India will take on Australia in the second T20I match at Thiruvananthapuram after successfully completing their highest T20I run-chase in the first game, despite a squad characterized by relative inexperience. Mukesh Kumar’s precise death bowling, Rinku Singh’s adept finishing skills, and the collective determination displayed by players like Yashasvi, Ishan Kishan, and captain Suryakumar Yadav made India’s victory possible.
But, there is still room for improvement, particularly in the aspect of running between the wickets. The initial match saw a total of three run-outs, marking a joint-highest for India in this format.
Australia, on the other hand, would have left Visakhapatnam fully aware of the fact that they could have won the match and hence, they would want to make just a few tweaks to their game plans.
Here we take a look at 3 things Australia need to do right to beat India in 2nd T20I:
#3 Better performance from their spinners
The pitch, appearing conducive to a slow turn, is situated towards one side of the square. Consequently, anticipate both captains to exercise caution regarding the shorter side when selecting ends for their bowlers. The bounce assessment conducted by the groundsmen on the eve of the game indicated that good-length deliveries should ascend to a height no greater than the shin.
With these conditions, Australia will need far better performance from their spinners – especially Tanveer Sangha. It will be interesting to see if they include Glenn Maxwell for this match – considering the number of left-handers in India’s batting order.
#2 Importance of Steve Smith
Back in September 2022, South Africa collapsed to 9 for 5 in overcast conditions. The likelihood of overcast conditions persists, especially considering the rainfall on Saturday, which might compel the teams to revise their strategies.
Should the ball exhibit swing, Steve Smith‘s technical prowess will prove valuable for Australia before the relatively more aggressive batters take charge. Apart from Smith and Josh Inglis, the visitors would need other top-order batters to be more expressive and be accountable against the inexperienced pace-bowling combination of India.
#1 Challenge India’s lower order
India did win their match but they faced challenges at both ends of their chase, particularly when they slipped from 194 for 4 to 208 for 8. However, Rinku Singh’s last-ball six, albeit denied by Sean Abbott’s no-ball, provided some relief to the enthusiastic crowd as well as the Indian team.
The vulnerability in the lower-middle order is a concern for India, especially as their batting concludes at No. 7 unless they alter their combination. The question that arises here is whether India will introduce an all-rounder like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube to address this issue. This is one aspect Australia can really cash in to control the middle overs. Putting pressure on the specialist batters to take more risk might make their lower order vulnerable.