India won the toss and chose to bowl in overcast conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and they dominated proceedings, with Khaleel Ahmed and the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya wrecking the Australian middle-order. However, Ben McDermott hung in and along with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Andrew Tye, strung some crucial partnerships to help Australia reach 132/7 after 19 overs. However, rain dominated proceedings when it was India's turn to chase. Persistent weather interruptions resulted in the match been called off and Australia take their 1-0 lead to the final game in Sydney on Sunday. With this result, India can only level the series while for Australia, they will be gunning for a series win yet again. (SCORECARD)
There it is, folks! The match has been officially abandoned! Australia will take their 1-0 lead to the final game in Sydney. It has been a disappointing game for the 60,000 fans at the G.
We might not get to that stage now. The rain has returned in Melbourne and this might be the final nail in the coffin. What a damp squib this game has turned out to be.
The covers are still on but the chances of a game still remain. We just have five-six minutes for a game. Otherwise, it will be abandoned.
If the match does begin at 4:32 PM IST, then the target for India will be 46 in five overs. The groundstaff are working hard to ensure the game begins.
The cut-off time for a five-over game is 16:30 IST. If it does not start before that, then the game will be called off. We are touch-and-go in this situation
The covers are once again been removed. We have lost some more time. We might have a chase under 10 overs. Waiting for official confirmatin now. One hopes that the rain stays away now.
Match has been reduced to 11 overs and the revised DLS target for India is 90. This will be a very interesting chase.
The umpires are concerned about some wet patches on the field. Remember, Melbourne has taken a lot of rain in the last week and it is a wonder that the match even lasted for 19 overs with such weather. However, the umpires are having a look and one hopes for an update soon.
If play begins now, we might have a 12-13 over chase and the target for India could be around 100-110. Waiting for official confirmation.
The rain appears to have stopped and the mopping up operations are going on at the MCG. This weather is incredibly fickle and this could be an interesting chase. Waiting for the revised scores and overs.
The rain is getting heavier now and the square covers are coming onto the pitch. This delay might be slightly longer now.
Oh dear. Just as play was about to begin, the rain has returned and there will be a further delay in play. The revised target and the number of overs will once again change now. This is mighty frustrating.
The rain has stopped and the match has been reduced to 19 overs. The revised target for India is 137 via the Duckworth-Lewis method. Once again, India have a Brisbane-like situation on the cards.
Oh dear! Just as I typed it, there is an update that the covers are back on as it has started to rain in Melbourne again. Now, we will definitely lose overs and India might chase a revised target.
Play will start at 20:43 PM local time, which is in four minutes time. Australia will face the final over so we will have a full contest.
Looks like the covers are being peeled off. If play can be ready in 12 minutes time, then India will bowl the 20th over.
More covers are coming on to the pitch now. The entire pitch is covered and there is one more cover on standby to cover the surrounding areas.
The rain is too heavy now and the umpires call the players off. Kohli is fuming and points out they should have gone earlier. Australia are 132/7 in 19 overs and like Brisbane, we might have a revised target for India.
It has started to rain again at the MCG. Kohli wants to go off but the umpire is not allowing it. The Indian captain is very agitated and has a word or two. Bumrah bowls an excellent over but McDermott ends the over in style by steering a full ball past Rishabh Pant for a boundary to third man.
Andrew Tye gets two crucial boundaries off Khaleel, one through wide long off and one a streaky edge to third man. India do not help themselves with Pant fumbling. McDermott ends the over in style as he blasts Khaleel over deep mid wicket for a six. 19 runs in the 18th over and this will give the hosts some momentum.
Only two runs in the 17th over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. Can they reach 120? It looks very unlikely now.
Another WICKET! Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was looking so good, perishes after hitting a six off Bhuvneshwar. The bowler drags it short outside off, Coulter-Nile upper-cuts it straight to Manish Pandey at deep backward point
The Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya combo have combined for figures of 8-0-49-2. A much better performance in the middle overs as compared to Brisbane. Can Australia reach 140?
Nathan Coulter-Nile launches Kuldeep Yadav for the second six of the match. Australia need a lot more such hits if they are to reach a good total. He shows his prowess by going on the back foot and hammering Krunal down the ground for a boundary.
