Rain forces no result in Melbourne

Brief scores:

Australia 132/7 (19)
Ben McDermott 32* (30)
Glenn Maxwell 19 (22)
Nathan Coulter-Nile 18 (9)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/20
Khaleel Ahmed 2/39

No result

The second T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was called off after 19-overs of play on Friday.

Virat Kohli won the toss again and opted to field first at MCG. India remained unchanged while a last moment injury to Billy Stanlake forced Australia to make a change and bring Nathan Coulter-Nile back.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck very early for India, removing Aaron Finch off the second ball. In his second over, Rishabh Pant dropped D’Arcy Short and then Chris Lynn got a life when Bumrah spilt him at the deep square-leg fence.

Khaleel Ahmed, who took a pounding from Lynn in Brisbane had a certain plan against the big hitter this time. Ahmed bowling wide outside off worked as Lynn chased the line and was caught at deep point by Krunal Pandya.

D’Arcy Short’s poor run continued when Khaleel castled him and Bumrah, from the other end, was quick to remove Marcus Stoinis as Australia were reduced to 41/4 in the 7th over.

India deployed Kuldeep and Krunal who also did a decent job to keep the batsmen in check. Krunal, who was smacked for five sixes by Maxwell in the first T20I, got his revenge when a peach from him with just enough drift went straight through Maxwell to disturb the timber.

Krunal and Kuldeep applied equal pressure from both ends as Ben Mcdermott got into a shell with wickets falling around him. Wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey tried to break the shackles and target Kuldeep but lost his wicket when Krunal Pandya completed his second catch, this time in the deep.

Nathan Coulter-Niile joined forces with Ben and did what most Australians could not. He took the attack to the Indians and was able to clear the fence twice but Kohli brought back Bhuvneshwar Kumar who removed him for a 9-ball 18.

Jasprit Bumrah’s exceptional death bowling meant that Ben and the next man – Andrew Tye could not get a move on. With the heavens opening up, the ball became wet enough to skid off the track as Ben carved a boundary off the last ball of the penultimate over.

It started to rain cats and dogs as the play came to a halt with Australia having 132/7 on the board in 19 overs. Rain played hide and seek for a while before finally having the last say as the match was called off to leave the spectators disappointed.

India will only have a shot at squaring the series in the third and final T20I at Sydney on Sunday.