ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Australia, World Cup 2011 warm-up, Bangalore

Spinners star in dramatic Indian win

The Bulletin by Siddarth Ravindran at the Chinnaswamy Stadium

February 13, 2011

Comments: 196 | Text size: A | A

India 214 (Sehwag 54, Lee 3-35) beat Australia (Ponting 57, Chawla 4-31, Harbhajan 3-15) by 38 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Piyush Chawla celebrates the wicket of Michael Clarke, India v Australia, World Cup warm-up match, Bangalore, February 13, 2011
Piyush Chawla has given the Indian selectors plenty to think about with his performance against Australia © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Piyush Chawla
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Australia | India

Indian fans who left the Chinnaswamy Stadium after watching Australia control the first 70 overs of the high-profile warm-up match on Sunday will be kicking themselves. An early finish seemed likely when Australia coasted to 116 for 1 in 21 overs after rolling over India for 214, and there was an early finish, but it was India who ran out victors as Australia lost their final nine wickets for 58 runs.

A massive crowd befitting an actual World Cup game had turned up to cheer India, expecting much from the star-studded batting line-up, but it was the less-heralded spinners, led by Piyush Chawla, who gave them plenty to shout about. Chawla spun out four middle-order batsmen before Harbhajan Singh applied the finishing touches to a back-from-the-dead victory.

Australia made a solid beginning to the chase as Shane Watson kick-started the innings with a bunch of boundaries. Ricky Ponting and Tim Paine then carried their side halfway to the target before things started to fall apart for Australia. Paine had lashed four fours in the first six overs but got bogged down after that, and fell trying to clear long-on, where Munaf Patel sprinted to his right to take a sharp catch. During the 67-run stand between Paine and Ponting, Chawla went for 22 runs in four overs.

His second spell transformed the game. In his first over back - immediately after Paine was dismissed - Chawla had Michael Clarke playing-on for a duck. Four overs later, Cameron White chipped a legbeak to midwicket, and David Hussey picked up a golden duck, drawn forward by Chawla before being beaten by the turn. Australia had slid to 138 for 5, and the first Mexican wave of the day made its way around the ground as the fans found their voice again. Callum Ferguson probably had the worst time of the lot: in a nine-ball stay, he was nearly run-out, was dropped at first slip, inside-edged a drive to square leg, was beaten by a vicious turner from Chawla and finally nicked one to slip. Chawla's second spell was 5-0-9-4, and it provided more questions for the Indian selectors.

Harbhajan, who was off the field for a while, returned to remove Ponting through a quicksilver stumping from MS Dhoni, and the rest of the Australian batting folded. There was help for the spinners from the pitch but this was not the minefield the Australian batsmen made it seem.

One consolation for Australia will be the gritty half-century from Ponting, in his first match since the Boxing Day Test. He began with a couple of Chinese cuts against the unlucky R Ashwin, who bowled far better than the scorecard indicates, but soon produced some convincing shots - an on-drive off Ashwin and a pull when Chawla dropped short. Even in a warm-up match, Ponting retained the intensity of old. Sreesanth had some advice for him after a delivery pushed out to cover, and added some more after a strident appeal for caught-behind on the next ball. Ponting wasn't going to just ignore it; he walked up to Sreesanth and doled out some advice of his own. The innings itself wasn't Ponting at his best, but he showed no signs of the finger trouble which sidelined him last month.

The top scorer for India was also a player coming back from injury - Virender Sehwag, whose shoulder problem didn't bother him during his half-century. He began with an effortless push past extra cover for four off a low full toss, but couldn't provide his customary high-speed start since he was starved of strike: he faced only four deliveries in the first five overs. Sehwag was at his most attacking against Jason Krejza, skipping beyond leg and looking to cut four times in Krejza's first over. He carved three fours off Krejza, and blasted him over long-off to reach his fifty, but the offspinner had his revenge by bowling Sehwag next ball.

Before his dismissal Sehwag watched a procession of India's specialist batsmen come and go, none of whom made big contributions. Gautam Gambhir never looked at ease in a short stay before edging to slip; Virat Kohli showed glimpses of class in his 21 before chopping John Hastings to backward point; Yuvraj Singh walked after an indecisive response to a bouncer - initially looking to sway out of the way before feathering the ball to the keeper; Dhoni was bowled for 11, prolonging his fallow spell in one-dayers.

At 113 for 5, with the seniors dismissed, Suresh Raina had a chance to stake his World Cup claim by reviving the innings. He survived the short balls Australia fired at him initially but didn't last very long, nicking Brett Lee as he attempted an on-the-up drive. Once again, it was left to Yusuf Pathan to ensure India put up a fight, and he did with an unusually patient 32 (after being 18 off 34 at one stage).

