India will have an edge over Australia when they face the hosts in the second T20 of the three-match series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on 29 January, Friday.
The monkey is off the back as India finally came up with a terrific all-round show in the first T20 of the series by handing Australia a drubbing by 37 runs.
MS Dhoni's captaincy has been facing heavy criticism after India lost the ODI series 4-1. India will not be playing any ODIs for the next four months as they will only engage themselves in T20s. With the ICC World T20 2016 in the horizon, India made an outstanding start to their busy T20 schedule.
The skipper's tactics came in handy and we also got to see a glimpse of the vintage Dhoni during the 1st T20. He came and smashed 11 runs from just 3 balls to power India to a huge total of 188 runs. This is exactly what India need from their captain fantastic if they will want to yield positive results in the upcoming fixtures.
Things were further easy for India as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are going through a purple patch. Everything they hit, seems to be coming right out of the middle of the bat. Especially, Kohli, who played his career best T20 knock of 90 runs from just 55 balls with a strike rate of over 160.
Suresh Raina scored 41 from 34 balls in the 1st T20 but it was an unlike-Raina innings considering the shortest format of the game. Raina needs some time to settle down. In fact, there is plenty of time for the swashbuckling left-handed batsman to get back his rhythm in this format of the game ahead of the ICC World T20 2016.
India's bowling was a cause of serious concern during the T20 series but that too seems to be falling in place. With Jasprit Bumrah bowling those yorkers in the death overs are making things even more difficult for the Aussies to score. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja seemed to be in sync during the 1st T20 at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. India's keys to success lies a lot on the spinners and Australia will be wary of that.
Meanwhile, having lost the 1st T20 of the series, Australia will be coming hard at India in the 2nd T20 of the series in Melbourne on Friday. Their batting order collapsed like a house of cards and they have surely addressed the issues about how and where they got it wrong in the 1st T20.
Australia's bowling lineup does not pose that threat as it used to be. James Faulkner, Kane Richardson and Shaun Tait have all conceded close to 10 runs per over each during the 1st T20. Scott Boland, Andrew Tye and John Hasting (who was their strike bowler during the ODI series) are waiting in the queue. The Australian fans can expect a few changes in the lineup ahead of the second game of the series.
Glenn Maxwell might come back in the lineup at the expense of Travis Head, provided the former has completely recovered from his niggle that the all-rounder suffered during the ODI series.
2nd T20 schedule: India vs Australia.
Date: Friday, 29 January.
Time: 7.10 pm local time (2.10 pm IST, 8.40 am GMT, 3.40 am ET).
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
TV listings: India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3.Australia: Channel 9. UK: Sky Sports1. USA: Willow TV. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Cricket. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport.