India Vs Australia, 6th ODI, Nagpur, 14 Oct 2007

The 6th ODI of this long-draw-ot series (yawn!) saw yet another clinical performance from Australia, who won the game, but not after a few flutters.

Australia won the toss on a good wicket and elected to bat first. Despite Michael Clarke’s first-ball duck, which gave India hope, and despite the fall of wickets at regular intervals, Australia made a good score of 317, setting India a gettable target of 318.

The key to the Australian innings was partnerships, a fact that man-of-the-match Andrew Symonds acknowledged in his post-match interview.

One felt that M. S. Dhoni may have missed a trick or two in the bowling!
In the middle overs, the spinners had created a stranglehold on proceedings. Ponting and Gilchrist had just got out off successive overs from Harbhajan Singh (15th over) Irfan Pathan (16th over). Immediately after that, in the 19th over, Symonds was dropped by Sreesanth and Hodge was struggling. That was the time to go for the jugular. And, detecting the slowness of the pitch, Dhoni did just that by bringing on Murali Kartik. In the 22nd over, Hodge was out to a beauty from Kartik. At that stage, Harbhajan had figures of 5-0-30-1. Another few overs of the spinners bowling in tandem would have created more pressure on the Australians. Insead, Dhoni went for a conservation-based caution approach. He brought in Yuvraj Singh instead and the foot was suddenly off the pedal. That over went for 15 runs and although Yuvraj Singh was taken off immediately, and although Sachin Tendulkar bowled four tight overs, one sensed that the pressue was off.

After that it was a Symonds show all the way. This was a well-constructed and carefully-crafted century from the burly Queenslander. His batting has improved tremendously over the last few years and he forms a vital part of the Australian middle-order these days. It is almost impossible to imagine an Australian ODI line-up without him!

The Indians in their reply, batted with purpose initially, lost their wheels completely in the middle and tried valiantly in the end to press for victory. The start that Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar provided was brisk, purposeful and pretty. They put on 140 in 25 overs before Tendulkar was out, brilliantly stumped by Gilchrist off a James Hopes down-the-legside slower ball! Tendulkar had played brilliantly for his run-a-ball 72! Interestingly, at this stage, although Australia had completed their 3rd PowerPlay, they hadn’t taken their 2nd PowerPlay yet.

India sent in Irfan Pathan at #3 and Ponting took the 2nd PowerPlay. The decision to send in Irfan Pathan was fair enough. Dhoni may have felt that India needed to stay in touch with the run-rate. Moreover, with Dravid out of sorts, it may have made more sense to let Pathan pinch-hit a bit. The PowerPlay segment of 5 overs had yielded 34 runs. So perhaps the decision to promote Pathan was vindicated after all? At that point, the as was 144 runs off 20 overs with 9 wickets left — a very gettable target!

Pathan was batting brilliantly, but may have lost his concentration after a verbal clash with Symonds. He was out the very next over — caught at ‘point’ off a lazy lapse-in-concentration shot. A few overs later, Ganguly gave Brad Hogg the charge and was caught at long-on. The wheels fell off completely a few overs later when both Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid were back in the hut!

Uthappa and Dhoni then batted with much purpose to get India within striking distance — 28 runs were needed off the last 2 overs. But a series of brain explosions and a double-wicket-maiden in the 49th over from Mitchell Johnson left India short of its final target by 19 runs.

— Mohan


11 responses to “India Vs Australia, 6th ODI, Nagpur, 14 Oct 2007

  1. Australia has dominated the series, no doubt.

    I think the middle order of India has been a problem for India. If India loses early wickets, India is bundled out. In the past, Rahul Dravid, would steady the innings to a respectable total.

    If the opening get a good start, they are not able press on the accelerator like Australia. India needs an Andrew Symonds. I think Robin Uthappa could be that player. But Uthappa needs to bat up at No. 5 s0 that he has enough overs.

    Ian Chappell is right about SreeSanth. SreeSanth can be a good bowler if he can concentrate only on his bowling.

    But why is Ian Chappell not saying anything about Australian team’s general abrasive decibel level – Andrew Symonds “chatting’ with Tendulkar …. Then he would be more credible.

    Now in a meaningless match, as rotation policy, all the fringe players – Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Karthik will play I think.

  2. gnbmdr

    I think a few points have to be made about the Australians and “decibel levels”.

    I think ‘chatting’ has become a facet of the game that exists. Everyone does it — India does it too (albeit badly, imho).

