India players heading out in Melbourne to field first against hosts Australia. Photo: @cricketcomau on twitter

MELBOURNE – India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bowl in the second Twenty20 international against Australia in Melbourne on Friday as they look to square the series.

Australia won a nail-biting and rain-affected first match in Brisbane by four runs, with the third and final game in Sydney on Sunday.

It was a confidence-boosting win for the home team - their first in five T20s and only their sixth in 23 internationals - ahead of a four-Test series against the visitors.

On a cold, grey day, India opted to go with an unchanged side.

“We're going to have a bowl first. We did well in the last game and we just need to do the little things right,” said Kohli. 

Australia suffered a setback in the warm-up at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with fast bowler Billy Stanlake rolling his ankle, with Nathan Coulter-Nile replacing him.

“I would have bowled first as well,” said Australia skipper Aaron Finch. “Hopefully we put some runs on the board and then pick up some early wickets.”

The last time India played a T20 series in Australia (in 2016) they blanked the hosts 3-0.

Australia: 

D'Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (capt), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile

India: 

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed

Umpires: Gerard Abood (AUS) and Simon Fry (AUS)

TV umpire: Paul Wilson (AUS)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)


Agence France-Presse (AFP)