Former cricketers Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar, who initiated the three-match All-Stars series in the US, amongst other retired stars set New York ablaze with their dazzling display in the first T20. Warne's Warriors defeated Sachin's Blasters in New York by six wickets.
Now, the action shifts to Minute Maid Park in Houston for the second T20, where Sachin Tendulkar and his men will be keen to draw the series level on Wednesday. Even before the All-Stars series started, Tendulkar had made it clear that none of the players will take the competition lightly. The cricketers have already reached the venues and are practising in the famous baseball stadium in Houston.
Some team changes are expected in both the teams with Sachin's Blasters expected to field Sourav Ganguly and Glenn McGrath, which is going to strengthen their team further.
With the return of Ganguly in the team fold, it remains to be seen who will open the batting for the Blasters. Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar opened the batting in the first T20, but Ganguly has expressed his willingness to open the innings. The trio will be eager to make Diwali special for the Indian fans in the stadium with their batting exploits.
Meanwhile, Warne's Warriors may find room for those cricketers – Ajit Agarkar, Michael Vaughan and Saqlain Mustaq – who were left out of the first T20. Warne's Warriors might be pleased with the performance of his players in the first T20 as Kumar Sangakkara and Ricky Ponting scored 41 and 48 runs to help the Warriors emerge triumphant and will ask his stars to shine in Houston as well.
Irrespective of the players, who are going to take the field in the Houston, one can expect another humdinger of a contest with an array of stars in both sides.
Batsmen such as Brian Lara, Mahela Jayawardene and Carl Hopper missed out with the bat in the first T20 and will be more than eager to deliver the goods in the second T20. The Blasters' bowlers such as Muttiah Muralitharan and others will be eager to come up with their best performance and help the team win the second T20.
The first T20 might have witnessed a low scoring affair, but one will not be surprised if the second T20 provides a runs feast as the players are much more settled and getting accustomed to the drop-in pitch and the nature of the outfield in the US.
This is for the first time that the US are hosting such a cricket series, that too in baseball stadiums, where drop in pitches are used. Though the pitches are expected to play well throughout the match, the outfield is very different from a cricket field. The grass on the outfield is fairly long in baseball grounds, which was witnessed in New York that resulted in a slower outfield.
Hence, scoring fours might be a difficult task in such fields; but what counts to the advantage of the batsmen is the small size of the ground, which gives them an opportunity to go for the big hits -- sixes. If players like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting, Matthew Hayden get their act going, they could entertain the fans, who will be gathered in numbers to watch these players in action in Houston.
It is a dream come true for a cricket fans in the US to witness a galaxy of players playing under one roof.
Where to watch live
Get the 2nd T20 highlights HERE
Get the match report HERE
Get the 2nd T20 as it happened HERE
Read here how Indian players fared in the second All-Stars T20 match
Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 is scheduled for an 9pm ET (7:30am IST and 2am GMT) start. Live coverage of the Cricket All Stars match in India will be on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. Online live streaming is also available on Hotstar and Starsports online.
Viewers in the US can enjoy Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 live on ESPN 3, while the live stream option is on Watch ESPN. Canada viewers can watch the Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 live on TSN with live live streaming option on TSN TV.
Sky Sports 2 will broadcast the All-Stars match live in the UK, while the Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 can be live streamed on Sky Go. Channel 9 will show the Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 match live in Australia, while viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch all the action live on SuperSport and SuperSport live.
Middle East and North Africa viewers have the option of watching the Sachin's Blasters vs Warne's Warriors 2nd T20 live on OSN cricket, while the live stream option is on OSN Play.