A gallant Australian cricket team was well beaten in last night’s T20 against India at the MCG, making 8/157 in reply to India’s 3/184. India’s superstar top order of Rohit Sharma (60 from 47) Shikhar Dhawan (42 from 32) and Virat Kohli (59 from 33) sent the typically parochial Melbourne crowd into rapture as they dominated the Australian bowling line-up.
After taking a few overs to adjust to the bounce of the MCG wicket, the Indian openers proceeded to smash Australia’s bowlers to every corner, and over every corner, of the field. It would appear that captains are still figuring out how to stick to a plan in the shortest form of the game, with fielders simply sent to where the batsmen smashed it last. Subsequently, both the Australian and Indian field closed a lot of gates behind bolted horses.
Curiously, Australian spinner Nathan Lyon was only given one over. It did go for 15 runs, but given how crucial the Indian spinners were to pegging Australia’s batsmen back, he may have made a difference if given another chance.
Australia got off to a belting start with the bat, scoring at more than 10 an over, and at one stage brought the required run-rate down to a very gettable 8.5. Victorian opener Aaron Finch was supreme on home turf, despite the loss of the home-crowd advantage, scoring an excellent 74 from 48 balls, although his hamstring injury as he was run out was a cruel blow. Fellow opener Shaun Marsh (23 from 23) complemented him very well, handing over as much of the strike as he could.
The crucial period in the match, and the period which won the match for India, came in the middle overs of the Australian innings, when the Indians brought on their spinners – Ravindra Jadeja, (2 for 32) Ravichandran Ashwin, (1 for 27) and Yuvraj Singh (1 for 7). Some economical bowling put pressure on the Aussies, before it payed off in the 9th over, when Ashwin had both openers dropped, (one could tell they were concerned about increasing the run-rate, and were forced into trying to make the pace against the slow bowlers,) before finally snaring Marsh, caught at long off.
Neither Chris Lynn (2 from 4) nor Glenn Maxwell (1 from 2) waited until they were set before attempting big shots, and failed as a result, sending Australians of Indian heritage who were supporting the Indian team, who outnumbered supporters of the Australian team by about 3-1, absolutely bananas. Despite the middle order’s best efforts to resurrect the innings, they were left with too much to do in too little time.
Although Australia have now lost the T20 series, and have lost their last three one day matches to India, they will have gained invaluable experience, blooding a number of promising rookies with both bat and ball. A little more poise last night from the Australian batsmen and the match could easily have swung the other way.
After the match, the Australian Cricket Board congratulated the MCG crowd for its fanatical support of the Indian team. A spokesperson for the ACB stated ‘We are pleased as punch that Melbourne was able to showcase all two of its multicultures to the world last night. It is a great advertisement for the game, to see the patriotism shown by the Melbourne crowd for its home team.. wait… you can cut that last bit… right?’
In related news, the AFL has announced that it is no longer racist to ask someone where they are from.
It’s your XYZ.