Aaron Finch was announced as the captain while Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey were named as vice-captains as Australia revealed its 14-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE.
Hard-hitting opener Chris Lynn was also named in the Aussie squad while Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile made their international returns.
Glenn Maxwell was also included in the T20 squad after cruelly missing out on selection for the Test series against the same opponents. Test specialist Nathan Lyon could feature in his first T20 international since 2016 after being named in the squad.
There was a maiden Australia call-up was handed to Tasmania batsman Ted McDermott for the three-match series that gets underway in Abu Dhabi on October 24.
“Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge Aaron, Mitch and Alex on being announced as the new captain and vice-captains of the Australian T20 squad,” head coach Justin Langer said at the announcement of the squad.
“They are outstanding young men and extremely talented cricketers. To be endorsed by their peers, and to then back it up with powerful presentations, just showcased their leadership qualities and vision for Australian cricket,” Langer added.
The Australia coach lauded the leadership abilities of Finch who is currently the No1 ranked batsman in the T20 format.
“Aaron has already captained Australia in the recent T20s we played in Zimbabwe, and I’ve been extremely impressed with his impact on the Test squad over here in the UAE. We know he’s an exceptional player, and he’s arguably the most in form T20 player in the world at the moment,” he stated.
Most of the Australia squad are already in the UAE where they are preparing for the first of the two Tests against Pakistan which gets underway on Sunday.
AUSTRALIA 14-MAN T20 SERIES SQUAD
Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
On an eventful day two in which two centuries were registered while nine wickets fell, the hosts consolidated their strong position at the end of Thursday to post 649-9dec in their first innings. The visitors unravelled fast in their reply and had slumped to 94-6 before stumps were finally drawn on Friday.
Here, we take a look at the key talking points from day two with the visitors staring at huge first-innings deficit.
KOHLI AND PANT INFLICT MORE MISERY ON HAPLESS WINDIES
The visitors had a tough day under the Rajkot sun on Thursday and there was more pain in store for them when they came out to take the field on day two. With Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant well-set, there was no respite for the Windies’ bowlers as runs flowed unabated in the morning session.
It was Pant who did the bulk of the run-scoring in the first session with Kohli content to sit back and play second fiddle. The young wicketkeeper batsman took his toll on a tired and worn out West Indies attack with four sixes flowing off his bat. In contrast, Kohli was a picture of concentration at the crease and accumulated runs with the old-school approach of wearing down the opposition.
The pair added 133 runs for the fifth wicket with Pant scoring 92 of those himself. The 21-year-old missed out on a second Test ton after mishitting Devendra Bishoo to short third-man but Kohli continued his march and brought up an inevitable 24th Test ton in the second session.
The two batsman put paid to any hopes the visitors had of clawing their way back into the game early on day two with their contrasting innings.
LOCAL BOY JADEJA DELIGHTS WITH MAIDEN TEST TON
It was written in the stars. For all his years of service in international cricket, Ravindra Jadeja had never been really able to fulfill his batting promise. For a man who had registered three first-class triple tons for Saurashtra, an international Test ton had eluded him for far too long.
Back on his home ground in Rajkot, the platform had been perfectly laid out for the India all-rounder to shine after Kohli and Pant’s strong showings in the first half of the day. Following their dismissals, Jadeja took it upon himself to push the run-scoring and he thrived in doing so against a tiring Windies attack. The left-hander had to bat with the tail at the latter stages of his innings as he approached a maiden Test hundred.
It seemed like he would run out of partners before getting to the milestone but some decent blocking at the other end by last man Mohammed Shami ensured that the local boy would not miss out on his crowning moment. Jadeja got to the elusive mark with a single and let out a deafening roar as he brought out his customary sword-wielding celebrations.
SHAMI AND SPINNERS STRANGLE WINDIES BATSMEN
With Kohli calling in his men following Jadeja’s landmark ton, a sapped and drained Windies were given a tough task of batting out the final session on day two.
With a mountain to climb in front of them, the visitors faltered and faltered hard. In the very third over of the innings, Mohammed Shami dismissed skipper Kraigg Brathwaite with a sharp in-swinger after setting him up earlier with deliveries that went away from the right-hander. The umpires checked for a front-foot no-ball and adjudged the batsman out despite Shami’s foot being on the line. The India pacer struck again in his next over by trapping Kieran Powell lbw with the West Indies opener even opting for a futile review.
Things went from bad to worse for Brathwaite’s men with Shimron Hetmyer run-out by a mile following a horrible mix-up with Sunil Ambris. The cats were well and truly set among the pigeons for the men from the Caribbean when Ravi Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Jadeja came on to bowl. All three Indian spinner struck early in the spells with Ashwin accounting for the dangerous Shai Hope while Jadeja accounted for Ambris. Kuldeep, meanwhile, beat Shane Dowrich all ends up to castle the wicketkeeper batsman at the stroke of stumps to leave the visitors reeling at 74-6.
West Indies lost skipper Kraigg Brathwaite in the very third over of their innings after the batsman was castled by Mohammed Shami in the final session of day two. The India pacer struck again in the fifth over of the innings by removing Kieran Powell.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Ravi Ashwin struck with only his second over. Promising talent Shai Hope was clean-bowled by the off-spinner as West Indies slumped to 21-3. Then, a horrible mix-up in the middle saw Shimron Hetmyer run-out by Ravindra Jadeja as India tightened the screws. Jadeja then got into the act by removing Sunil Ambris as the visitors were reduced to 49-5.
Kuldeep Yadav did not take too long to get into the thick of things himself with the wrist-spinner castling Shane Dowrich to inflict further misery on the visitors.
On his home ground, local boy Ravindra Jadeja notched up his maiden Test ton with only last man Mohammed Shami for company. India declared their first innings at 649-9 when tea was taken on day two at Rajkot.
In the second session, Kohli’s 139-run innings was brought to an end by Devendra Bishoo after the India batsman had gone past 1,000 Test runs in the calendar year. The West Indies leg-spinner struck again moments later by dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin for seven.
Resuming the innings from their overnight score of 364-4 at Rajkot, Rishabh Pant and Kohli kept the runs ticking on day two with the former taking the attack to the Windies bowlers with an aggressive innings littered with boundaries.
Pant was the only batsman to fall in the first session on Friday with the youngster missing out on his second Test ton by just eight runs after being dismissed by Devendra Bishoo.
Earlier on day one, debutant Prithvi Shaw wrote himself into the history books with a classy innings of 134. Shaw’s innings saw him become the 15th Indian batsman to register a Test century on debut while he is the youngest of them all to do so.
Can India pile on the pressure on the visitors on day two? Don’t miss any of the action from Rajkot by following our live ball-by-ball updates below.