IND v AUS 2020: Australian team’s ideal XI for the second T20I in Sydney 

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Canberra turned out to be an unlucky venue for the Australian team as they lost two consecutive matches this week. Now they have returned to Sydney for the final 2 T20I games of the series.

The Australian team will be in a better frame of mind now, considering SCG has been a happy hunting ground for them. 

Aaron Finch and Co will be eager to get back to winning ways and level the series when they face Team India in the second T20I on Sunday, 6th December. Moises Henriques and Mitchell Starc’s performances were the positives for the Australian team in the 1st T20I. Fiery pacer Mitchell Starc came back into form by picking two wickets in the game after he had uncharacteristically expensive outings in the 2 prior ODI’s.

Henriques put on an all-round show in this contest. He ended with best bowling figures 3-22 in the first innings of the game. During the chase, Henriques tried his best to take Australia towards the shores of a victory by scoring 30(in 20 balls). He failed in the end as he fell to Deepak Chahar in the 18th over.

The SCG has hosted 8 T20I matches until now. 153 is the average first innings total at this ground. In the second innings, it reduces to 129. Also, 221 scored by the Australian team against England in 2007 is the highest T20I total scored here.

The Australian team has played 2 T20I matches( in 2016 and 2018) against India at SCG and has lost on both occasions. Other than two defeats against India, Australia has never lost against any other team in T20I’s at SCG. 

For the must-win second T20I, the Australian team will look for a balanced team combination. Aaron Finch’s participation in this match will depend on his fitness test results before the game. In case he is unfit, the team might draft Alex Carey into the middle order, and Mathew Wade will open the inning in place of Finch.

If Finch is match-fit, Alex Carey might replace the other opener Short in the line-up. D’Arcy Short played a sedate knock 34(in 38 balls) in the first game. The think-tank might drop him and go in with Wade as an opener for the upcoming contest. Mathew Wade was highly successful in the opening position during BBL last year and went on to hit his career-best T20 score of 130.

The Australian team replaced Cameron Green with experienced off-spinner Nathan Lyon in their T20I squad. Cameron Green will now be part of the Australia A side, which will be facing the India A team in a warmup match for the upcoming Test series.

This change can be a blessing in disguise as the Australian team is in desperate need of a quality spinner to support Adam Zampa, and Lyon can be an ideal partner. The experienced duo could certainly put breaks to Indian batsmen’s free-flowing stroke play in the mid-stage of the innings. 

Swepson, who played in the first T20I, bowled wayward lines and gave too many loose balls to Indian batsmen. He ended the match with figures 1-21 after bowling two overs. He might make way for Lyon in the second T20I. Pacer Sean Abbott has failed to impress in both the matches he played till now. The Australian team might contemplate the idea of replacing him with Sydney Sixers pacer Daniel Sams. Sams was the leading wicket-taker (30 wickets) during the last season of BBL.

He has the local knowledge about the pitch as this match’s venue SCG is his BBL team’s home ground. He can form a fruitful partnership with Starc in the death overs and curb the run flow with his variations.

Ideal Australian team XI: Aaron Finch(c), Mathew Wade(w), Steven Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Daniel SamsMitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon

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