January 18, 2016 4:48:40 pm
Australia once again chased down a formidable total to take an unassailable 3-0 lead over India in the five-match series at the MCG on Sunday. 2-0 down, India were asked to bat by Steve Smith on a wicket different from WACA and Gabba. It was on the flatter side but the dryness didn’t allow shot-making to be an easy affair. India were in for an early setback when in-form Rohit Sharma went back early. Post Rohit’s wicket, Virat Kohli stamped his authority with a fluent ton which powered India to 295/6. Despite Kohli ton and fifties from Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, the visitors didn’t get the result in their favour. India bowlers failed to defend the total and the hosts sealed the chase with three wickets in the kitty.
Here’s a look at what cost India the game, and series:
Bowling troubles: India were erratic with the ball. The kind of bowling on exhibition was nothing but ordinary and Australia batsmen had no problems in getting their eye in, and then converting their starts into big scores. A wicket-taking delivery was followed by a loosener and didn’t build any pressure despite the fall of seven wickets.
Butter fingers: This Indian team is one of the finest units when it comes to field work but the MCG saw some bizarre efforts by the players. Gurkeerat dropped a sitter to give Aaron Finch a life early in the innings, and lack of direct-hits cost them dearly during the business end of the Australia chase. Conceding extra runs and dropping sitters is the last thing a side wants in an intense chase.
Losing wickets at crucial juncture: Records went for a toss on Sunday but Australia did a fine job in containing the flow of runs in the powerplay overs and then remove set batsmen Kohli and Rahane just when they were looking set to explode in the death overs.
The last stand: Indian bowlers did sway the match in their favour in the 39th over of the innings when they scalped Mathew Wade cheaply. But a stand of 90 runs between Maxwell and Faulkner took the game away, in no time. Maxwell scored a match winning 96 runs whereas Faulkner remained unbeaten on 21.
Expensive Yadav: Umesh Yadav was given the ball in the 43rd over when Australia were under a fair bit of pressure as they required 59 runs from 48 balls. In this over, Maxwell smashed a six and a four and took fourteen runs of the last four balls. This eased the pressure off the hosts and from there on, only formalities were left to be done.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.