Mohammed Shami led a sensational comeback following KL Rahul’s and Suryakumar Yadav’s birthdays. India began their pre-season in a positive way with an impressive six-run victory against Australia.
Team India has gotten their T20 World Cup preparations off to a perfect start with a six-run victory over host Australia in the opening of two warm-up games at the beginning of Monday’s game in Brisbane.
Aaron Finch and Co were winning the game throughout and seemed to be on track for an easy victory. However, the Men in Blue, however were not going to give up until the very end, making a stunning fightback in the dying overs and claiming the victory.
Although some issues continue to be raised in both the bowling and batting areas, India no doubt will be encouraged by the kind of resiliency they showed against the current T20 world champions in their backyard. They’ll be looking to build on the momentum in their next match against last year’s runners-up New Zealand on Wednesday before facing Pakistan in a huge opener at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Melbourne Cricket Ground this Sunday.
Here are five points to consider from the India-Australia warmup game:
KL, Surya ooze class
The bowling team was concerned for the Indians before the marquee event, the batters did very well in home games during the lead-up to the event. They were shining lights on Monday, as opening batsman KL Rahul and middle order batter Suryakumar Yadav slammed the fifties to help India to a respectable score of 186-7.
Rahul’s performance was a one-man spectacle in the powerplay with captain Rohit Sharma diminished to a support role Surya’s skillful strokeplay, which consisted of 3 maximums, and two times as many fours that assisted in helping India score over 10 overs during his time in the middle. Then Surya continued to play from the point Rahul began, propelling the Men in Blue through the middle overs following a brief collapse which helped India get to the 180-mark.
Kane Richardson stands out among Aussie quicks
In a game that featured players like Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins Pat Cummins, it wasn’t Kane Richardson who finished the best out of Aussie bowlers with 4/30. Two of these were in the final over.
After launching with an unlucky wide in the second over, which was also a powerplay this South Australian was brought back in the 14th over of the game, immediately hitting in his new era in which he fooled the hard-hitting All-Rounder Hardik Pandya by using the slower ball.
Richardson continued to be the better of Indian batters through his variations dropping Dinesh Karthik using an entire shot in the 17th over, taking out an unbeaten Surya by using a slower full delivery in four balls of the last over, before dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin with a length ball to the outside off of the final ball.
India’s powerplay problems
As The Men in Blue fought back bravely at the end of the match but their bowling performance in the powerplay was not up to the level and is still an issue.
The duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as well as Arshdeep Singh, began the game on a good foot with nine runs in their first 2 overs. The floodgates opened in the third over, with Pandya being sent to the laundrette with Finch and Marsh and 18 runs coming from it.
Harshal Patel would later be struck for six and a four by Aussie captain Finch at 11 from his run, while Ashwin was forced to concede four consecutive times in a 14-run 5th over. Marsh was then able to smash the ball with a six and a four on Bhuvneshwar during the 6th over, as the current T20 world champions took on 64/1 at a conclusion in the powerplay.
The return of Aaron Finch to his former form
Aaron Finch’s form in Skipper’s Test has been a major concern for Australia for most of this season and so Finch has been forced to withdraw in the format of ODI.
Finch was, however, the leader from the front during the warm-up match on Monday against India with a spectacular score of 76 off 54 balls to confirm the return of his form. He also dispels his critics and demonstrates that he belongs to the most compact format. The Aussie captain was the one who got his team on the right track with the help of Marsh as he continued to guide the team through middle overs in speed mode after the departure of his partner in the opening overs.
Finch scored 7 fours as well as 3 tops during his time at the crease. By the time he left at the beginning of the final over of the chase, Australia was clearly in the driver’s seat having to take 16 off 11, with half their wickets still in good condition. If it were only Finch would have stayed until the very last moment…
Mohammed Shami’s brilliance
India turned down and then was ejected at the close in the 17th Over. The batters had done a great job of leading them to a respectable total, but the bowling team did not match their effort and allowed Australia to set the terms for the second-third in their pursuit.
The pace would drastically change during the final two overs, however.
Harshal Patel was able to set the game in a good direction with his superb final over – something the Indians were failing to execute shockingly fashion in recent games. Patel was able to get rid of an unbeaten set Finch on the first ball, only to see Tim David getting run out with a fantastic direct hit by Virat Kohli on the next delivery. Only five runs in the over and two wickets.
View: Kohli’s astonishing one-handed catch and direct hit in the Indian-Australian warm-up match
Mohammed Shami would then be handed an opportunity to bowl for the only time and boy did he throw an unforgettable over. Shami, a veteran seamer, was on target with each delivery, limiting Cummins’s scoring areas, and allowing him to only some doubles. Then the skipper of the Test team was able to hole out to Kohli with a swoop in anger, with the former India captain scoring an unorthodox slam.
Shami was then able to run Ashton Agar out with a direct hit on the end of the non-striker’s line before slapping Josh Inglis and Kane Richardson by hitting consecutive yorkers.
There were people who doubted his selection as a member of the Indian T20 team prior to they played in the World Cup; Shami just did not have to say an ounce.
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