Australia vs India 2nd T20I Preview: Australia try to get their mojo back in Sydney against revitalised Men in Blue
After Ravindra Jadeja suffered with delayed concussion following a blow to the head off a Mitchell Starc bouncer, he has
been ruled out of the T20I series with Shardul Thakur having been added to the squad.
Australia pick Wade over Carey
Matthew Wade was expected to open the batting for Australia alongside Aaron Finch in the absence of David Warner but Australia went with D Arcy Short while slotting Wade in the middle order.
In the absence of Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott played alongside Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood while Mitchell Swepson had to be included in the side as the second spinner after Ashton Agar's injury.
Rahul back up top
India went for a few interesting selection choices. As expected, KL Rahul moved to the top of the order while continuing to don the wicket keeping gloves despite the presence of specialist wicket keeper batsman Sanju Samson in the playing XI.
Manish Pandey was preferred over Shreyas Iyer but looked a bit off colour. The quandary was understandable but it was a massive call for India to drop Yuzvendra Chahal. It would have been almost criminal to drop all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the form which he is in.
However, with Virat Kohli trusting Washington Sundar to do the holding job, he had no option but to drop Chahal. While Jadeja repaid the captain's faith with the bat, scoring a 23-ball unbeaten 44 which took India to 161, it was feared that India may not have enough options with the ball as Jadeja was playing as their fifth bowling option.
Shardul Thakur replaces concussed Jadeja, and the debate around it
Jadeja was hit on the head off the outside edge in Mitchell Starc's last over but continued batting. The concussion protocols were not followed and the Indian physio did not come out on the field to check on Jadeja, probably due to the reason that it was the last over.
However, it was reported that Jadeja experienced delayed concussion symptoms. Team India then requested match referee David Boon to grant them a like-for-like replacement - Yuzvendra Chahal in this case - for their bowling innings which was granted.
This irked a few Australians as Jadeja had also suffered a hamstring injury and had done his job with the bat. Allowing Chahal to take his place, many felt, would give India an unfair advantage. However, it is now clear that the concussion was genuine as the all-rounder has been ruled out of the T20I series with Shardul Thakur having been added to the squad.
Australia missing Agar, Green to make T20I debut
Had Agar been fit, Australia would have certainly played him and would have been better served as well as the pair of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar has played 15 T20Is together, out of which Australia have won 9.
Agar would also have provided them with a good batting option in the lower order but a calf muscle injury meant the he was not fit enough to claim a spot. If he hasn't recovered from the injury, Cameron Green is likely to make his T20I debut in place of Mitchell Swepson, who was all over the place with his length in the first T20I.
Chahal to keep spot, Bumrah likely to replace Shami
India are expected to go in with a similar playing XI, with Chahal that is, despite Shardul Thakur having been added to the squad. They will miss Jadeja's batting services lower down the order but they can't help it, with Hardik Pandya not bowling currently.
A red ball practice match also begins on the same day as the second T20I but India have enough test specialists in the squad to make that XI. If the team wants to rotate, as they have been doing, Jasprit Bumrah will come in to the XI in place of Mohammed Shami.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Australia - D Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
India - Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal
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