Warner’s inning turned the tide for Australia
Australia secured their spot in the finals of the Commonwealth Bank series when they demolished India in front of delighted fans at Sydney.
Newly appointed Captain, Shane Watson, was supported by all members of the squad as the Australian’s proved to be too much for India to handle.
Watson, was all smiles as he opened his account as Captain with an emphatic win, and said: “Very nice start as a captain, it all worked out very well.”
Australia, who won the toss, elected to bat first, but early into their inning, they were put on the back foot by India, who took two early wickets.
However, opener David Warner’s highly entertaining inning of 68 runs from 66 deliveries put Australia back in the driving seat. When he departed, India, could not have faced a tougher period as David Hussey and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade launched into the Indian bowling attack and dispatched them to all parts of the ground, as the pair both made half centuries and put together a valuable 94 run partnership, en route to a final total of 252.
Warner, who was given the Man of the Match award, said: “I needed some runs under the belt and put my head down today. A bit of a lazy shot towards the end, a brain explosion … The key for me is that if I get my defence right, the big shots come off.”
During Hussey’s inning there was a spot of controversy, when he was taking a quick single and stuck his hand out in what some call an attempt to protect himself, and others a move to block the ball so that he wouldn’t be run out. However, in the end, the third umpire went in favour of the Australian’s, much to the frustration of Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Captain Watson, who believed that Hussey was trying to protect himself, said: “[On the David Hussey issue] In the end it looked like David Hussey was looking to protect himself. I have full faith in Taufel and Bowden.”
India’s Virender Sehwag surprised everyone by claiming three Australian wickets, but he was well backed up by Praveen Kumar and Umesh Yadav, who both picked up two wickets.
India, facing an average target, just failed to get anything right, as accurate and tight Australian bowling had them in all sorts of trouble. None of the Indian players came remotely close to scoring a half century in their lame team score of 165, giving Australia an 87 run win.
During the Indian inning, there was another spot of controversy as Sachin Tendulkar was called for a quick single, but failed to get around bowler Brett Lee, who he claimed was blocking his path. However, in the end the umpires, Billy Bowden and Simon Taufel went in favour of the Australians once again.
Three Australian bowlers, Ben Hilfenhaus, Captain Watson and Xavier Doherty, took two wickets each as Australia just ripped through the Indian batting lineup.
Captain Dhoni, was extremely frustrated with the loss and the position India were left in with the finals looming. “We were a bit confused, but overall we were happy with the first half. But the second innings, we left too many overs for Nos. 7,8 and 9. We have not performed to potential in these ODIs, it was an ideal opportunity for the youngsters. I am sure they have learned a lot. We need to bat well” he said.
Captain Watson praised his team for the important win. “It helped that wickets fell at appropriate times. I kept trying to get the bowlers and their ends right. I felt good and had a lot of fun today” he said.
With this loss, India will need to beat Sri Lanka and gain the bonus point as well, and will also have to hope that Australia beat Sri Lanka, if there is any chance of them to reach the finals. India and Sri Lanka will square off on the 28th of February at Hobart.