India Vs Australia 3rd ODI, Hyderabad, Friday 5 October


India lost again to a skilled and urelenting Australian outfit. This was a clinical performance by the Australians. Unlike the previous two matches, there were some differences in this match though.

Firstly, the clowns from both teams appeared to have left their circus gear as well as their clowning training manual at the team hotel. The mouths of these clowns appeared to have been taped pre-match and the focus was, thankfully, on the cricket!

Second, the Australian team started off well in their batting — Australia has batted first in all three games of this series so far. In the previous two games, Australia started off badly, losing quick early wickets. In last nights’ match, Australia raced off to a breezy and stunning start. From there, India did exceedingly well in the middle-overs to pull things back. The fall of a few wickets did help. And Ricky Pontings’ rustiness helped too. However, in the main, the peg-back was thanks to tight bowling. But the explosion was waiting to happen and it came in the form of Andrew Symonds.

In the end, 290 was a gettable score, although Ricky Ponting in his post-match said that it was difficult to chase in India. However, no batsman other than Yuvraj Singh really made a compelling case on the night. For a brief while, Sachin Tendulkar looked like he wanted to be there — if not threatening to explode. And for a brief while, when Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were playing, Indian fans may have seen some signs of a victory. But in the end, India just lost to a much better team that had all departments of its game neatly stitched up.

— Mohan

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