The first of the two T20’s between Australia and India was played in Sydney on Wednesday. The hosts completed a resounding victory on the back of a superb innings of 72 by Matthew Wade, the Australian T20 wicket-keeper. His perfectly weighted innings was almost over-shadowed by a Warner switch hit six, which kept the commentators busy with jabberings of innovation and confidence on the part of Warner. Unfortunately Warner was characteristically out attempting another heave and miscuing to deep extra cover.
Although Warner’s contribution was important in Australia’s good start, it was Matthew Wade’s performance that won the match for the Aussies, in conjunction with a good all round performance by David Hussey. Wade started briskly but maturely, scoring at well over a run a ball. However, with the fall of Birt, Wade began to take the attack to the Indians, scoring a further 34 from only 14 balls. After a brief rain delay, the momentum left the Australian innings, but Hussey and Bailey hustled the total to 171/4, a very difficult total on a sticky wicket. The Indian innings was one of complete mediocrity. Bailey, Australian captain on debut, proved to be a slippery character and thwarted the Indians at every turn, ringing the bowling changes and setting challenging fields. In the end, the Australian spin bowling choked up the runs in the middle and took vital wicket at vital stages, ensuring a comfortable Australian victory. So what is expected for Melbourne on Friday?
|New kid on the block: Matthew Wade batted with a|
swagger that has typified the Aussies this summer.
Australia will be enthused that their complete gutting and revamping of their T20 team proved to be successful. The Australian selectors have taken huge risks in all formats of the game, believing in the young talent emerging in Australia. The selectors went out on a limb with regards to the inclusion of Bailey as captain, but this has proved to reap rewards. He was dynamic as a captain, showing good presence of mind in key situations in the Indian innings. He was unpredictable, as his use of spin early in the innings is something we have seldom seen from the Australians. Another inclusion proving bountiful in that of Matthew Wade, who many want to replace Brad Haddin as Australian keeper sooner rather than later. The mixture of young and old has worked a charm too. David Hussey scored 42 off 30 and claimed 2 wickets for 4 runs off 2 overs. Brett Lee bowled well up front and still has a yard of pace left in him. All in all, Australia will not look to change much as they move on to the next T20 in Melbourne.
India seem to have nothing in reply to the Australian onslaught so far. It has been a torrid tour for the visitors and they were hoping to gain back some respect during the T20 series, but this was not to be. They don’t seem to have the same intensity as the hosts and their play is sluggish in comparison. MS Dhoni does not seem to have the ability to read the game quick enough to stop the Australians going through with their plans. The main problem that India have is that none of their so-called star batsmen have taken any initiative and wrestled the game away from the Australians. So many times on this tour, all it would have taken was better resistance in the batting department to at the very least stretch the Australians. The indomitable Sehwag has been non-existent, Gambhir has shown glimpses but little else and Kohli is much better than his stats in Australia suggest, as we saw in the last test. As for the others, most did not play in the test series and can possibly be excused for a rusty performance. On the positive side, Ravi Ashwin has proved an enigma as a frontline spinner and lower order batsman, and he and Kohli prove that India’s future is a bright one. In Melbourne, India will be hoping that their batting line-up can finally hit their straps to give the bowlers a chance at winning the game.
The final of the two T20’s will be hosted at Melbourne Cricket Club, the MCG. This ground has a great history, and since the inception of T20 cricket, has hosted four internationals. Australia have won all of these, and will be looking to make this five on Friday. Weather is partly cloudy but it is unlikely to rain, so there should be no delays here.
BEST: Top Indian Batsman, Suresh Raina 5/1
Suresh Raina looked good at the crease on Wednesday and an unsightly heave under pressure led to him throwing his wicket away. I expect the brief form he showed to translate into a meaningful innings at Melbourne. He is desperate to make his way back into the test team and needs form at the short formats in order to do this. Raina has a separate agenda so this may lead to added determination.
VERDICT: Australia 5/10
India do not look as though they have a hope in hell of beating the Aussies at the moment. The key word for the Australians is confidence, and plenty of it. When you are playing like you can’t lose, it is generally the case that you don’t. Australia must be careful that confidence does not turn to arrogance, as this can cause everything to come crashing down around them.
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Written by @IAMaverickWhite for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!