India v Australia, TVS Cup final, Kolkata

The spin twins

S Rajesh

November 18, 2003

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Though the Indians failed to finish the job with the bat, their spinners once again proved the Australians' fallibility against the turning ball. Harbhajan Singh showed a welcome return to form, but the outstanding bowler for India was Murali Kartik, whose control over flight, length and change of pace was quite exceptional. Fifty-eight of the 60 balls he bowled pitched either on a good length or was slightly short. The Australians did put away deliveries which were even slightly off length - 12 runs came off the 10 deliveries which were slightly short - but the 48 good-length balls cost him just 17.

The length Murali Kartik bowled
 
Balls
Runs
Full length
2
1
Good length
48
17
Just short
10
12
Short
0
0

The period when Kartik and Harbhajan bowled in tandem was the best for the Indians - in 15 overs, just 52 came off the bat. At a time in the innings when singles should have been easy pickings, the Australians managed just 20 from those 90 deliveries. Instead, the dot ball was the staple, with 59 of them being sent down. The two bowlers hauled back India's cause after Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn threatened to put together the kind of partnership which had shut India out of the World Cup final. Unfortunately for India, though, a limp effort with the bat ensured that the spinners' effort came to naught.

How Australia fared when Kartik and Harbhajan bowled in tandem
 
Kartik
Harbhajan
Balls
42
48
Runs
20
32
Dot balls
28
31
Singles
8
12
Twos
6
1
Fours
0
3
Sixes
0
1

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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