India v Australia, 4th ODI, Delhi November 2, 2009

Impressive Australia draw level

30

Australia 250 (White 62, Ponting 52, Nehra 3-37) beat India (Tendulkar 40, Watson 3-29, Bollinger 3-38) by 24 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

It was India's game to lose after they restricted Australia to a par total of 250 on a good batting pitch, especially after the fiery start provided by Virender Sehwag. However, Australia won the vital moments during the chase to level the series in Mohali. Like in Vadodara, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar threatened to pull off a heist; like in Vadodara they failed.

It was a roller-coaster of a chase and whenever India appeared to be getting ahead, Australia fought back with a vengeance. It wasn't necessarily great bowling that did the trick but it was disciplined enough to force mistakes from under-pressure batsmen.

India were off to a cracking start. Sehwag looted 30 runs from 14 deliveries from Mitchell Johnson but no one took ownership of the chase and India slowly lost their way. The first turning point came when Ricky Ponting introduced spin in the 17th over. Nathan Hauritz stuck in his second over, earning an lbw decision against Sachin Tendulkar but the ball appeared to be missing leg stump.

The second blow occurred in the 24th over when Ponting fired a direct hit from cover to run out Yuvraj Singh. MS Dhoni took the score to 134 before he became the fifth wicket to fall, trying to clip a harmless delivery from Doug Bollinger down the leg side. Raina didn't last long, cleaned up by Hauritz when he failed to connect with an attempted dab to third man and finally, Ravindra Jadeja ran himself out, attempting a non-existent single.

There would have been a moment of apprehension for Ponting when Harbhajan and Praveen played cameos but Shane Watson, who leaked runs against the same pair in Vadodara, redeemed himself today. Harbhajan opted for the batting Powerplay after Jadeja's exit and pushed the score to 204 but fell, scooping a return catch to Watson, who later induced Praveen to edge behind. Game over.

How did India lose this one though? Sehwag and Tendulkar had provided them the ideal start and though Tendulkar's dismissal was vital, even then, India held the advantage. Or so it seemed. Dhoni and Yuvraj, the heroes from the last game, were still in, the wicket was still batting-friendly and the bowling wasn't too threatening.

This is where the Australia, battered and bruised with injuries, showed their famed fighting spirit. They needed a moment of inspiration and it came from their captain. Ponting swooped in on a push from Dhoni at short cover and swung around to hit a direct hit at the striker's end to catch Yuvraj short of the crease. It was the spark Australia were looking for and they began to hustle the Indians on the field. The fielding was sharp and the bowling, if not spectacular, was tight.

They still needed a slice of luck to swing things decisively in their favour and they got it when Bollinger returned for his second spell in the 32nd over. It appeared to be a harmless delivery, bouncing down the leg side, but Dhoni nicked the attempted glance to the keeper.

Suddenly, the momentum had shifted and India's lower order was put under severe pressure. An alert Ponting kept making the right moves; with two left-handers Raina and Jadeja in the middle, he brought in the offspinner Hauritz for another spell. Hauritz took out a nervous Raina in the very first over and Ponting made yet another move that almost backfired on him. He gave the ball to Johnson, perhaps hoping that the errant bowler would redeem himself, but Harbhajan and Jadeja slammed a couple of boundaries. However, the pressure got to Jadeja, who was run out by who else but Ponting, and the chase had all but derailed.

The final margin of victory - 24 runs - was all the more surprising because Australia appeared to have lost the advantage after being restricted to a par total. Four Australian batsmen went past 40 but none carried on for a big score and the innings meandered at times, especially in the last ten overs where they scored only 49 runs. Ponting and Watson couldn't build on their promising partnership and the same fate befell Michael Hussey and Cameron White's association.

White played responsibly to keep Australia in the game. He has a reputation for powerful shots, but adapted his approach and scored in singles and twos. The big hits have eluded him so far in the series, reducing him to being merely a useful contributor rather than one who can take the game away from the opposition. His best shot was a well-adjusted short-arm slog sweep against Yuvraj Singh: He leaned forward to seemingly push it away for a single but at the last minute just stretched out to swat it high over midwicket. He went on to unfurl more skilful shots, when he backed away a couple of times against Harbhajan to loft inside-out against the turn, but for the main part, he drove and flicked for singles to rotate the strike.

