Virat Kohli to re-visit team composition before 2nd ODI

Updated: Nov 23, 2018, 12:33 IST | PTI

Visitors likely to rejig team composition to ensure victory in today's second T20I against Australia at MCG to draw level and stay alive in 3-match series

India players celebrate the wicket of Australia's Chris Lynn during the first T20I in Brisbane on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
India players celebrate the wicket of Australia's Chris Lynn during the first T20I in Brisbane on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images

Stung by a narrow loss in the opening encounter, India will like to reassess their playing combination while aiming for a swift turn-around when they take on Australia in the second T20I here today.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, which comprise three back-to-back matches in a short span of five days. Having won seven consecutive bilateral T20 series, Kohli and his men will certainly want to make it eight in a row and for that they may be forced to rejig both their batting and bowling combinations.

Bidding for an eighth victory on the bounce now doesn't seem as straightforward a proposition as it looked earlier with the hosts ready to come all guns blazing after their all-round show in the first game.

KL Rahul's poor form
The Indian batting line-up could see some rejigging in light of KL Rahul's patchy form. Since scoring 101 not out in the first T20I against England at Manchester, Rahul hasn't been able to cross the 30-run mark in next six matches. The team management has persisted with him at No. 3, benched Manish Pandey and the skipper demoting himself to No. 4. Consistency is need of the hour from Rahul, especially considering that he is also set to be a part of India's top-order in the Test series.

The team management could also be tempted to have a re-look at the bowling attack. On a grassy surface, Krunal Pandya was plundered for 55 runs in his four wicketless overs and was hit for as many as half a dozen sixes.

Chahal in for Krunal?
If the MCG is also of Gabba's nature, Kohli might be tempted to bring in leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who boasts of a brilliant wicket-taking record in T20Is. Even then, it remains to be seen if the team management rings in any changes after such a close defeat, especially when the balance is disturbed.

Leaving Pandya out would leave them a batsman short and Kohli might not be keen on taking that gamble. The loss, however narrow, has indeed cast such minute doubts on the Indian team's strategic preparations in a format, which they have dominated since July 2017.

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