Australia v India, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Barbados May 7, 2010

Australia's short-pitched strategy

Australia have played each of their three games so far against teams from the subcontinent, and the short ball has served them well against batsmen who don't particularly like these deliveries

Australia have played each of their three games so far against teams from the subcontinent, and the short ball has served them well against batsmen who don't particularly like deliveries which are aimed at their chests. The match against Pakistan was at the relatively slow St Lucia pitch, but even there Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson got a wicket each with the short-pitched ball. Bangladesh were completely clueless as well on the bouncy track in Barbados, while India's numbers look slightly better only because of Rohit Sharma's late charge. From the 14 short balls that were bowled to him by Australia's fast bowlers, Rohit scored 21 runs, including two fours and a six. Exclude his numbers, and India's stats tell a rather sorry tale. His knock still couldn't prevent India from suffering their worst defeat, in terms of runs, in a Twenty20 international.

Australia, meanwhile, have matches against Sri Lanka and West Indies to follow, and with the Sri Lanka game to be played in Barbados, it's likely there'll be another show of short-pitched stuff in that game.

Short ball against the subcontinent teams
Bowling team Batting team Short balls Runs Dismissals Average Run rate
Australia Pakistan 14 12 2 6.00 5.14
Australia Bangladesh 33 29 3 9.67 5.27
Australia India 33 48 3 16.00 8.72

Rohit's unbeaten 79 boosts his average in World Twenty20s to 74.50 - in nine innings he has three half-centuries and a strike rate of 139.25. Among those with 250 runs or more in these matches, only Matthew Hayden has a better average. Rohit's 79 made up 58.52% of India's total, which is the fifth-highest contribution by a batsman to a team's score.

Most of the records from this game, though, went Australia's way: their 16 sixes is the second-best in a Twenty20 innings, next only to the 17 that South Africa managed against England in Centurion last year. Dirk Nannes' three wickets, meanwhile, took his overall wickets tally in all Twenty20 cricket to 94, making him the highest wicket-taker in this format; Albie Morkel has 93.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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