MELBOURNE – Tight bowling and poor batting saw India restrict Australia to 132-7 in a rain-affected second Twenty20 in Melbourne as the visitors look to level the series and take it to a decider.
On a cold, grey day Australia struggled to build meaningful partnerships with Ben McDermott their top scorer on 32 as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed took two wickets each.
Rain halted play after 19 overs.
Australia won a nail-biting first match in Brisbane by four runs, with the third and final game in Sydney on Sunday.
It was a confidence-boosting win for a team that have only won six of their last 23 internationals and they were hoping to keep the momentum going.
But they got off to the worst possible start after Virat Kohli won the toss and put them into bat in front of a boisterous 65,000-strong crowd with Aaron Finch out first ball.
The Australian skipper edged a Kumar delivery to Rishabh Pant behind the wicket who took a simple catch.
The explosive Chris Lynn began swinging his bat soon after coming in, including a trademark six, but he didn't last long and sliced a ball to deep point where he was comfortably caught by Krunal Pandya.
It left Australia in trouble at 27-2 after four overs and it got worse when D'Arcy Short chopped a ball onto his wicket from Ahmed. He was gone for 14 and Marcus Stoinis then fell for four.
Glenn Maxwell, who plundered an impressive 46 in the first match in Brisbane, looked in good early nick but he couldn't repeat his antics and was bowled by Pandya for 19.
Australia's batsmen were making poor shot choices and couldn't get a partnership going with Alex Carey the next to depart, caught by Pandya off spinner Kuldeep Yadav as he went for a big hit.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, in the team at short notice after paceman Billy Stanlake turned an ankle in the warm-up, smacked a huge six off the first ball he faced and got another before he too was out.
Alex Tye joined McDermott in a cameo to add some desperately-needed late runs before rain forced them off with an over left.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)