He found solid support in Hussey and the duo added 73 runs for the fourth wicket with the left-hander playing another typical innings: he was calmness personified, pushing the ball into gaps for singles and collecting an odd boundary with a cover drive or a sweep. Occasionally, he charged out to the spinners to loft them over the in-field and one such stroke off Yuvraj sailed over wide long-on for six. However, he too fell after getting a start, pulling Yuvraj straight to deep midwicket.

Australia's task was made harder by the discipline of all the bowlers except Ishant Sharma. The new-ball bowlers, Praveen and Ashish Nehra, found enough movement to keep the top order quiet and both returned to choke the batsmen in the end overs. The spinners, too, found enough bite to cover up for Ishant's wayward spells. Harbhajan put in his best performance of the series, slowing up the pace and flighting on off and middle stump line. Harbhajan tried with the bat too but it was always going to be a tough for him to pull off the improbable.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bingaaa on November 4, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    Cmon Aussie!!! We gonna win this 5-2 even without missing so many players..I dont think india wud have been able to get a team on the field if they were missing abt 7 players..Indian team cant beat a 2nd string aus team that shows hw gud india is infact shows how strong australia is.. Cmon Aussie!!!

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:57 GMT

    wow!! booom_India just announces himself a non-expert and goes on to say things about Sachin :)) Of all people Dhoni is an on-your-face kinda guy.. he isn't gonna entertain someone who is there in the team on goodwill... Sachin has never ever looked out of sorts in international... if you remember he is coming into the Aus series after a couple of great centuries in the last 5 ODIs he played... 163* and 138... your comments on Sachin only proves you lack of knowledge about Cricket

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:49 GMT

    I also agree Warner would have been a much much better choice for Australia.. he would atleast not fail consistently :)) Nannes not being included in the squad is a puzzler... not sure if he is part of Aus' plans at all... This contest doesn't seem competitive enough anymore... Indians are matching their form with lack of experience in Aus side. Now Siddle is out too... so who's next?? any guesses ?? if Indians can't win against a second string bowling attack... its really pathetic... this is the best side India ever had in history... they can't relax for a bit if they want to aim at #1 ranking... I really really wish we had someone like Irfan Pathan in the line up... cut him some slack you selectors... he isn't a bad bowler by any means... he should have gone ahead of Munaf... Munaf is a horrible fielder and Irfan is more than a handy batsman... Bhajji and Irfan make real high quality all-rounders ... the time spent on Yusuf shud have been given to Irfan .. hope they realize soon...

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:40 GMT

    I am shocked at Indians' display in this series... Australia are by far a more weakened side and apart from Ponting and may be Hussey there is no real experience in their side... Indians have gotten quite complacent is what I would have to think... you can't be unpredictable if you wanna be #1 team... losing this match was really a shame ... Why would people take a risk against Ponting?? am sure Yuvi said what he did without actually meaning it... evyone knows how quick Punter is... this sucks man... winning this match would have taken Indians to #1 and yet they could not get motivation to win the game... about Sachin's lbw.. that was some real low-class umpiring... some ppl just don't think about giving benefit of doubt... it was Sachin's game y'day and the end was very abrupt... Kohli lacked seriousness of the occasion...

  • krushikanthreddy on November 3, 2009, 17:08 GMT

    It's unfortunate to see that india had lost the match but there are some positive points to be taken like bowling and fielding departments have done excellently well. Our batting department should be improved.Also, aussies have also performed equally well, infact that led them to a victory. It's very exciting to see tight contests between the both sides. Hope the same thing will continue through the rest of the series.

  • ListenToMe on November 3, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    I don't support boom_India. I feel Sachin need not retire. He is still a very good batsman. The problem is his batting position. I agree that he has lost many of his talents now. So he is not fit to open the innings. He will be tremendous middle order batsman. He can come one down or 2 down to anchor the innings.He is not at all aggressive. When he bats we feel like how difficult it is to bat on that pitch. When others bat, we feel like how easy it is!! To prove my point just compare the innings of Sachin and Ponting. Even with a second class bowling side Sachin is struggling. He may be playing excellent shots. But he is getting beaten, takes inside edges and so on while batting. I am sure, he can do better in the middle order.

