowl for the first time since returning from a back surgery more than a year ago, and he did the trick in his third over, luring the imperious Australian to slash one straight into Mohammed Shami.

Before that, Warner got the Australian innings underway with a boundary through the point region off Shami in the first over.

The manner in which he leaned back to place the short and wide fourth delivery on the off side showed Warner's intent.

Coming off an expensive outing in the series-opener, lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah started with a maiden and generated good pace off a wicket with a decent grass cover.
But he soon lost his rhythm as the Australians found theirs after a slow start.

Finch found his first boundary of the day when he comfortably flicked Bumrah over the backward square leg region, even as the bowler clocked 146-147 on the speed gun.

The Young Navdeep Saini was brought on early and Warner welcomed him with a six over the square leg boundary, whacking his short first delivery with aplomb.

Taking full advantage of Saini's inexperience in these conditions, Warner collected two boundaries off him before giving the same treatment to Shami in the innings' eighth over, as Australia reached 50 in another solid start for the home team.

Australia maintained the momentum through the innings as the Indian bowlers toiled on a hot, sunny day.

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#4

2nd ODI: Australia have outplayed us, we were ineffective with the ball - Virat Kohli

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Australia clinched the second ODI of the three-match series by 51 runs to gain an unassailable 2-0 against visitors India. The hosts replicated their performance and delivered with the bat again to put the Virat Kohli-led side under pressure. Batting first, Australia's run-flow was bolstered by Steve Smith's batting masterclass, which came in the form of a 64-ball 104.

Australia's two experienced openers -- David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch -- also stepped up and stitched a century opening stand to set the ball rolling. Glenn Maxwell also dazzled with the bat by hammering 63 off 29 balls while Marnus Labuschagne made a sensible 70.

In response, India were jolted with dismissals at regular intervals while chasing a colossal total. After the departure of Shikhar Dhawan (30) and Mayank Agarwal (28), skipper Kohli, leading from the front, scored 89 off 87. KL Rahul also notched up a vital 66-ball 76. However, India succumbed to the required run-rate and ultimately managed to post just 338/9 on the scoreboard.

Reacting to the defeat, skipper Kohli admitted that Australia outplayed the Men in Blue. He also said that losing wickets and soaring required run-rate made things tough for the Indian batting unit.

"They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball and didn't hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well. The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would take the RRR up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference," said Kohli in the post-match presentation.

"Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could've gotten us across the line with Hardik to come," he added.

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#5

India look to avoid first 'whitewash' against Aussies in high-scoring Canberra - Preview

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Indian bowlers will have pride to play for and also gain some confidence ahead of the T20 and Test series when they take on Australia in the third and final ODI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.

If Australia, who are leading the three-match series 2-0, win the final match, it will be the first time they will sweep an ODI series against India at home in 20 years, though not necessarily in a bilateral series. The last occasion when India suffered a whitewash was in 1999-2000 when they lost all their four games in the triangular series that also featured Pakistan.

India's worry has been their bowling as it has failed to stop Australia from getting to record totals. The Aussies made 374 in the first ODI and 389 in the second to take the game out of India's reach. These are the highest totals the Aussies have scored against India in 50-over games.

While there is very little time for the bowlers to rebound as the surface at Manuka Oval is likely to be batting friendly again, the visitors may ring in a change, bringing in Chiman bowler Kuldeep Yadav for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who has conceded 160 runs in 20 overs during the two games and picked just one wicket.

Kuldeep hasn't played much cricket in recent times but his angle as Chinaman, with the ball turning into a right-hander, could be handy. He played just five games in IPL while his last ODI was 10 months back, on February 5.

Indian middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer on Tuesday admitted that the bowling has not been up to the mark but promised that the team would play positively in the final match.

"...despite the two losses we are going to play positively. We have played really good cricket in terms of batting. Obviously, the bowling wasn't up to the mark but I am sure the bowlers are really positive...good to see a few of the bowlers going out there and practicing with certain plans. We are very determined to go out there and win the next game and see to it that we don't suffer a clean sweep," Iyer told reporters on Tuesday.

The Indians had an optional practice on Tuesday and a few of the bowlers and batsmen went out to iron out the chinks.

For Australia, the biggest question would be who will open in place of David Warner who will miss not just the final ODI but also the T20 International series that follows.

Skipper Aaron Finch said that they have plenty of options although they haven't finalised the replacement yet.

