Khaleel Ahmed Strikes Twice To Hurt Australia

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As far as India are concerned, having won seven consecutive bilateral T20I series, Kohli and his men will certainly want to make it eight in a row and for that they may be forced to rejig both their batting and bowling combinations. The Indian batting line-up could see some changes owing to KL Rahul’s patchy form. Since scoring 101 not out in the first T20I against England in Manchester, Rahul hasn’t been able to cross the 30-run mark in next six matches. The team management has persisted with him at number three, benched Manish Pandey and the skipper demoting himself to number four. Consistency is need of the hour from Rahul, especially considering that he is also set to be a part of India’s top-order in the ensuing Test series. (Play fantasy league and win cash daily)

Live updates of the 2nd T20I between India and Australia, straight from Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

13:59 IST: OUT! Absolutely brilliant from Jasprit Bumrah. Short pitched delivery outside off from Bumrah and Marcus Stoinis goes for the upper cut. Fails to time the ball and Dinesh Karthik takes a good catch in the deep. Stoinis walks back after scoring four runs. AUS 41-4 after 6.3 overs.

13:52 IST: OUT! Second wicket for Khaleel Ahmed. Short pitched delivery from the left-hander and D’Arcy Short goes for the pull shot. Gets the bottom half of the bat and drags it back onto the stumps. Australia in big trouble at the moment. AUS 35-3 after 5.3 overs.

13:49 IST: FOUR! Boundary to end the first over from Jasprit Bumrah. Wide delivery outside off from Bumrah and D’Arcy Short cuts the ball to collect four runs. Great timing on that occasion from the left-hander. AUS 34-2 after 5 overs.

13:45 IST: Change in bowling for India! Jasprit Bumrah comes in to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

13:42 IST: OUT! Brilliant running catch from Krunal Pandya. Khaleel Ahmed strikes for India. Wide off-cutter from Khaleel and Lynn goes after it. Mistimes the ball and Krunal takes an excellent catch in the deep. Dangerous Lynn walks back after scoring 13 runs. AUS 27-2 after 3.5 overs.

13:41 IST: FOUR! Khaleel Ahmed from round the wicket gives a juicy full toss to Chris Lynn and he hits the ball straight down the ground to collect four runs. 

13:35 IST: Dropped and SIX! Knuckle ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Chris Lynn goes for the big shot on the leg side. The ball bounces off the hands of Jasprit Bumrah at fine leg and goes over the fence. Misjudgment from Bumrah at the boundary line and Bhuvneshwar is not happy with the effort. AUS 16-1 after 2.4 overs.

13:32 IST: Dropped! Good length delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and D’Arcy Short goes after it. Only manages to edge the ball. Diving Rishabh Pant behind the stumps fails to hold on to the ball. D’Arcy Short survives but that was a terrific delivery from Bhuvneshwar. AUS 9-1 after 2.1 overs.

13:29 IST: FOUR! First boundary of the match for Australia. Full length delivery from Khaleel Ahmed and D’Arcy Short hits the ball straight down the ground to collect four runs. AUS 6-1 after 1.3 overs.

13:26 IST: Successful over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes to an end. Two runs and a wicket from it. Khaleel Ahmed will share the new ball with Bhuvneshwar from the other end. AUS 2-1 after 1 over.

13:22 IST: OUT! First ball duck for Aaron Finch. Terrific delivery from outside off from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Takes the outside edge of Finch’s bat and Rishabh Pant does the rest behind the stumps. Great start for India! AUS 1-1 after 0.2 overs.

13:21 IST: Australia are off the mark straightaway. On the pads from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and D’Arcy Short takes a comfortable single. AUS 1-0 after 0.1 overs

13:20 IST: Openers D’Arcy Short and Aaron Finch are out in the middle for Australia. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will start the proceedings for India. One slip in position for Bhuvneshwar. Here we go!

13:10 IST: Fans are all set! 

12:57 IST: Playing XI for both the teams.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant(w), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed.

Australia: D Arcy Short, Aaron Finch(c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff.

12:53 IST: Toss – Indian skipper Virat Kohli wins the toss and elects to bowl against Australia. 

12:38 IST: Good news! The covers are coming off. 

12:33 IST: Weather update – Overcast conditions at the moment in Melbourne with a little bit of drizzle. 

12:30 ISTHello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2nd T20I between India and Australia in Melbourne.

The team management could also be tempted to have a re-look at the bowling attack. On a grassy surface, Krunal Pandya was plundered for 55 runs in his four wicketless overs and was hit for as many as half-a-dozen sixes. If the MCG is also of Gabba’s nature, Kohli might be tempted to bring in leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who boasts of a brilliant wicket-taking record in T20Is. Even then, it remains to be seen if the team management rings in any changes after such a close defeat, especially when the balance is disturbed. Leaving Pandya out would leave them a batsman short and Kohli might not be keen on taking that gamble. The loss, however narrow, has indeed cast such minute doubts on the Indian team’s strategic preparations in a format, which they have dominated since July 2017. In the lead-up to the first match, skipper Kohli had spoken about the need to cut down on mistakes and regaining an upper hand at crucial junctures of a game.

At Brisbane, the ‘Men in Blue’ were found slacking in the field and it proved to be the ultimate difference in a seesawing game. Even Kohli himself was guilty of poor effort on the field on at least two occasions, dropping counterpart Aaron Finch in the fourth over and later involved in a mis-fielding from the deep. Australia boasts of bigger grounds than in India, with bigger boundaries of course, and the MCG will prove to be another humongous challenge in that regard. The task is cut out in front of the team management to work on fielding angles to elevate their efforts in the second T20I. It doesn’t help that there is such a short turn-around time during this series, that fielding coach R Sridhar won’t be able to work with the players at the MCG.

Any improvements in the field will have to be drilled in theoretically in the dressing room. And thus India will also seek to look at other areas where improvements can be made. The ploy to introduce Adam Zampa as the lone spinner worked wonders for Australia and with an intense fielding effort, Australia were able to make a winning difference. Things seem very different in the hosts’ camp all of a sudden, when they were simply considered second best to the Men in Blue across all departments less than 48 hours ago. Melbourne is experiencing a stormy spell in the latter half of this week, so there is a slight chance that the second T20I could also be rain-affected.

Teams:

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Washington Sundar.

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.