India and Australia played out a thriller in the 2nd T20I of the 3-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The visitors clinched a 6-wicket win with two balls to spare, as Hardik Pandya’s blitz was supported by T Natarajan’s superb spell in the first innings. With the victory, India also sealed the series and extended their T20I win streak to 9 games.
The game was a very tactical one, and pitted Kohli against a new captain in Matthew Wade. Although both skippers dazzled with the bat in hand, they made a few mistakes while shuffling their resources.
Here are 3 mistakes that were made during the 2nd T20I between India and Australia.
Yuzvendra Chahal‘s 3-wicket haul in the 1st T20I fetched him the Man of the Match award, and he walked into the playing XI for this game in place of Ravindra Jadeja. However, the leg-spinner had a nightmare outing, conceding 51 runs in his overs.
Chahal’s first two overs went at more than ten, and Kohli had only 5 options at his disposal. Instead of trying to bowl out the 30-year-old while the batsmen weren’t going all guns blazing, Kohli left the remaining two overs for the last 5 of the Aussie innings.
Chahal was picked apart at the death by Moises Henriques and Steve Smith, as he conceded 30 runs in those two overs. Australia reached an above-par total of 194, and India should’ve kept a few more overs from their pacers for the death.
Fielding has been a major issue for India since their return to international cricket. Surprisingly, their biggest underperformers in the department have been their best fielders.
Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja have been guilty of shelling chances over the last few weeks, and in the 2nd T20I, it was the former two.
Pandya dropped Matthew Wade on the mid-wicket boundary in the powerplay, and the Aussie captain made the most of the lifeline to notch up a rapid fifty. When the southpaw was on 58, he offered a sitter to Kohli at cover, only to see the Indian captain drop the simplest of chances. Luckily for Kohli, he was able to react quickly and fire in a throw to find Wade well short of his ground.
India’s fielding has also been exposed on the big grounds Down Under, and the 2nd T20I was no different. Quality fielders like Sanju Samson and Pandya got their angles wrong while trying to attack the ball, and the Aussie total would’ve had a healthy portion shaved off it had India been perfect in the field.
Stepping in for the injured Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade got his team off to a brilliant start in the powerplay. Opening the innings like he does in the Big Bash League, the 32-year-old picked apart the Indian bowling attack and raced to fifty in no time.
In the second innings, however, Wade was found wanting on a number of occasions. Daniel Sams bowled the first over for just 5 runs, but he was taken out of the attack immediately. A similar fate befell Sean Abbott, who conceded only 4 runs in his first over in the powerplay.
Glenn Maxwell was strangely brought into the attack, and the off-spinner was carted for 19 runs by KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. The over firmly shifted the momentum in favour of the visitors, and they rode the wave to stay abreast of the net run rate.
Adam Zampa was brought into the attack rather late, and this left him with one over to bowl against Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer. The Mumbai-born batsman took full toll of the over to put India in a decent position ahead of the last two overs of the run-chase. Moreover, Henriques, who took 3 wickets in the previous game, was called upon to bowl for only one over.
Wade has captained the Hobart Hurricanes, but he looked out of his depth as a captain at the international level.