With Jasprit Bumrah playing and missing the last delivery of the 50th over by Mitchell Starc, India succumbed to its fourth consecutive ODI loss, the first post the lockdown. The Indian inning, apart from the Hardik Pandya- Shikhar Dhawan partnership, never really got going and finished at 308/8, thereby losing the game by 66 runs. This gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.
Indian inning was marred by loss of early wickets as much-fancied players like skipper Virat Kohli, vice-captain KL Rahul, and IPL star Shreyas Iyer fell without giving much trouble to the scorers. At one stage, the Indian team was staring at a massive defeat with 101/4 in just 13 overs. The fast start by Mayank Agarwal and Dhawan couldn’t be cashed in by the following batsmen till Pandya joined Dhawan.
The Delhi batsman was middling the ball really well. Along with Pandya, he built a partnership of 129 runs in the next 21 overs at more than run a ball. This gave Indian fans some hope. But then, Dhawan was caught off a nondescript delivery from Zampa, most likely wilting under the pressure of the mounting required rate. However, these 129 runs had given some hope. Most importantly, a set Hardik Pandya was at the crease even after Dhawan's exit.
But Ravindra Jadeja, who joined Pandya, couldn’t keep up with the run rate and increased the Mumbai Indians' star's workload. This led to a mistimed shot by the latter, giving Zampa another breakthrough. Post this, only formalities remained to be completed.
In such a huge run-chase, India’s top order was required to form a base, much like what was done by David Warner and Aaron Finch for Australia. Instead, they crumbled like a pack of cards, trying to play shots that were never likely to succeed. Mayank Agarwal rushed through his on-drive and gave away a superb start that he and Dhawan had given to the inning. Kohli was given a life very early in his inning when he was dropped by Zampa at deep fine leg.
But the Indian maestro couldn’t capitalise on it as a short ball from Hazelwood got the better off him. He handed an easy catch right into his opposite number’s hand, who had placed himself at short mid-wicket just for that. Iyer was caught napping against another short ball as it climbed on the right hander, exposing his poor technique.
All these batsmen got out because of some brilliant bowling from Hazelwood. KL Rahul’s dismissal though, was probably the softest as he ended up hitting a full toss to Steve Smith at mid-off. The entire top order, apart from Dhawan, was in the dressing room when the team’s score was just 101. In a chase of 375, this painted a sorry picture of the batting order.
Earlier in the day, Australia, after winning the toss, had decided to bat first and then proved their decision right. Openers in captain Aaron Finch and experienced David Warner added 156 for the first wicket in 28 overs, giving the attacking middle-order batsmen, Smith, a solid launchpad. While Warner got out for just 69, Finch went on to score what would turn out to be his 16th ODI hundred, also becoming the second-fastest Australian to reach 5000 ODI runs (126 innings), just behind David Warner (115 innings).
This laid down foundation. However it was not used by a big hitter like Marcus Stoinis and only partially by Glenn Maxwell. Instead, it was a calm and composed Smith who hit the third fastest 100 in Australia’s ODI history, scoring the century at just 62 balls. Smith, who had said before the match that he had found his hands (after a dismal performance in the IPL), scored freely with awesome lofted cover drives which went for sixes, a rare sight in ODIs.
In total, he made 105 off just 66 balls, taking Australia to a more than healthy total of 374. Maxwell’s 19-ball 45 must not be sidelined among some glittery performances as it provided the much-needed impetus on which Smith built his inning.
The old saying of 'catches win matches' is a work of pure genius as there hasn’t been an instance when the team that has dropped a lot of catches has still gone on to win the match. It was proved this time as well, when the butter fingers of the Indian unit, along with huge judgment errors on part of the fielders, resulted in a great number of drop catches. Smith was dropped twice and so was Maxwell. And they made the Indian team pay for those drops in a big fashion. The culprits for the dropped catches were Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Iyer, Mayank, and Hardik Pandya.
The problem of Pandya not being able to bowl has caused a lot of pain for the Indian team as there was not even a single member in the playing eleven who could be entrusted with bowling 4-5 overs when one of the five main bowlers couldn't get things right. This resulted in what was a butchering of bowlers by Maxwell and Smith. In one over of Chahal, Maxwell hit 21 runs, making him the costliest spinner in India’s ODI history as the leggie finished with stats of 1/89 in his 10 overs.
Other bowlers weren’t spared either as most of them returned with near 6 or above economy rates. Even the much-fancied Bumrah (1/73 in his 10 overs) was taken to the cleaners by the Australian batsmen.
Next on the menu is the do or die game for Indian which would take place at the same venue on Sunday. Changes in the team are a must, especially in the case of having a sixth bowler. However, the team really doesn’t have a choice as in order to accommodate another bowler, it would have to drop a batsman, which isn’t ideal either, considering India’s performance with the bat.