WICKET! Kuldeep Yadav finally gets a wicket in his last over. Alex Carey miscues the slog sweep and holes out to long on. Krunal Pandya did not have to move an inch. Australia continue to sink. Alex Carey c Krunal b Kuldeep 4 (6).
Ben McDermott, struggling against Kuldeep Yadav, finally breaks the shackles by sweeping him to the deep backward square leg fence. Australia need a lot more hits if they are to reach a good total. After 12 overs, Australia are 69/5.
WICKET! Brilliant stuff from Krunal Pandya. After being hit for a boundary, Krunal gets this flatter delivery to straighten, Maxwell aims to defend and the outside edge clips the off stump. Glenn Maxwell b Krunal Pandya 19 (22).
Krunal Pandya ensures that Australia struggle to hit the boundary. The run-rate has also dipped after Marcus Stoinis' dismissal.
Kuldeep Yadav is into the attack and he gives away just five runs. He really bowled slower through the air and allowed the drift to do all the work.
WICKET! Australia are floundering here. Short ball from Bumrah and Stoinis uppercuts it to deep backward point, Dinesh Karthik runs to his left and takes the catch. Marcus Stoinis c Karthik b Bumrah 4 (5).
EDGED BUT SAFE! Khaleel gets the back of a length delivery to straighten outside off, Marcus Stoinis gets the leading edge and it flies over the slips. Next ball, he beats the batsman with a delivery that scoots through low. At the end of the powerplay, Australia are 40/3.
WICKET! Bad shot attempted by Short. Back of a length ball and close to the off stump, Short attempts the pull shot but ends up dragging it back on to the stumps. Second wicket for Khaleel. D'Arcy Short b Khaleel Ahmed 14 (15).
Jasprit Bumrah gets plenty of bounce and zip from this MCG deck but D'Arcy Short ends the over in style by carving a full ball past point for a boundary. Australia need a partnership and they need to end the powerplay in style.
WICKET! Finally, India hold on to a catch. Short of a length and a slower delivery outside off, Lynn looks to slice it over extra cover but gets the top edge and Krunal Pandya runs in from deep cover to take the catch. That has gotten the crowd at the MCG going. Chris Lynn c Krunal Pandya b Khaleel Ahmed 13 (13).
Another dropped chance. Chris Lynn miscues a pull shot to fine leg but Jasprit Bumrah misjudges and ends up parrying the ball over the ropes. This is very sloppy from India.
D'Arcy Short gets going with a boundary as he drills Khaleel Ahmed to the long-off fence. Virat Kohli tried to stop it with the dive but could not. In the first ball of Bhuvneshwar's second over, Rishabh Pant drops Short. That was a simple chance.
WICKET! Bhuvneshwar Kumar strikes in his second ball and the MCG erupts. Full ball and curving away outside off, it nips away off the seam as well as Finch edges the drive to be caught by the keeper. Aaron Finch c Pant b Bhuvneshwar 0 (1).
So, KL Rahul gets another game. Can he make it count today? Can India's bowlers put in a solid display as compared to the previous game?
Here are the playing XIs of both sides.
Australia: D Arcy Short, Aaron Finch(c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant(w), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed
India have chosen to bowl in Melbourne. Virat Kohli says the Indian team is unchanged. Australian skipper Aaron Finch has said they would have bowled. Billy Stanlake injured his ankle during warm-ups and Nathan Coulter-Nile replaces him
The MCG is a hard wicket and there is some grass. It does drain quickly. The conditions don't look the best. It is starting to come down again.
This will bring plenty of cheer. The covers are coming off. Toss could happen on time.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 23, 2018
However, we begin with bad news. It is overcast in Melbourne and it is currently drizzling. The covers are firmly on. Maybe, we might have a delay in toss
India and Australia have played three times in Twenty20 Internationals in Melbourne, with India winning two encounters. Australia won the first encounter in 2008.
A warm welcome to the second T20I between Australia and India from Melbourne. Virat Kohli's side will be desperate to level the series while Australia will be eyeing a rare series win. The weather is expected to be dodgy in Melbourne with rain forecast. What will be the strategy that teams employ?