Concussion substitute or not, India were the better team on the day as they registered their second consecutive wins at the Manuka Oval in the first T20I.
While Virat Kohli and Co. would now look to carry that momentum into the second T20I, the fact it will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground – where they lost both the ODIs – will be on the back of their mind
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details and team combination
As we saw in the ODIs, the surface at the SCG is flat and thus more favourable to the In T20s since 2019, the batsmen here have scored runs at a rate of 8.1 and an average of 26.4 which is on the higher side in the country. Hence, it would be ideal to pack your XI with some solid top-order batsmen.
There's not much difference when you look at "pace v spin" when it comes to this venue. Since 2019, fast bowlers here have been more expensive but have a slightly better strike rate – 18.4. Meanwhile, spinners here have a strike rate of 22 in this time frame.
Both Australia and India have some outstanding bowlers who are genuine wicket-takers. The likes of Mitchell Starc, T Natarajan, Josh Hazlewood and a few more are proper wicket-takers. Both teams also have some fantastic spinners and it would be ideal to have at least two of them.
Due to the dimensions of the stadium, it is difficult to attack the spinners who bowl with accuracy, hence it is advisable to keep this in mind while the team selection.
KL Rahul: The wicketkeeper-batsman didn't have a great ODI series but when it comes to the shortest format of the game, Rahul is one of the best in the business. The Kings XI Punjab captain emerged as the leading run-scorer in IPL 2020, amassing 670 runs at an average of 55.83 and a strike rate of 129.34. The stylish right-hander is back at the top in T20Is. Rahul averages almost 50 in T20Is since 2019, and could also get you some crucial points from behind the stumps.
As we saw in the first T20I, he continued his red-hot form in the shortest format and was the top-scorer for India.
Aaron Finch: After having a torrid time in the IPL, Finch was back among the runs after returning to Australia. No other Australian batsman has scored more runs than Finch in T20Is since 2019. He was the top-scorer for his side in the first T20I and will look to back his SCG numbers in the second T20I as well.
Virat Kohli: From his standards, Kohli has not enjoyed the Australian tour so far. Since his debut in 2008, this will be first year where he will finish without an ODI century. In the first T20I, he got out to garbage ball by Mitchell Swepson. However, Kohli is not used to low scores and with only three matches remaining for him in this tour he would want to make the most of it. After a failure in the first T20I, even the law of averages supports his inclusion in the fantasy XI.
Mitchell Starc: This might come as a surprise given his form at the SCG during the ODIs, where he picked one wicket in two games. However, he is probably at his wicket-taking best in T20s when he targets full balls on the stumps and does mind being hit. Moreover, his propensity to ball in the phases where batsmen have an attacking mind set, he warrants a place in your XI.