Though the margin of victory in the Vadodara ODI was a mere four runs, Australia were clearly the more dominant of the two sides, with India playing catch up for most part of the game. And the one major difference that cost India greatly was the lack of partnerships chasing a big total. While the experienced Aussie top and middle-order laid a solid foundation for their side, the Indian batting collapsed rather inexplicably on a decent batting surface.
If not for Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar, India would have ended up with a rather embarrassing total. Virender Sehwag looked in great nick, but as often said before he sometimes needs to be careful with his shot selection. His opening partner for the opening game, Sachin Tendulkar, had an off day and will have to strike form soon.
The pressure of captaincy seems to be getting to MS Dhoni. After yet another low score, he would be desperate to do well. Batting higher up the order and playing his natural game should be an option worth considering. Speaking of youngsters, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli have been playing some breezy cameos. However, in modern day cricket, you need to grow fast and 30s and 40s won’t be good enough for long. This applies more to Raina than Kohli, who is relatively new to the international arena.
The Indian batsmen, both young and old, can learn from the manner in which Australia constructed their innings. Despite losing Shane Watson early, Tim Paine and Ricky Ponting protected their wickets during the tough initial period, when the ball was doing things and accelerated once they got their eyes in. And even after they fell, Cameron White and Mike Hussey ensured the good work continued. White, in particular, must be credited for curbing his natural game until later in the innings. Hussey’s final flourish was fantabulous and took Australia to a total they would have been highly pleased with, even though they failed to touch 300.
The Aussies were better of the two outfits with the ball in hand as well. Only Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra saved the day for India. Praveen Kumar was lacklustre and Harbhajan Singh was less than half the bowler he was during the tri-series final in Sri Lanka. In stark contrast, Australia had most of their bowlers in form. Brett Lee provided the early breakthrough and also kept up the pressure on the batsmen.
Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson backed them up in the desired manner while Nathan Hauritz is getting more and more impressive with every game. It was just the one over from Watson and a few lapses in the field that had Australia huffing and puffing briefly. But then, were Australia briefly struggled, the Indians disappointment for an extended duration. Thus, it has to be said that the final outcome was a fair one.
No comments yet.