India bowled out as many as 104 overs in six and a half hours to restrict the Aussies to 273 for 7. This was despite the tourists getting a strong opening stand of 139! It was a dramatic collapse for the Aussies – losing two wickets in two balls on two occasions in the day’s play. The match is now nicely in the favour of an Indian victory although the first day’s play was completely washed out.
After all the build-up, the India-Australia series will finally kick off on Friday at Chennai. It goes without saying that the team which performs better as a combined unit will emerge winners. At the same time, there are a few individual battles that could also impact the series. Here are a few battles within the battle that we believe could be significant factors in determining the outcome of the series.
The Indians at last enjoyed some success this season, defeating England 3-2 at home in the recently-concluded ODI series. We review the series from an Indian perspective, picking out the players who performed to potential and also singling out those who disappointed.
If India’s performance in the second ODI at Kochi was top notch, they were ruthless again against the Englishman on Saturday, at M S Dhoni’s hometown Ranchi. If it were the batsmen who set up India’s win in the Kochi game, this time it was the turn of the bowlers to shine upfront.
The opening ODI at Rajkot was a case of so near yet so for the Indians. They had their opportunities in the game, and had they taken the same, the result of the match could well have been different. The important aspect for the Indians though is to learn from their mistakes at Rajkot when they head into the Kochi ODI on Tuesday.
For a bowler who is now in his sixth year of international cricket, Ishant Sharma’s constant failure to deliver in the death overs is rather strange. His overall ODI figures are pretty good --71 scalps in 51 matches at an average of under 32.
It were the much-vaunted Indian batsmen that had to deliver if India wanted to do well against Pakistan. In complete contrast, they did miserably and the Indians expectedly went down in yet another high-profile series.
India clinched a low scoring thriller at Delhi to avoid an embarrassing cleansweep against their arch rivals. Needing just 168 to win, Pakistan stuttered big time to lose the Third and Final ODI by 10 runs.