Clinical Australia wallop India

Australia made a fine start to the
7-match ODI series, notching up a
morale-boosting 72-run win and
take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Australia were boosted by fine
knocks from skipper George Bailey
and the in-form Aaron Finch to
amass a huge total. Defending the
total, Australia benefited from
superb performances from all their
bowlers, with James Faulkner
taking 3 wickets, to help them seal
a comfortable win. India's only
silver lining came in the form of
Virat Kohli's fine fifty.
Much like Australia did in their
innings, India made a cautious
start to proceedings before
opening up, but the home team
suffered a setback early in their
chase. Shikhar Dhawan was
outfoxed by a brilliant James
Faulkner delivery and only
managed in getting a faint edge
through to the keeper. Rohit
Sharma and Virat Kohli put India
back on track with a fine 40-run
stand, but Australia once again
wrested control with the wicket of
Rohit. Watson providing the
Australians with the breakthrough.
Kohli, however, dropped anchor
and helped the hosts recover along
with Suresh Raina. The duo put on
50+ at a steady pace to keep the
home side in the chase, but with
India needing to score more freely
it was only a matter of time before
someone went on the counter. It
was Raina who decided to take the
attack to Faulkner, but the bowler
came up on top, getting Raina to
edge a slog to third-man. When
Yuvraj Singh, and later the well-
set Kohli departed soon after, India
were staring down the barrel.
With MS Dhoni and R Jadeja at the
crease, India's chances, albeit
slim, were still alive and the
Aussies were wary of the threat.
India took the batting power play
after 35 over in order to bring
down the run-rate, but Australia
stifled the Indian scoring, not
letting them score in excess of 6
runs an over to increase the
pressure. With the powerplay not
yielding the sort of results the
Indians would have hoped for,
Jadeja tried to make up for it with
a huge heave, which resulted in a
simple catch for Watson at mid-
off.
When Dhoni was out, bowled in
the next over, India's chances
were wiped out completely and
Australia moved quickly to wipe
out the tail and give the visitors a
big 72-run win.
Opting to bat, Australia needed a
combined batting effort from the
side to help them post an
imposing total on the board. Aaron
Finch struck his second
successive half-century of the tour
while skipper George Bailey scored
a fine 85 as Australia took an
insipid India bowling attack to task
and pile on a huge 304 for eight.
Finch, who was was Australia's
best batsman in the T20I, was
again in attacking form with a
well-made 72 off 79 balls with
eight fours and three sixes after
Australia opted to bat. The right-
armer and fellow opener Phil
Hughes (47) got Australia off to a
solid start with 110-run opening
stand before India fought back
through their left-arm spin twins
Ravindra Jadeja (1 for 35) and
Yuvraj Singh (2 for 34).
Australia made a very cautious
start, with openers Finch and
Hughes preferring to adopt the
wait and watch policy in the first
few overs before opening out. The
first five overs produced only 13
runs but the sixth bowled by
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave the
Aussies the chance to accelerate
as Finch took the attack to him
and carted him for a six over the
straight field and two fours -- a
cover drive and a pull.
Thereafter Bailey, who made a
duck in the T20 game, kept the
innings together with a superbly
paced 82-ball knock, studded with
10 fours before he was caught at
deep mid wicket off Ravichandran
Ashwin. James Faulkner (27 off 22
balls) struck breezily towards the
end to help the visitors cross the
300-mark after a mid-innings
stutter.
The Indian bowlers, barring Jadeja
and Yuvraj, looked off colour,
particularly Ishant Sharma (1 for
56), who just like in the T20 game,
gave away lot of runs for a late
wicket. Even the ground fielding
left a lot to be desired.
Ashwin started poorly before
making it up with two late wickets,
including that of Bailey. However,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0 for 41) and
Vinay Kumar (1 for 68) proved too
expensive on a good batting track.
Clinical Australia wallop India Clinical Australia wallop India Reviewed by Sanket Shirodkar on 22:41 Rating: 5
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