  • ListenToMe on November 3, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    I believe it is a blunder to send Jadeja at No.7. He is the last recognized batsman and all know that he cannot handle the pressure and he cannot hit boundaries. He can only score runs through singles. When will Dhoni get this simple common sense fact? Instead of Jadeja if someone else were there, I am sure India would have won the match. Let the series be over and we will know that Jadeja is not at all fit for that position. And as I said earlier, with this battng order, India will only if Yuvraj scores well. In my opinion India can win all the matches if the batting order is like this when batting second: Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Yuvraj, Jadeja, Dhoni,Raina, Harbhajan, Praveen, Nehra, Ishant. When batting first order is not that important but still Jadeja should not come as the last recognised batsman : Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Raina, Jadeja, Dhoni, Yuvraj, ... etc.

  • ramanan50 on November 3, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    Thanks to umpire,who declare Sachin lbw,when the ball was moving away from the leg stump.Why not use technology when it is available?

  • Nicknight on November 3, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    I think that it was experiece which is missing frm Indian middle order. Rahul Dravid must be given a permanent place in the team. He can be adjusted. Overall still India has a fair chance to win by 5-2. Yes! why don't think positive. Dhoni still remains the key player for the team and Gambhir, everybody must be hoping him to be fit before the next ODI which is on Nov.5

  • SatyajitM on November 3, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    An interesting series unfolding. Just when everybody wrote Aus off, they jumped back. No big innings so far from Sachin and Sehwag. Sachin LBW could have been the turning point of the game as he looked well set. But then, human errors do happen and we have to accept that. Aus is getting hit by some injuries but I don't think the loses are as big as they are shown to be. So far the real loses were Clarke and Lee and now Siddle joining that list. Interestingly the injury replacement Bollinger is currently the best bowler from Aus and their so called Top bowler Johnson is bowling rubbish. I wonder what had happed if Ishant picked up an injury and Munaf (or Tyagi) played in his place, probably things would have been better for Ind. One thing is for sure though... The fifty over format is alive and kicking and I feel the majority still likes this format if the sides are equally matched (unlike what happend in Chams trophy semi stage).

  • Bingaaa on November 4, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    Cmon Aussie!!! We gonna win this 5-2 even without missing so many players..I dont think india wud have been able to get a team on the field if they were missing abt 7 players..Indian team cant beat a 2nd string aus team that shows hw gud india is infact shows how strong australia is.. Cmon Aussie!!!

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:57 GMT

    wow!! booom_India just announces himself a non-expert and goes on to say things about Sachin :)) Of all people Dhoni is an on-your-face kinda guy.. he isn't gonna entertain someone who is there in the team on goodwill... Sachin has never ever looked out of sorts in international... if you remember he is coming into the Aus series after a couple of great centuries in the last 5 ODIs he played... 163* and 138... your comments on Sachin only proves you lack of knowledge about Cricket

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:49 GMT

    I also agree Warner would have been a much much better choice for Australia.. he would atleast not fail consistently :)) Nannes not being included in the squad is a puzzler... not sure if he is part of Aus' plans at all... This contest doesn't seem competitive enough anymore... Indians are matching their form with lack of experience in Aus side. Now Siddle is out too... so who's next?? any guesses ?? if Indians can't win against a second string bowling attack... its really pathetic... this is the best side India ever had in history... they can't relax for a bit if they want to aim at #1 ranking... I really really wish we had someone like Irfan Pathan in the line up... cut him some slack you selectors... he isn't a bad bowler by any means... he should have gone ahead of Munaf... Munaf is a horrible fielder and Irfan is more than a handy batsman... Bhajji and Irfan make real high quality all-rounders ... the time spent on Yusuf shud have been given to Irfan .. hope they realize soon...

  • Andy199 on November 3, 2009, 23:40 GMT

    I am shocked at Indians' display in this series... Australia are by far a more weakened side and apart from Ponting and may be Hussey there is no real experience in their side... Indians have gotten quite complacent is what I would have to think... you can't be unpredictable if you wanna be #1 team... losing this match was really a shame ... Why would people take a risk against Ponting?? am sure Yuvi said what he did without actually meaning it... evyone knows how quick Punter is... this sucks man... winning this match would have taken Indians to #1 and yet they could not get motivation to win the game... about Sachin's lbw.. that was some real low-class umpiring... some ppl just don't think about giving benefit of doubt... it was Sachin's game y'day and the end was very abrupt... Kohli lacked seriousness of the occasion...

