Sports / India vs Australia, 2nd T20I at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru Today

Zee News : Feb 27, 2019, 06:24 PM

The focus remains firmly on the World Cup but India would also be desperate to ensure that a home series does not slip out of their grip when they take on Australia in the second and final T20 International here at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

India are 0-1 down after an inexplicably poor batting performance led to a three-wicket loss in the opener in Visakhapatnam.

Both KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are likely to feature in most of the games against Australia.

India rested opener, Shikhar Dhawan, to give game time to Rahul, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands by smashing 50 off 36 balls in his comeback game.

With the series on the line, it remains to be seen if Dhawan is brought back into the side to open alongside Rohit Sharma or the team retains the opening combination which featured in Vizag.

"Anything is possible now. We want to give game time to Rahul and Pant to figure out what we need to do in the World Cup," Kohli said after the first T20. 

While Bumrah showed his class after coming back from a break, the other pacer in Umesh Yadav leaked runs and was not able to defend 14 in the final over.

India could replace Umesh with Siddharth Kaul or bring in all-rounder Vijay Shankar to beef-up the batting department.The hosts played with a long tail in Vizag and that impacted their final total following an inexplicable batting collapse from 69 for one in the ninth over.

Pant, a strong contender for a World Cup berth, will be itching to perform after getting out cheaply on Sunday, and so will be Dinesh Karthik, who is left with just one game to make a compelling contribution before the World Cup. 

All eyes will once again also be on Mahendra Singh Dhoni the batsman who struggled to an unbeaten 29 off 37 balls as India managed 126 for seven in Vizag.

Debutant leg-spinner Mayank Markande (0/31 in four overs) did not pick up a wicket but bowled well according to Kohli. The 21-year-old might get another game.