India made it past 200 thanks to some late resistance from Ashwin and Ashish Nehra but Australia would have been happy with their bowling performance, barring the huge number of wides. Brett Lee was in top form, accurate and slipping in the bouncers and yorkers at pace; Krejza had a decent outing against batsmen looking to attack him, and even their lowest-profile bowler, Hastings, provided two significant breakthroughs.

India's batting, which is their strength, has one more chance to get it together, against New Zealand on Wednesday, when they will have the re-assuring presence of Sachin Tendulkar at the top of the order.

Match Timeline

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 196 
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Posted by David on (February 13, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

How lucky can this Indian team get! Where are the batsmen? Luckily, the bowlers bailed them out, yet again!! On his form they'll be lucky to make it past the first round, yet again. A much improved perfrmance from the much - heralded (yet so far "no show") batsmen. Come on you Indian batsmen, you will have to put up a MUCH better and more consistent batting performance to progress ANYWHERE in this tournament, let alone win it!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 13, 2011, 23:43 GMT)

Man..!I switched off the Tv when the scorecard read more than 90 for 1 ...:( Missed a wonderful performance by the leggie ...!

Posted by Warden on (February 13, 2011, 23:31 GMT)

Ever heard the expression "playing possum"?? Don't write Australia off yet! This will indeed be a very close WC. Good to see Ponting getting the highest score in the match too. Eases the pressure on his selection a little. Aussie need to fix their wide problem AND their abiltiy to let the last couple of wickets drag on and get too many bonus runs!

Posted by Basil on (February 13, 2011, 23:27 GMT)

Let's not get carried away...it was an unofficial practice match with extended teams. Take it for what it is worth.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 13, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

Aus shouldnt panic, today i jsut saw persons batting like they're in the nets, if they wanted to win im sure they would have....... in a real match i see Aus easily beating India, Pakistan i think is a bigger treat in this world cup than india and if they meet i see pakistan winning......

Posted by M on (February 13, 2011, 23:14 GMT)

Disappointing game in many respects as I don't think this showcased the various talents of the players in it... India came out on top of a very poor game of cricket... What it did show is that if you have guys that have some control with a spinning ball on a turning wicket you can do well... Similarly, all those knockers that said Australia can't win going in with a pace attack, they managed to bowl out India with that attack on a turning deck... Maybe what it highlighted was that the bowlers are in the groove and the batsmen from both teams are still a long way from being ready... For Aus, White is definitely playing too high up the order, Ferguson has to be 4 to protect Clarke and White... Good knock from Ponting given how everyone has been on his back in recent times and didn't do much wrong in his captaincy... but for some dropped chances, India could have been all out for 170 themselves... Congrats India on the result ... a win is still a win.

Posted by John on (February 13, 2011, 22:49 GMT)

Nobody should get too carried away with this game. It's only a warm-up and neither side had their best eleven on the field. Both sides, though, have things to worry about. India's batting didn't cope too well with Lee and they'll have to deal with Steyn, Morkel, Tait, Roach, Anderson and Broad in the round robin. Their seam attack, without Zaheer, looked pretty feeble. Australia must be aghast at how much turn there was in the pitch. Even off-spinner Ashwin was turning the ball sharply. Australia doesn't have good spin options and the middle order didn't look comfortable against the turning ball. Ponting at least got some time in the middle under his belt, but recently he's only been scoring runs when it doesn't matter. Lots for both teams to think about.

Posted by Simon on (February 13, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Good match. Well done to India, they fought well and well done to the Indian spinners. Spinners 1 v Fast bowlers 0. But there have been encouraging signs for Australia, particularly sundries did not score as much as when we played England over the summer, which was good. Lee looked not as fast, but more deadly. Really had Gambhir all over the place in the opening couple of overs. India have once again proven their mettle, and once again the question over who will win this cup is more open than ever. I guess it will be up to which ever team works the hardest and shows the most spirit on the day will win the game.

Posted by Ned on (February 13, 2011, 22:21 GMT)

@ Avroneel Biswas, i concur fully. shame the middle order couldn't capitalize on thats very good opening.we definitely are going to miss Mr cricket.That said its going to see ponting back in form. :) count the Aussies out at your peril.

Posted by paul on (February 13, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

This match goes to show, that pitch conditions and when you bat, whether it be day or night, is going to decide a lot of the games. The pitch toady was really under prepared, hence why the ball started to spin and spit up from a length.

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