    Rarely do you see the kind of clowning that Sreesanth does. He needs to be sat down and told that that has to stop. Period.

    Most importantly, barring the odd clown like Brad Hogg, most Aussies that do sledge are actually good players. I think most teams will find it a bit rich for someone like Sreesanth (barely out of his nappies) has a yap out there! You’ve got to “earn your stripes”.

    But most importantly, the view is that Sreesanth’s chat-aggression is rolled into his game and becomes indistinguishable from his bowling aggression! The view is that that is destroying his bowling. I agree. Most Aussies on most occassions (although there are some exceptions as in Sarawan-McGrath) are able to divorce their chat-aggression from their cricketing aggression — and that requires skill too, btw!

    Mind you, my own personal view on this is that it is unfortunate that this has become a lip-lip contest. It ought to be one between bat-and-ball.

    — M

  3. India lost because of sending Dravid and Yuvaraj Singh ahead of free hitting Uththappa and Dhoni–in fact Dhoni should have come at the fall of Pathan–just to prove Ponting wrong!!!

    The tactics to lose a match from a winning position is second nature to this team–against strong opponents.

    Bookies are happy anyway!!!

  4. mohankaus,

    I agree. SreeSanth is a good bowler and his over aggression having a negative impact of his bowling.

    But it is not possible to take an Gandhian approach when you are the target of constant sledging.

    Regarding earning the rights for sledging, after a 5-0 sweep of West Indies, there was a comment by the SA captain – WI players wearing gold jewelery, lazy stroll to the wicket, … would look a lot better if WI are winning.

  5. gnbmdr,

    I disagree strongly on a point that you make — and this is an important point if one wants to understand Aussie aggression.

    Aggression with the ball/bat is fine. In fact it is more than just fine. It is a prerequisite for mental aggression. So the fact that Sreesanth is “aggressive” in his bowling is not bad per se. It is actually good.

    The Aussies, however, can divorce their bat/batt aggression from their chat-aggression. And this is where Sreesanth is getting it all wrong, in my view! Both of these aggression channels are tightly enmeshed in this lad and the result is a player that is on a road to Nothing City.

    And why is it not possible to adopt a Gandhian approach to sledging? Tendulkar has done it. Dravid has done it. Laxman has done it. And these guys have earned the respect of the Aussies. Indeed, Buchanan’s book of rules asked Aussie players NOT to sledge Dravid because it drove him to greater concentration. Laxman is a highly respected player because he rises above the chat and performs. The Aussies then can’t find anything that penetrates that skill-armour.

    If you really want to understand how the Aussies do it, I point you to an excellent article by Gavin Robertson.

    — Mohan

  6. lets not be politically correct…

    despite all this we could have still won had ganguly not turned his eye when india was calling…

    before you say that we were that position because of his contribution…it was baffling how he shut his shots at one point & allowed around 7 average to go to 8 with more than 15 overs remaining he should have taken some more calculated risk which he did not that put enormous pressure on batsmen to come…

    we missed a golden opportunity to go with 3-2 lean in final match with all the possibility of 3-3 result to put some very much needed shit in the mouth of Aussies…

  7. Mohan,

    You will be pleased to know that Aussie Rick Charlesworth will be the next Technical Director overseeing Indian Men Women and Junior teams till World cup and Commonwealth games!!!!!!

  8. Very valid and insightful points to brood over. I hope the Indian selectors and team advisers read your articles and comments.

    Things would have turned out differently if Andrew Symonds catch had been taken by Sreesanth. Catches like that should be taken in world class matches! It is expected!

    Yuvraj, Utappa, and Dhoni should have come after Tendulkar dan Ganguly. It would have given them the time to settle in and play with the required run rates.

    And I personally feel they should have rested Dravid for this game.

    A clip on Aussie new training program at the ACSA :


  9. My question is why is Ian Chappell is calling for a punishment for SreeSanth (which he probably deserves) and while there is tno mention of general Australian team behaviour. As you know, not many teams like that sort of attitude. They are champions and anything goes ?

    Sunil Gavaskar wrote an article about it also.

  10. Hopefully the final game will see both sides experiment a bit with their lineups. This will allow some of the younger players to show their wares in a game that has no real meaning (like many JAMODIs I guess).

    Uthappa and Dhoni have both impressed me a lot – but more so down the order. The swinging ball has exposed Uthappa’s front foot technique problems, whereas later in the innings it is irrelevant.

    Hope tomorrow’s game sees a good contest with no mouthing off by either team.

  11. Is this gonna Kill You? No i Dont Think so !

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