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Monday, February 20, 2012

Australian bowlers show up Indian shortcomings in ODI#7

Australia 5/288 (50 ov, M Hussey 59, Forrest 52, Wade 45, Warner 43,  Pathan 3/52) beat India 178 (43.3 ov, Dhoni 56, Hilfenhaus 5/33, Lee 3/49) by 110 runs: ODI 7/12 at the Gabba.
Points: Australia 14 pts/ 5 matches, India 10/5, Sri Lanka 7/4.

A form reversal by most of the Australian batters saw the team gradually accelerate throughout the innings and cut loose at the end to the tune of 53 from the last four overs.

Everyone except for Ricky Ponting  (his fifth consecutive single figure score in the same number of innings this series) contributed at least twenty. The first wicket didn't fall until the 13th over and 70 runs were on the board and Mike Hussey 59/52b (6x4) and Peter Forrest  52/ 71b (3x4) added 100 after the third wicket fell at 117. David Hussey 26*/ 20b (1x6, 1x4) and Dan Christian 30*/18b (5x4) added an unbroken 65 from the last 6 overs to put the game almost certainly beyond India's reach.

And so it turned out. As first Brett Lee 10-0-49-3, bowling much better than in the previous match, then Ben Hilfenhaus 9.3-1-33-5 , bowling much better than he'd ever done in an ODI, cut through India. It wasn't long before the only issue at stake was whether India could prevent Australia from gaining a bonus point. Despite M S Dhoni's 56/84b (1x6, 2x4) they couldn't.

So Australia have regrouped and India slipped again. Dhoni has been suspended for the next match v Sri Lanka because of his team's slow over rates (which goes with the territory if you play four quick bowlers).  This will leave a big hole in India's batting. In normal circumstances Sachin Tendulkar would be expected to fill some of it but, like Ponting, he is out of form. Interesting that they, two of the greatest batsmen in world cricket (admittedly both getting on in years), are passengers in what has been an otherwise good quality ODI series.


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