  • krushikanthreddy on November 3, 2009, 17:08 GMT

    It's unfortunate to see that india had lost the match but there are some positive points to be taken like bowling and fielding departments have done excellently well. Our batting department should be improved.Also, aussies have also performed equally well, infact that led them to a victory. It's very exciting to see tight contests between the both sides. Hope the same thing will continue through the rest of the series.

  • ListenToMe on November 3, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    I don't support boom_India. I feel Sachin need not retire. He is still a very good batsman. The problem is his batting position. I agree that he has lost many of his talents now. So he is not fit to open the innings. He will be tremendous middle order batsman. He can come one down or 2 down to anchor the innings.He is not at all aggressive. When he bats we feel like how difficult it is to bat on that pitch. When others bat, we feel like how easy it is!! To prove my point just compare the innings of Sachin and Ponting. Even with a second class bowling side Sachin is struggling. He may be playing excellent shots. But he is getting beaten, takes inside edges and so on while batting. I am sure, he can do better in the middle order.

  • ListenToMe on November 3, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    I believe it is a blunder to send Jadeja at No.7. He is the last recognized batsman and all know that he cannot handle the pressure and he cannot hit boundaries. He can only score runs through singles. When will Dhoni get this simple common sense fact? Instead of Jadeja if someone else were there, I am sure India would have won the match. Let the series be over and we will know that Jadeja is not at all fit for that position. And as I said earlier, with this battng order, India will only if Yuvraj scores well. In my opinion India can win all the matches if the batting order is like this when batting second: Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Yuvraj, Jadeja, Dhoni,Raina, Harbhajan, Praveen, Nehra, Ishant. When batting first order is not that important but still Jadeja should not come as the last recognised batsman : Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Raina, Jadeja, Dhoni, Yuvraj, ... etc.

  • ramanan50 on November 3, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    Thanks to umpire,who declare Sachin lbw,when the ball was moving away from the leg stump.Why not use technology when it is available?

  • Nicknight on November 3, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    I think that it was experiece which is missing frm Indian middle order. Rahul Dravid must be given a permanent place in the team. He can be adjusted. Overall still India has a fair chance to win by 5-2. Yes! why don't think positive. Dhoni still remains the key player for the team and Gambhir, everybody must be hoping him to be fit before the next ODI which is on Nov.5

  • SatyajitM on November 3, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    An interesting series unfolding. Just when everybody wrote Aus off, they jumped back. No big innings so far from Sachin and Sehwag. Sachin LBW could have been the turning point of the game as he looked well set. But then, human errors do happen and we have to accept that. Aus is getting hit by some injuries but I don't think the loses are as big as they are shown to be. So far the real loses were Clarke and Lee and now Siddle joining that list. Interestingly the injury replacement Bollinger is currently the best bowler from Aus and their so called Top bowler Johnson is bowling rubbish. I wonder what had happed if Ishant picked up an injury and Munaf (or Tyagi) played in his place, probably things would have been better for Ind. One thing is for sure though... The fifty over format is alive and kicking and I feel the majority still likes this format if the sides are equally matched (unlike what happend in Chams trophy semi stage).

  • anuraag_vikram on November 3, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    another wonderful prospect that the selection committee can consider is tejaswi yadav s/o the evergrr8 laloo prasad yadav!! ah! what a choice!! this young prospect is on ranji debut with jharkhand state! good luck team India & good luck cricket!! sure, the world cup can go world over except being housed in India!! i'm sure that one day china could win the cricket world cup perhaps in a decade from now...

  • JimDavis on November 3, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    chandau - I like your way of thinking, but that is far to many Victorian's for an Australian squad, even if it is a squad of 15!

  • boom_india on November 3, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    I am not an expert; but watching Indian cricket for the past few years, I feel it is time Sachin moves out before he slumps further. [ see how gracefully Brian Lara made the exit ]. If it is for an occasional burst of good performance, why he should be a permanent fixture? Unless of course, he is aiming for world records, which anyhow will be broken whatever they are. I can sense the support he receives from the commentators, who are not so with other players. And such comments might be making the selectors scary to touch him.

  • catchmesiva on November 3, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Obviously the batting was pathetic comparatively other matches, since none of them put effort even dhoni played Lethargic. why is virhat kohli yesterday when the order was good in the last match, instead if they would have taken pathan, we would have reached the target, decision for sachin's was immediate and pity, instead of warning the umpire atleast we reconsider the result immediatly the player can play further and set records, and we can stop this pity and immediate decisions. Hope india will play nicely in the upcoming matches and win the series.

