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The first T20I in Brisbane was an eye-opener for India. The Indian team which seemed very settled before the start of the match was left with a lot of questions to answer by the end of the game. It was a very competitive game and India did put up a great fight but there are a few departments where India will like to tighten the screw.
India and their sixth bowler conundrum has always been an issue for a while which India hasn't been able to solve for. It has worked well for them in most of the matches but lacking the cushion of a sixth bowler has hurt them in a few games including the first T20I against Australia. India will have to figure out a better team combination for the coming games and we might expect a couple of changes in the next match.
India also decided to leave out Yuzvendra Chahal for the 1st T20I which didn't work really well as the other two wrist spinners in the game, Kuldeep Yadav and Adam Zampa, both returned with brilliant figures and maybe the addition of Chahal in the bowling attack could have proved to be the difference between the two sides. Khaleel Ahmed, who's impressed everyone in the limited opportunities he's got had an off day and might make way for either Chahal or Umesh Yadav in the XI.
We move to Melbourne for the 2nd T20I and it has been a very competitive ground, offering equal assistance to both the batsmen and the bowlers. The one in Brisbane was a rain-truncated game and we might get to see rain play a spoilsport in Melbourne as well. Just like the other grounds in Australia, the pitch in Melbourne has something to offer to the pacers but spinners won't find much help from the turf. But the wrist spinners from both the sides used the conditions well in their favour in Brisbane and we might see them thrive in the huge ground of Melbourne as well.
Australian were considered the underdogs before the start of the series but they put all the speculations to rest after a complete team performance in the 1st T20I. They had useful contributions from their top order before Marcus Stoinis and Maxwell made sure Australia finished with a more than competitive total on board. They bowled well and Marcus Stoinis proved to be their trump card who held his nerves in the death to defend 13 off the last over to deny India a victory.
India had an off day but there were a few positives to take from the game as well. Dinesh Karthik in the lower middle order was fantastic with the bat who took India close to victory with good support from Rishab Pant. Shikhar Dhawan who had been struggling in the T20 format came out good and set the tone for the chase. The frontline bowlers, Bhuvi and Bumrah were at their usual best and made it difficult for the Aussies to score.
The first game has certainly set the tone for the series and India will be coming back hard at the Aussies to stage a comeback in the series. Catch all the action from the 2nd of the three T20Is at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday, 23rd November, 1:20 PM IST, 6:50 PM local