India fought valiantly after a lacklustre performance with the bat in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) of the two-match series. Virat Kohli will be hoping the batsmen when the two teams clash in the second and final T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The focus will still be on giving the fringe players a chance to prove themselves ahead of the all-important World Cup 2019.
Following the defeat in Visakhapatnam, India captain Virat Kohli had spoken about giving "game time" to KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant looking ahead to the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
While Rahul hit a fine half-century in the first T20I, Pant was involved in a mix-up and was run-out for 3. Barring three players (Rahul, Kohli and MS Dhoni), no other Indian batsman could even reach double figures as the hosts were restricted to 126 for seven.
The below-par 126 with the bat denied bowlers a decent shot at securing a win even though the Jasprit Bumrah-led attack did all it could to keep the home team in the game till the final over of the match.
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.
He had a disastrous Test tour of Australia before he and Hardik Pandya were provisionally suspended for their loose talk on women during a TV show.
The ban was later revoked though they still face an inquiry.