David Warner and Steven Smith to miss rest of India T20I series, Glenn Maxwell returns
Australia will be without the services of two of their best batsmen, David Warner and Steven Smith, as they look to come back from a 0-1 series deficit in the ongoing 3-match T20I series against India. Glenn Maxwell, who is expected to return from the sore hamstring which kept him out of the 1st T20I, will be one of two inclusions in their stead.
Also read: India Vs New Zealand Head to Head in T20I
Warner and Smith will be rested for Friday’s clash, ahead of their scheduled departure for New Zealand on Saturday. Others in the present squad who will be called upon to feature in the ODI series in February may also join them after the 2nd T20I, to further deplete the squad.
Shaun Marsh is expected to be given a game in Melbourne, and Shane Watson might be moved up to the opener’s spot vacated by Warner as well. Given how the Australians struggles against spin in the first match, a batting order promotion for Watson may definitely be on the cards, even if he is not asked to open.
Chris Lynn and Travis Head, despite not having made much impact in their limited time at the crease in the first match, will get another chance to make their mark in international cricket.
Track likely to offer spin: Watson
Shaun Tait is likely to be not persisted with after his wayward display in Adelaide. John Hastings, Scott Boland and uncapped duo Andrew Tye and Nathan Lyon are the options Australia have in their squad to replace Tait. Lyon might be given a chance in one of the two games because Australian pitches are offering spin at the moment.
As Shane Watson said to the Sydney Morning Herald, "Knowing how the wicket normally plays here, it might be a little bit tired compared to what it was even a few games ago – against the Stars a couple of times in the Big Bash. The wicket might turn a little bit, given it's right at the back end of the season."
India are likely to persist with the same composition that won them the first match. With bowlers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah doing a commendable job and captain MS Dhoni being happy with the versatality present in the squad with the presence of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, the stand-byes are expected not to get a chance in Melbourne either – Umesh Yadav, Harbhajan Singh, Rishi Dhawan and Gurkeerat Singh.