India v Australia, TVS Cup, Bangalore November 12, 2003

The silver lining for India

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Despite having a huge total to chase, the Indians made a fist of it till the last 10. At the 40-over stage, India were 250 for 4, compared to Australia's 245 for 2. Where Australia took it away was in the last 10, when they scored 102 runs. A look at the Indian bowling during that stage of the innings indicates where Zaheer Khan and co. went wrong: there were plenty of attempts to bowl the yorker, but the results were either full tosses or half volleys. The Australians took full toll, creaming 23 such deliveries for 35 runs.

The length that the Indians bowled
in the last 10 overs
Balls
Runs
Full
09
16
Yorker
00
00
Half volley
14
19
Good length
25
38
Just short
09
07
Short
03
14

There was little to cheer for the Indians in the field, but one bowler who did his reputation no harm was Murali Kartik. His battle with Ricky Ponting was especially fascinating: till his last over, Kartik had bowled 32 balls to Ponting, and conceded just 13 runs, a scoring rate of less than two-and-a-half an over, in a match where most other bowlers were disappearing for well over six. Two sixes in that last over spoiled Kartik's figures somewhat, but it was still an effort to be proud of.

The key to Kartik's success was the length he bowled to Ponting: 34 out of 37 balls landed on a good length, with two more pitching just short. Of the 33 dot balls Kartik bowled, 25 were to Ponting, who struggled to read the variations in flight and pace - of the 37 balls he faced, Ponting was in control of just 27 (72.97%). Kartik didn't have quite as much success against Adam Gilchrist, who picked off 23 from the 19 balls he faced off Kartik. Gilchrist's in-control percent was much higher too.

Kartik against ...
Balls
Runs
Dot balls
In-control %
Ponting
37
25
25
72.97
Gilchrist
19
23
7
84.21