The occurrence of the 2nd T20I between India and Bangladesh will depend on how much of an impact Cyclone Maha, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on match day, has on the weather in the city
Rajkot: Their frailties in the shortest format under the scanner, India would be aiming to ensure that a plucky Bangladesh don't run away with the momentum when the two sides clash in the second T20I, which is facing a cyclonic threat in Rajkot on Thursday.
India lost the smog-hit opening T20 in Delhi by seven wickets on Sunday, a stunning result against a side which landed here after a players' strike over pay and other issues and the suspension of their biggest cricketer — Shakib Al Hasan — for failure to report corrupt approaches.
India have not had the kind of success in T20s as they have enjoyed in the other two formats of late and that is evident from the results this year.
They have already lost a series at home this year — to Australia — before drawing against South Africa, who were otherwise hammered in Tests.
In the absence of some senior players, including regular skipper Virat Kohli, the second game of the three-match series is an ideal platform for the fringe players to show what they are made of.
In their loss in the series opener, stand-in-captain Rohit Sharma admitted that India were not up to the mark in the field and a few wrong DRS calls also contributed to the eye-opening defeat.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan's form and strike-rate is also a concern going into the game on Thursday.
A series loss to Bangladesh will only pose more questions to the home team as it looks to zero in on a settled squad for next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.
The hosts had a troublesome time with the bat at the Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi where they recovered to post 148, which was chased down brilliantly by experienced Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim.
Rohit, who had a rare failure on Sunday, would be keen to lead by example.
All this will depend on how much of an impact Cyclone Maha, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat on match day, has on the weather in the city.
In fact, heavy rains, associated with lightening, lashed the city on Wednesday evening. The wicket at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium is, however, protected with covers.
The weather forecast for Rajkot on Thursday, according to Accuweather, is "mostly cloudy with a shower or thunderstorm as tropical rainstorm goes by".
There's a 60 percent chance of a thunderstorm taking place on match day, which could mean Bangladesh preserving their 1-0 series lead heading into the final T20I at Nagpur.
The skies are expected to remain partly cloudy after 7 pm, around which time play is expected to begin at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
With inputs from PTI
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