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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cricket Tri-Series: India Restore Australian Pride!


Australia had been in bit of a spot after its last-ball loss to India in the fourth match and the thrashing in the hands of Sri Lanka conceding a bonus point too in the sixth match of the cricket Tri-Series played in Australia. But when there is Team India, there is always a way! ‘Hum hain na!’(We are there, not to worry!). And, they have risen to the occasion at the Gabba, Brisbane for the seventh one-day international of the Commonwealth Bank Tri-series today in all glory!

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. India started in their generosity mission by dropping catches. Thanks to rotation Zaheer Khan came in, but out went R Ashwin who had been consistently bowling well and also providing good and crucial batting knocks too. Because Irfan Pathan, the weakest link, needed to be kept in the team maybe to prepare well for the IPL-5 that is round the corner. In the earlier match the last ten overs gave Australia only 57 runs. Nothing doing, Team India vowed. So, 110 runs were given away this time helping Australia to get to a mammoth 288/5 in fifty overs.

Indian batting started disastrously. Gautam Gambhir was supposed to be rotated out, but due to some injury or whatever Virender Sehwag was rested and Gambhir continued to be in the team. But since he was almost resigned to his fate Gambhir could not adjust to the sudden responsibility imposed upon him and got out cheaply. Besides, you cannot go on depending on just one batsman to keep you winning or tying. Tendulkar gave a catch in the third man area and it was dropped. No problems! He gave another one in the same area in the next ball and it was taken gratefully. Kohli, Sharma, Raina, and Jadeja came and went as usual. They can never be dropped or rotated because they have the impregnable virtue of being ‘bright’ youngsters. Maybe they too desperately need some good practice for the IPL-5. Dhoni got to a half century again, but this time amidst the ruins of exemplary generosity. India lost exactly by 110 runs. ‘Hum hain na!’ worked wonders and restored Australian supremacy in full measure helping Ricky Ponting whose place in the team has been under question mark register a big win with a bonus point too as stand-in Aussie skipper.

To talk some genuine cricketing sense, the Gabba had a bit of a bounce that seemed to overpower India like in the Test series. The main Aussie demolition man for India, Ben Hilfenhaus, staged a come-back in this match and justified his selection fully by capturing five hapless Indian wickets for 33 runs becoming the player of the match. Well, it was just a one-sided match that you tend to get sometimes. And of course, Australia roared back into the series by superlative batting, bowling and fielding performances.

There was some more humor in the match. Mike Hussey was given out stumped by the third umpire at Australia 119/3. But as Hussey started walking the two field umpires raced towards him and brought him back. Well, it transpired that the third umpire pressed the wrong button—‘out’ when it should have been ‘not out’! Cricket experts commented, ‘How ridiculous! He is paid to sit there whole day just to select one of the two buttons only! How could he go wrong in that?’ Captain cool Dhoni must have lost his cool, just once!

For Team India, the questions remain. When would they revoke rotation and stick to a winning combination? Do they seriously want to reach the finals or win matches? Is just IPL-5 the overriding perception for the ‘star’-ridden team?

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