  • _Australian_ on November 3, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    If Australia somehow manage to win this series with now up to 8 players out injured then I can not see India ever dominating this form of the game. If you can't beat a second string Australian side on your home turf you are not a strong side. It is dissapointing as I was looking forward to a series that would decide the no.1 spot with both teams fielding their strongest sides. I am surprised that Australia has managed 2 victories considering the lopsided ability of both teams on paper. I will enjoy seeing what kind of excuses come to the comments pages from Indian supporters should they lose this time.

  • chandau on November 3, 2009, 6:24 GMT

    why are warner and nannes not in the 15?? both were prominent in the CLT. in fact nannes bowled the fastest ball!! voges ahead of david hussy?? selectors the world over like to have a couple of surprises so that the media and public have a topic to argue about. jhonson seems to be not in the right frame of mind once again. warner, watson, ponting, white, hussy, hussy, manu, haurits, clerk, bollinger, nannes. voges, henriques, jhonson, harwood. not the first choice but still a good 15

    cheers from sri lanka

  • Manojgautam on November 3, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    Dhoni is an exceptional leader no doubt, but he needs to develop an acumen to spot talent. Virat and Raina are good prospects but still need to work on their game. Time and again Raina has been failing barring occasional chancy knocks. The delivery he got out was pretty ordinary, but it was made to look excellent by Raina's lopsided footwork. He plays like a club cricketer all the time. Raina has been given enough chances along with Virat. I still believe they are no where near to Rohit Sharma or Robin Utthapa. Dhoni, time to let go of Raina.

  • zak123kaif on November 3, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    Bad luck that india lost although they looked good enough in bowling and fielding but batting let them down.surely india will bouce back to win the series.

  • J_Boyd on November 3, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Looking to be a good series, hopefully it stays tight. A shame neither side is at full strength, though very pleasing to see Hussey in form, let's hope it sticks around for the summer. Hilarious interplay with Yuvraj calling Ponting slow and then getting run out! Love that stuff, glad to see this series is being played competitively and in good spirits.

  • ListenToMe on November 3, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    I had mentioned in the start of the innings that India will win only if Yuvraj wins with the bat.I reiterate that if Yuvraj fails India will lose the match. Lets analyse my opinion after the series!!

  • raghavanmv on November 3, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    I really do not understand why Ravindu Jadeja is in the playing XI. He just perfroms as an additional spinner in the squad. His batting doesnt get the team anwhere. Yousuf Pathan would be a better bet, atleast he can hit you out of trouble.

  • vinjoy on November 3, 2009, 3:47 GMT

    Five Innings without a 50 for Tendulkar, even Dravid would have managed it. Of late, the 'Master' has developed the knack playing 2-3 good knocks and and then following a few lean innings (sometimes, it is the other way around) just as it happened in VB Series in Australia last year. The scores read 10, 35, 44, 32, 5, 0, 2, before finally coming good in the finals.

    The current sequence is 8, 14, 4, 32, 40 and 1-2 good innings are round the corner in remaining matches of series. But this is not example for other juniors in the team. And if selectors can drop Dravid, why not Tendulkar?

    It is time that the master should 'respectably' retire from ODIs, and focus on extending the test career. After all, all great things come to an end. Lets not love cricketers, but the game of cricket.

  • A_HTIMAN on November 3, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    Indian outfit never shows the class they should suppose to show. They were beaten by almost 2nd XI of Australia withiout Bracken, Clarke, Lee, Hopes, Haddin. Indian team never go on partnerships and never shows the collective excellence like the Aussies showed yesterday. It is like a set of individual brilliances without team spirit.

  • Jim1207 on November 3, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    What is Mr.Virat Kohli doing in Indian batting line up when talented and reliable batsmen like Rohit or Badrinath are playing in Ranji forever...! India is clearly not preparing well for a world cup win, again selectors are preparing a side which would be nth best after the world cup winning team. Best Wishes.

  • rinspin on November 3, 2009, 0:58 GMT

    yes very true. Once again india off to a flyer before australia reel them back in. Really the only bowler they managed to go after was a rather tired mitchell johnson who has carried the burden of being australias game changer for far to long. I think he could fall into the trap that irfan pathan fell into back in 2005/06 where he lost his swing and become more of an all-rounder, only being at his most effective in conditions that enable him to extract moevement in the air(swing)

  • Mahesht on November 3, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    More than a performance failure, this is india's strategic failure.

