India went 1-0 up in the 3 match T20I series with a 9 wicket win at Ranchi. Statistically, T20 Internationals haven’t been the best format for Australia to seek any kind of redemption. The 5 time ODI World Champions haven’t won an ICC World T20 as yet and that probably says a lot about the degree of importance they hand to the format.
Their indifference to T20 Internationals is baffling especially when they boast of some of the most explosive and flamboyant T20 players currently playing. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Aaron Finch and Andrew Tye are format specialists so it’s natural for you to expect them to attempt a fightback. So, ahead of the 2nd T20I at Guwahati, here are 5 match circumstances that you should look forward to.
1) India’s extended dominance: Placing the most likely circumstance first. It’s no secret that this high-flying team India would look to intimidate the Aussies yet again and plot another of their downfalls. A win here, in Guwahati, would seal the T20I series for the hosts and they wouldn’t want to let this chance slip. Virat Kohli has spoken so often this series about being relentless and not getting complacent. Having steered India to victory along with Shikhar Dhawan on Saturday, he’d be looking to further improve his spectacular T20I record against Australia.
2) Someone to halt the fall in the middle!: Australian cricket teams have traditionally always been known as fighters and are never ones to surrender meekly. Throughout this limited overs tour, Australia have almost always found a way to capitulate. Even in their lone victory at Bengaluru, they lost 5 wickets for 103 runs as compared to some more bizarre falls like the one in Indore when they lost 5 for 51 when they could have capitalised on their position. Even in Ranchi, they lost 7 wickets for 59 runs. One element that remains common for all these numbers is that David Warner & Aaron Finch have given them excellent starts but their middle order just couldn’t find a way to tackle the Indian spinners. Aussie cricket fans, in particular, would look at someone to halt this middle order fall at Guwahati.
3) Contemplating with bowling more spin: That Australia are playing with Adam Zampa as their only specialist spinner on dry subcontinent surfaces is hard to understand. With Ashton Agar injured, you would have expected the likes of Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland or Mitchell Swepson to have been called up for the series. One argument is that Australia would want to play to their strengths with a four-pronged seam attack and that Indians play spin comfortably. But that clearly hasn’t entirely worked on this tour. Looking at Travis Head and/or Glenn Maxwell as a fifth bowler might work well for Australia which means that the likes of Marcus Stoinis can come in for a fast bowler. This equates to an automatic increase in batting firepower.
4) Weather: The weather hopefully wouldn’t play any games with the players and officials. International cricket is returning to the city after 7 years and locals have been thronging to ticket counters to catch some action. Tickets were sold out well in advance and the fans would crave for a full 40 over game between the two sides.
5) Chahal hitting Maxi for a ‘6’: We’re talking about the possibility of 6 successive dismissals when they go head-to-head again on Tuesday. Yuzvendra Chahal has dismissed Maxwell on 5 consecutive occasions with one dating back to IPL 2017 while playing for RCB versus KXIP. While the battle is now entirely psychological, Maxwell isn’t one to temper flares. He’d take it to his ego and would look to hit Yuzi all over the park. Therein lies Yuzi’s opportunity to win a mini-battle and get a 6th on the go over Maxwell!
Catch all the excitement as the teams lock horns on Tuesday, 10th October, 7 PM onwards at Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.