"We haven't picked a team yet. We have a few options, though. Whether we go with (Matthew) Wade or Marnus (Labuschagne) comes up to open the batting. Alex Carey has done a lot of it in the past. I can see there being a number of roles for each one of those guys. We'll wait and see. We haven't seen the wicket yet. Once we see the wicket we'll have a clearer idea on how that's going to look," the 34-year-old said.

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#6

Virat Kohli pleased with Team India's fightback under pressure in Canberra

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Team India finally heaved a sigh of relief with a victory in Canberra on Wednesday, their first since the start of the Australia tour where they previously lost twice in Sydney in near-identical manner. And captain Virat Kohli couldn't feel more pleased praising about the manner in which his men scripted in a comeback when twice put under pressure by the hosts.

Unlike the previous two matches, India found a wicket in the first powerplay and then dismissed Steve Smith early in his innings. India slowly gaine momentum with subsequent dismissals of Moises Henriques, skipper Aaron Finch and Cameron Green, but Glenn Maxwell once again posed a huge threat with his switch-hit play that helped him score a third consecutive fifty.

Maxwell's aggressive show did not just revive Australia it put them on the brink of a historic cleansweep ove the Indians before Jasprit Bumrah dismissed him with a perfect yorker. Australia eventually lost the plot with no premier batsmen around and fell 13-run short of the target.

Earlier in the game, India, after opting to bat first, revived brilliantly under the guidance of Kohli following the dismissals of the openers to take India to 114 for three in 22.4 overs. But Aussies bounced back with dismissals of the skipper, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul to send the visitors five down for 152 runs in 32 overs. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja then stitched a 150-run unbeaten stand to guide India to 302 for five.

"It's particularly pleasing that we were under the pump for the first half of our innings, and second half of Australia's, and we fought back both times. One guy making his debut, Shubman coming back, that brought us some freshness. I think the pitch was much better in terms of helping the bowlers, so obviously the confidence levels go up. We were able to put Australia under pressure because of that fact as well. Playing international cricket for 13-14 years, you should be able to come back like we did," said Kohli.

Kohli then praised the manner in which Jadeja and Hardik launched India's comeback tale with a record partnership.

"I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but we had a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. It was exactly what the team needed to get that boost, even though we've lost the series. We played with heart and desire, and that's what you need to do in Australia," he added.

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#7

1st T20I: Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal guide India to hard-fought win, 1-0 series lead

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Yuzvendra Chahal turned out to be the perfect concussion substitute after an injured Ravindra Jadeja did his part with the bat as the duo played their roles to perfection in India's impressive 11-run victory over Australia in the first T20 International in Canberra on Friday.

While Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls to propel India to 161 for 7, his head injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise with India unleashing Chahal (3/25 in 4 overs) on an Australian side caught completely off-guard. The hosts could manage only 150 for 7 in 20 overs.

Credit was also due to the lion-hearted effort from debutant Thangarasu Natarajan (3/30) and off-spinner Washington Sundar (0/16 in 4 overs), who bowled well in Powerplay.

ICC match referee David Boon allowed the visitors a "like for like" replacement, as mandated by the rules, for Jadeja in Chahal even though home team coach Justin Langer looked visibly angry.

And to make matters worse, Chahal dimissed two form men -- Aaron Finch (35) and Steve Smith (12) -- in his first two overs to turn the game on its head.

The Australians were not prepared for Chahal, who bowled way better in his most preferred format, varying the pace of his deliveries and using the flight to good effect.

Natarajan, whose nerves had eased after a decent ODI debut, was right on the money and got one to straighten catching Glenn Maxwell plumb in-front.

If that wasn't enough, Natarajan snuffed out a frustrated D'arcy Short (34 off 38 balls) to make it 113 for 4 and India didn't have to look back from then on.

Earlier, vice-captain KL Rahul continued his impressive run in the shortest format with yet another fifty but it took Jadeja's brilliant back-end flourish to take India to a fighting total.

The Indian vice-captain hit 51 off 40 balls but leg-spinner Adam Zampa (1/20 in 4 overs) and all-rounder Moises Henriques (3/22 in 4 overs) were brilliant between overs 11th and 15th, which shifted the momentum in favour of the home team till Jadeja came into play with a 44 not out off 23 balls.

During 11th and 15th over, India scored 22 runs and lost three wickets in Sanju Samson (23 off 15 balls), Manish Pandey (2 off 8 balls) and Rahul.

However, Jadeja (five fours and a six), who suffered from hamstring trouble, launched into Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc in the final two overs that yielded 34 runs taking Indian to a par-score at the Manuka Oval.

The Indians found Zampa difficult to get away as he conceded only one boundary while Henriques conceded just a six, cleverly varying the pace of his deliveries with a good mix of cutters and seam-up stuff.