    Tendulkar is more and more becoming a misfit to partner Sehwag; his 2 maidens when Sehwag was scoring at 4 boundaries an over was unexplainable. I am sure it was not lack of understanding of game, even a junior play would know that taking a single and rotating the strike was important when Sehwag was in such roaring form! Tendulkar should play outside the power play now!

    Secondly, the decision to drop Rohit and pick Jadeja sounds equally mindless, India are neither 7-4 nor 6-5 with jadeja, he is no replacement for Rohit/pathan.

    Thirdly, Raina on 6 is wrong too. Dhoni, increasingly is getting dependent on another player to play the momentum and him just dropping anchor. As soon as yuvraj departed he struggled for any sort of momentum. Raina and Dhoni should swap places.

  • Vnott on November 3, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    Indian batting wilted yet again. A target of 251seemed like a easy win...With the absence of Gambhir, India needed someone steady to guide the chase. In the first 2 one days, It was Gambhir who provided the platform. In the 3rd, the partnership between Yuvraj and Dhoni settled the issue. India sorely missed Dravid at No:3. And without him, still look vulnerable. Dhoni would be well advised to keep his bias aside and either play Dravid ( till he retires) or Dinesh Karthik at 6 who is a good player of spin and is in a reasonable position to succeed. Virat Kohil at 3 is a weak option inspite of his obvious skills.

  • markmansour04 on November 2, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    go australia! even after 7 major injuries we still can beat a very good indian team

  • nory_geo on November 2, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    A good win for Australia who faltered during their batting and could manage just 250 & came back strongly, to stick to the basics and picked wickets at regular intervals

    India could have easily managed to win this game. A very good effort in the first innings to restrict Aussies to 250 which was powered by a spirited bowling & fielding performance, the batting lacked the same application except for few good starts and cameo innings

    Sachin had a bad decision going his way, he was the only one who was looking good to steer India to victory, but it was not his day & missed the milestione as well by 7 runs

    It again goes to show how important the No3 position is,Gauti plays the role to the T, but in his absence Kohli couldn't play the same role, time & again he fails to learn from his mistakes,to make the cut in the senior level, he needs to take up responsibiity & play long innings

    Bhajji once again proved he has his best reserved for the Aussies, his dismissal put an end to all hopes

  • Nampally on November 2, 2009, 20:41 GMT

    Without Mr. Consistent Gambhir in the side India's batting was weak. Sehwag is still in a comeback stage from a long layoff due to injury. Tendulkar gets out in his 30's these days. Yuvraj is not reliable. Only Dhoni has showed consistency in the middle order batting in any situation. Today Dhoni failed to contribute his proverbial 50, which made the difference. In the absence of Gambhir, Dravid was his obvious replacement. The selectors failed to recognize this. Kohli is too inexperienced to play at #3. Also Jadeja is not an attacking batsman. So India's batting really ends at #6, with only Harbhajan as real contributor amongst the last 5. It is essential to have 6" reliable" batsmen in the side such as Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina. If one of these 6 is missing, Dravid or Kaif should be called in. India needs a steady pace bowler like Bollinger or Lee.Relying heavily on batting is a big mistake.The bowling needs to be tightened up significantly to beat Aussies.

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  • Nampally on November 2, 2009, 20:41 GMT

    Without Mr. Consistent Gambhir in the side India's batting was weak. Sehwag is still in a comeback stage from a long layoff due to injury. Tendulkar gets out in his 30's these days. Yuvraj is not reliable. Only Dhoni has showed consistency in the middle order batting in any situation. Today Dhoni failed to contribute his proverbial 50, which made the difference. In the absence of Gambhir, Dravid was his obvious replacement. The selectors failed to recognize this. Kohli is too inexperienced to play at #3. Also Jadeja is not an attacking batsman. So India's batting really ends at #6, with only Harbhajan as real contributor amongst the last 5. It is essential to have 6" reliable" batsmen in the side such as Sehwag, Tendulkar, Gambhir, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina. If one of these 6 is missing, Dravid or Kaif should be called in. India needs a steady pace bowler like Bollinger or Lee.Relying heavily on batting is a big mistake.The bowling needs to be tightened up significantly to beat Aussies.

