India vs Australia 2nd T20I Preview: India's death bowling in focus as Oz look to seal series
The Indian fans were hoping that the team's poor run in the Asia Cup was just down to luck or a couple of bad days but as we move closer to the T20 World Cup, there are some serious problems being unearthed in the Indian bowling, particularly at the death.
Room for change in WC squad
While the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup has already been announced, there is still room for change before the start of the showpiece event and India would rather have failures now and in the remaining 5 bilateral matches, against Australia and South Africa, than face another early exit in the T20 World Cup.
Despite the fact that India were without Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh in the series opener against Australia, the way Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel bowled didn't impress anybody.
You can still sympathise with Harshal given that he is coming out of an injury. However, it was visible that when the surface is true and the ball comes on to the bat, his slower delivery is not that effective and he isn't left with a lot to fall back on.
Bhuvi has been more than decent in the powerplay but has been consistently leaking runs at the death and that is a serious point of concern for India, especially when they have not named a vastly experienced pacer such as Mohammed Shami in their 15-member squad.
The way India's leading spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has bowled over the last few matches is also a big worry for the side. It was strange to see Chahal bowling over 90 kph which is certainly not his strength. Whenever he has been effective, he has done it while bowling slowly and beating the batters in the air.
If you don't have the confidence to toss the ball up despite a target in excess of 200 on the board and decide to send down darts, Ravi Bishnoi is someone who is naturally suited to this style of bowling and India should keep their options open till the last minute.
Umesh Yadav had a strange match on return to the fold, conceding 4 boundaries in the first over and then coming back to pick up two crucial wickets in his second over. However, he is not part of India's plans for the T20 World Cup and Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the first match, is all set to be back in the second T20 International.
Axar Patel was by far India's best bowler in the series opener and would like to build on it with an eye on the showpiece event.
Toss to be crucial
Australia do not need to change a lot with Cameron Green and Matthew Wade standing out with the bat and Nathan Ellis doing a commendable job with the ball.
The toss will once again be crucial with the chasing team having a substantial advantage.
India will hope that it was just a one-off bad game for the likes of Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and they will be back in their element in the second T20. In the batting department, the team will expect more of the same from Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and company.
Predicted Playing XIs
India - Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Australia - Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Green, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
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