Rahul, who hit five fours and a six, along with Samson and the dangerous Hardik Pandya (16 off 15 balls) were deceived by the pace of pitch where driving on the up wasn't an easy job.

Mitchell Starc (2/34) was also quick and incisive at the start but got hit during the death overs.

Four days of rest had done Starc a world of good as he found both his length and swing back at the start. At a scorching 145 clicks, he bowled one that shaped away from Shikhar Dhawan starting on middle-stump and knocking the off-stump back.

Rahul's first boundary was a mis-hit off Hazlewood over third-man, followed by a cover drive off Zampa.

Another streaky boundary off Sean Abbott was topped up by a regal pull-shot into the mid-wicket stands.

Inexperienced leg spinner Mitchell Swepson (1/21 in 2 overs) repeatedly bowled short but did snap a prized catch in rival skipper Virat Kohli (9) when a ball stopped on him and the result was a return catch off a leading edge.

But Rahul punished him and so did Samson, who rocked back to hit him for a six. Rahul's half century came off 37 deliveries.

However, as has been Samson's trait, he perished when Henriques bowled an off-cutter and the uppish cover drive.

He was pouched by Swepson and India's innings went down south from that moment before Jadeja did redeem it.

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#8

Team India's audition for perfect Test XI begins with first warm-up game

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When a part of Team India will begin their battle against the Aussies in the second T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, some 11 odd kilimetres away in New South Wales, the other part of the team would have been done with the first day of audition for the perfect XI for the impending Test series against Tim Paine's men. Chesteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and others will look to get into the est groove as India A will take on Australia A in a three-day warm-up tie at Drummoyne Oval starting Sunday.

India will be playing two practice matches against Australia A ahead of the anticipated series that begins from December 17 at the Adelaide with the pink-ball affair under the lights. And the two games will give Team India a chance to answer a few many questions in a bid to arrive at their perfect XI for the Border-Gavaskar series where India will be defending the trophy having scripted a historic 2-1 win in their last visit in 2018/19.

The opening pair
With Rohit Sharma absent, Mayank Agarwal seems the only likely possibility to retains his opening spot although he managed only one half-century, a gritty 99-ball 58, in the last Test series India played, in New Zealand in February. His scores read:34, 58, 7 and 3. Rohit had missed that series as well and Prithvi Shaw was picked as the second opener. The youngster showed struggles against the moving ball, but did overcome the hurdle to put of a 64-ball 54 in Christchurch in the second Test. As a pair however, they did not make an impact during the tour with their partnership scores reading: 16, 27, 30 and 8.

Shubman Gill stands a strong chance in in giving Shaw a fight for the second spot. Simnce 2018, he has been the best batsman in India A Test matches scoring 970 runs in eight unofficial matches, including two double centuries. Yes a few of those runs came as a middle-order batsman, but he had scored 136 as an opener against New Zealand A in February, the last unofficial Test he played.

Meanwhile, KL Rahul too is an option for India. He has previously opened for India in Test criket including three games in Australia in the last tour where he scored only 57 runs in five innings. His diminishing form urged the selectors to drop him ahead of the home Test campaign of World Test Championship last year, losing the spot to Rohit. He hasn't been part of any red-ball game hence nor was he part of the India A team in New Zealand. If the management are considering him as an option, they might rest him from the T20Is, given Sanju Samson can act as the wicketkeeper-batsman in his stead, and ask him to play the two warm-up games.

Not to forget, India also have a fourth back-up option in Hanuma Vihari who had opened alongside Mayank in Melbourne in the last tour.

Who will replace Virat Kohli?
Kohli will be playing only the Test series opener in Adelaide before he leaves for home on paternal leave. If Shaw is picked as the opener and Rahul is kept as a back-up, Gill might be given a chance to play at No.4 given his experience in first-class cricket as a middle-order batsman.

Third seamer
Ishant Sharma has been brilliant over the last few years as a first-change bowler, piling on the pressure created by the new-ball pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. In his absence, India will look to choose amongst Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj who are likely to play all both the warm-up games.

Pujara, Vihari to be back after 10 months
The last time the two played international cricket or any form in that matter was in Febraury, in the New Zealand tour although Pujara did play the Ranji Final in March. With pandemic hitting the sport, both failed to get any sort of match practice as even their plans to play in the English County season got disrupted. Neither of them were also picked for IPL 2020. Both will make the best of the two warm-up ties to gear themselves up for the big contest where both are certainties for the best XI.