  • nory_geo on November 2, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    A good win for Australia who faltered during their batting and could manage just 250 & came back strongly, to stick to the basics and picked wickets at regular intervals

    India could have easily managed to win this game. A very good effort in the first innings to restrict Aussies to 250 which was powered by a spirited bowling & fielding performance, the batting lacked the same application except for few good starts and cameo innings

    Sachin had a bad decision going his way, he was the only one who was looking good to steer India to victory, but it was not his day & missed the milestione as well by 7 runs

    It again goes to show how important the No3 position is,Gauti plays the role to the T, but in his absence Kohli couldn't play the same role, time & again he fails to learn from his mistakes,to make the cut in the senior level, he needs to take up responsibiity & play long innings

    Bhajji once again proved he has his best reserved for the Aussies, his dismissal put an end to all hopes

  • markmansour04 on November 2, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    go australia! even after 7 major injuries we still can beat a very good indian team

  • Vnott on November 3, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    Indian batting wilted yet again. A target of 251seemed like a easy win...With the absence of Gambhir, India needed someone steady to guide the chase. In the first 2 one days, It was Gambhir who provided the platform. In the 3rd, the partnership between Yuvraj and Dhoni settled the issue. India sorely missed Dravid at No:3. And without him, still look vulnerable. Dhoni would be well advised to keep his bias aside and either play Dravid ( till he retires) or Dinesh Karthik at 6 who is a good player of spin and is in a reasonable position to succeed. Virat Kohil at 3 is a weak option inspite of his obvious skills.

  • Mahesht on November 3, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    More than a performance failure, this is india's strategic failure.

    Tendulkar is more and more becoming a misfit to partner Sehwag; his 2 maidens when Sehwag was scoring at 4 boundaries an over was unexplainable. I am sure it was not lack of understanding of game, even a junior play would know that taking a single and rotating the strike was important when Sehwag was in such roaring form! Tendulkar should play outside the power play now!

    Secondly, the decision to drop Rohit and pick Jadeja sounds equally mindless, India are neither 7-4 nor 6-5 with jadeja, he is no replacement for Rohit/pathan.

    Thirdly, Raina on 6 is wrong too. Dhoni, increasingly is getting dependent on another player to play the momentum and him just dropping anchor. As soon as yuvraj departed he struggled for any sort of momentum. Raina and Dhoni should swap places.

  • rinspin on November 3, 2009, 0:58 GMT

    yes very true. Once again india off to a flyer before australia reel them back in. Really the only bowler they managed to go after was a rather tired mitchell johnson who has carried the burden of being australias game changer for far to long. I think he could fall into the trap that irfan pathan fell into back in 2005/06 where he lost his swing and become more of an all-rounder, only being at his most effective in conditions that enable him to extract moevement in the air(swing)

  • Jim1207 on November 3, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    What is Mr.Virat Kohli doing in Indian batting line up when talented and reliable batsmen like Rohit or Badrinath are playing in Ranji forever...! India is clearly not preparing well for a world cup win, again selectors are preparing a side which would be nth best after the world cup winning team. Best Wishes.

  • A_HTIMAN on November 3, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    Indian outfit never shows the class they should suppose to show. They were beaten by almost 2nd XI of Australia withiout Bracken, Clarke, Lee, Hopes, Haddin. Indian team never go on partnerships and never shows the collective excellence like the Aussies showed yesterday. It is like a set of individual brilliances without team spirit.

  • vinjoy on November 3, 2009, 3:47 GMT

    Five Innings without a 50 for Tendulkar, even Dravid would have managed it. Of late, the 'Master' has developed the knack playing 2-3 good knocks and and then following a few lean innings (sometimes, it is the other way around) just as it happened in VB Series in Australia last year. The scores read 10, 35, 44, 32, 5, 0, 2, before finally coming good in the finals.

    The current sequence is 8, 14, 4, 32, 40 and 1-2 good innings are round the corner in remaining matches of series. But this is not example for other juniors in the team. And if selectors can drop Dravid, why not Tendulkar?

    It is time that the master should 'respectably' retire from ODIs, and focus on extending the test career. After all, all great things come to an end. Lets not love cricketers, but the game of cricket.

  • raghavanmv on November 3, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    I really do not understand why Ravindu Jadeja is in the playing XI. He just perfroms as an additional spinner in the squad. His batting doesnt get the team anwhere. Yousuf Pathan would be a better bet, atleast he can hit you out of trouble.