With problems aplenty, it would be exciting to see how captain Kohli tackles this situation.
Powered by Froala Editor
Powered by Froala Editor
The first T20I in a three-match series between hosts New Zealand and West Indies turned out to be a high-voltage affair, albeit in a truncated form. The Kiwis were able to register an impressive 5-wicket win in this 16 overs-a-side match after the Windies recovered from 59/5 to post 180/7 in their innings. But if you were an Indian cricket fan who wanted to watch this match, alongside or instead of the India vs Australia ODI, you would have been left frustrated searching for the live telecast on TV and prominent streaming platforms. So, where was the live coverage? Well, the answer lies in the new deal that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has signed for the coverage of cricket they host in India. Till now, matches played in New Zealand were telecasted by the Star Sports network through their channels and Hotstar on internet. But now, NZC has struck a deal with Amazon that gives the latter’s video streaming platform – Amazon Prime Video - the exclusive rights to telecast cricket played in New Zealand in India. This is a major breakthrough for Amazon as they enter the cricket telecast market for the first time. Amazon Prime Video has been making quite a splash in the entertainment sector with various movies and drama series gaining attention. The gaining of cricket broadcasting rights might signal Amazon India’s intention to get into the cricket broadcasting business in a big way. It already streams sports like football and tennis from prestigious tournaments. The deal with last until the 2025/26 season. New Zealand Cricket’s broadcasting rights don’t have as much value in India as those of Australia and England in India due to the inconvenient timings. Test matches in the country get underway at 3:30 AM IST while even the day-night ODIs have to begin very early in the morning. Still, international cricket’s value as a television commodity remains substantial. The improved performances of the Kiwi side as well as the growing popularity of cricketers from the country also provide some special attraction to the matches played New Zealand.
Cricket returned to New Zealand on a rain-affected day with West Indies starting their tour of the country with a T20I. Part of a three-match series, this first T20 game at Auckland saw the visitors winning the toss and batting first. Lockie Ferguson was in roaring form and thanks to his three early wickets, the Windies were reduced to 59/5 in the sixth over. But then ensued a cracking partnership between the captain of the team Kieron Pollard and Fabian Allen that kept the team scoring at a high rate in a match truncated to 16 overs per side. In the end, West Indies finished up with 180/7 in their full quota overs with Pollard remaining not out on 75 off just 37 balls. As the partnership of 84 between him and Allen was developing, the fans who were watching the match were reacting to the pulsating action taking place on their screens.
The three Australian batsmen who had to bear the brunt in the Indian Premier League for not being able to play to their potential, once again proved that they are worth the talk and they know how to probe potential. While Skipper Aaron Finch and former skipper Steve Smith hit brilliant hundreds and shaped the two phases of the Aussie innings in Sydney, Maxwell was the much-needed injection to boost the innings and get it past 340-350 score to a huge 373. Twitteratis, while appreciating the Aussie batsmen, didn’t’ forget to mention the fact how badly they performed in the IPL. Smith, who had said earlier that he found his hands were also helped by dropped catches as two chances were given to the local boy, who cashed in brilliantly on them and scored 105 of 66 balls with the help of 11 fours and six sixes. Finch though, had started cautiously with fellow opening partner David Warner, scoring a fabulous hundred (115 of 124 balls) and thereby laying down a solid foundation for the hitters to exploded. And rightly did Glenn Maxwell. The Big Show indeed showed how important a place he holds in the team as it was with his 19 balls 45 that lifted Australia after the fall of two quick wickets in the form of Finch and Stoinis. While most of the tweets were cricket related, one tweet that got the love of even the entertainment industry was in a reference to Big Boss contestants Siddharth Shukla and Shehnaaz Gill. The Indian batsmen have a tough job in their hands now but have started strongly as at the time of writing this news, they were none for 46 after four overs.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian ODI side took part in an anti-racism move by the Australian side by standing in a circle with their feet bare. The barefoot circle initiative has been started by Cricket Australia to acknowledge the role of the indigenous people of Australia and support the anti-racism movement across the world that started with the Black Lives Matter campaign. Australian Vice-captain Pat Cummins had stated before the start of the series that his team were to celebrate the culture of their indigenous people in the cricketing season that started today in Sydney, “In Australia, we think the most, I guess, the marginalised group is the first nations people and the indigenous peoples. And we think the barefoot circle’s a great way to celebrate them. Some people might want to take the knee, some people might want to show it in different ways and absolutely we’re all for that. But we’ve kind of come together as a team and think this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating the indigenous culture here,” Pat Cummins had said. Anti-racism movements began taking centre stage in Cricket with the West Indies and England team deciding to take a knee to show solidarity against the black people across the world in July this year.