Can Kuldeep emerge as the lone-spinner?
Kuldeep had played only one game in the last tour of Australia, in Sydney in the fourth Test and finished with a five-for. But that also remains his last Test appearance. He lost his spot in the home campaign of WTC and also in the New Zealand tour. The warm-up games gives a huge opportunity for him to show why he needs to be placed ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.

Injured Jadeja might miss the first Test and with Ashwin's batting ability, he might be picked ahead of Kuldeep in the XI for the Australia series.

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#9

Important to keep composure in the field: Sanju Samson on India's dropped chances in the field vs Australia

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India's catching in the two white ball series has been far from convincing even though a few of their fielders have taken some good catches.

After they spilled a few simple chances in the ODI series, the Indians let the Australia openers off the hook in the first T20 International on Friday.

Both skipper Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short were provided opportunities as Hardik Pandya and skipper Virat Kohli dropped catches -- the India skipper spilling a skier that should have been taken.

However, those dropped chances were followed by a couple of brilliant catches -- with Pandya diving to catch one to send back Finch and Sanju Samson swooping on the ball, diving, to send back the dangerous Steve Smith.

The two catches put the brakes on Australia's chase.

Friday's effort continued the trend from ODIs of India taking good catches but also dropping a few simple ones.

India batsman Samson, whose catch to send back Smith dented the Aussie chase on Friday said that in a fast-paced game like T20, slip-ups can happen because of the high pressure involved. But he added that it is important for players to keep composure and not get demoralised by the dropped catches.

"When you are playing a format like T20 and definitely when there are ups and downs happening, it is important to keep your composure. You drop a few and you take a few catches," Samson explained after the first T20I.

Samson added that it is important to stay in the moment during a T20 game.

"You have to be in the moment. It is important to have that belief and keep on waiting for the next chance (after one is dropped). That is the quality we have in the team. So everyone was keen that they will be able to take the other chances," he said.

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#10

2nd T20I: Team India aims to seal series against Australia as action shifts back to Sydney

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The chatter around the concussion substitute will remain as a resurgent India, unlikely to be alarmed by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja's absence, seek a series win in the second T20 International against Australia here on Sunday.

A series win will be an ideal confidence booster for India before the visitors hit Test match mode.

Some of the Indian team players are treating the white-ball leg as a six-match composite series instead of two separate formats.

Having won two white-ball games in Canberra, the Indians under Virat Kohli will hope that the next two matches at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) pan out better for them.

Following their victory on the back of India's first concussion substitute Yuzvendra Chahal's terrific bowling display, India will enter the second game with a lot more confidence even though Jadeja's batting lower down the order will be missed.

It can't be denied that his unbeaten 44 off 23 balls made the difference between a winning score and a sub-par one.

However for Kohli, he would expect that he wouldn't need contributions from lower-middle order and the top five batsmen would be good enough to put up a good total on board or may be chase down a tricky target.

It will only help India that rival captain Aaron Finch, who has been in fantastic form, may not be fully fit. And with David Warner already absent due to a groin tear, the momentum that Australia had during the ODI series may not be there.

D'Arcy Short looked out of place during the first T20 International and Chahal rightly exposed his chinks, bowling wide of off-stump because he had a limited range of strokes on the off-side.

Steve Smith, for all his greatness, isn't exactly the best T20 player around and is more at ease playing the second fiddle to an enforcer.

Glenn Maxwell has limitations which both Jasprit Bumrah and Thangarasu Natarajan had exposed in the last ODI and first T20 respectively.

What India would aspire is a better effort from the top-order, especially senior opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has gone off the boil after the half century in the first ODI.

Skipper Kohli has been decent without being extraordinary and that has affected the team. A solid knock from Kohli can go a long way in solving half of India's worries.

It will be interesting to see if Manish Pandey gets a second game. Ideally, he should get one more game but his discomfort against Adam Zampa was quite visible and the Indian innings lost the moment when he started wasting deliveries.

Between Pandey and Shreyas Iyer, there isn't much of a difference as they are same type of players, who need some time before they counter-attack.

For Sanju Samson and the in-form Hardik Pandya, the job will be to utilise the last six overs even though Samson's temperament in the few international matches that he has played hasn't been impressive.

For Australia, one interesting aspect is veteran Test specialist Nathan Lyon being drafted into the T20 squad and it remains to be seen if he replaces Mitchell Swepson in the playing XI.

Although he got lucky with Kohli's wicket, Swepson mostly bowled short in his two overs and on a flat Sydney deck, he could increase Australia's worries.

Lyon, on the other hand, could be used in Powerplay just like India successfully used young off-spinner Washington Sundar in the first six overs.

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