2nd Semifinal of World Cup 2015 between India and Australia - Analysis
Today, 26th Mar 2015, World of Cricket saw a game between top two teams of ICC World Cricket Ranking, in which Australia is the #1 team and India is #2. The excitement was undeniably high among the cricket lovers around the World. You can certainly say, this match was considered as good as the final.
As for the crowd in the stadium, more than 70% seats were booked and occupied by Indian cricket fans and rest were by Australian fans, even though it was played in Australia.
Australia Won the Toss and Chose to Bat
The battle started with Australia choosing to bat first after winning the toss. Cricket lovers, who watched the game, would agree that the batting approach of Australian players was very calm and mature at the start of the game. Even after losing an early wicket in 4th over of David Warner, they maintained their temper and consistently kept on scoring runs without losing other wicket for next 30 overs. Thus, Aaron Finch, who scored 81 runs, and Steven Smith, who scored 105 runs, created a well needed partnership, thereby putting up a good score along with a chance to later batsmen to score faster without any pressure. After 35th over they lost wickets very quickly, but at the same time also managed to put up a very competitive score. Towards the end of the innings Mitchell Johnson, who is originally considered for bowling, being fearless went on the hitting spree scoring 27 runs out of only 9 balls with the strike rate of 300, through 4 boundaries and 1 sixer during the last few overs.
All these fierce batting performances enabled Australia to put up the score of 328 Runs after 50 overs by losing only 7 wickets.
Indian Bowling Performance
I must say, even against such fierce batting R. Ashwin and R. Jadeja, two spinners, managed to keep the run rate at 5.6 and 4.2 respectively, during the 10 overs by each.
Among the rest bowlers, Umesh Yadav, even after giving away runs at 8 runs per over, managed to take 4 wickets; and Mohit Sharma, while giving runs at 7.5 runs per over, took 2 wickets.
Now, it was India’s turn to fight back and forward to World Cup 2015 Final by achieving the target of 329 runs under 50 overs. They accepted the challenge and started the game with slow but consistent batting by the openers Rohit Sharma, who scored 34 runs, and Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 45 runs. However, playing slow and consistent wasn’t working out, as the run rate from the start was over 6, i.e. 6.58 runs per over were required to achieve the target of 329 runs in 50 overs. Hence, they started to play some big shots. While doing so, India lost its first wicket in 13th over, just when the openers settled. Later, 14th and 15th over were proven like a curse to India, as just 1 run was scored in 14th over and 15th over was a maiden. Pressure immediately started building up, and India lost its 2nd wicket in 16th over, following which 2 more wickets were lost in next 10 overs. However, A. Rahane was holding the wicket from one end, and scored 44 runs out of 68 balls. Later, Capt M. Dhoni took the responsibility and started to play very maturely, which wasn’t seen so far in any Indian batsmen during this match except A. Rahane, and scored 65 runs of 65 balls. Dhoni and Rahane tried and managed to put up a few more runs on the scoreboard, thereby still keeping the hope alive.
But that wasn't enough!
But that wasn’t enough, as run rate was constantly rising with every over, and in 37th over India got another blow. A. Rahane lost his wicket to M. Starc. Still Dhoni tried to kept cool and played a consistent game while R. Jadeja held the strike at the other end. But as the innings came to end, and run rate kept rising, Dhoni gave up the hope and gave away the wicket as run out by G. Maxwell. The game from here on was pretty much over along with the World Cup, for India, as the gave became totally one sided.
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Outstanding Bowling and Fielding Strategy by Australia
The performance of Australian bowlers was outrageously amazing, along with their field placing, and strategy. One can say, that Australian team did their homework very well to study and understand the strengths and weaknesses of Indian batsmen, before this game, which was as expected from the #1 team in the World of Cricket.
Except Faulkner and Watson, all the bowlers managed to keep the run rate below 5 runs per over, where expected run rate from the start of the match, for India, was above 6 runs per over. Thus not only did they managed to create the pressure, but by studying Indian batsmen, they were very well able to snatch the wickets from time to time and keep it tight for India till the end of the game, and Won.
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In the nutshell!
A lot of people around the World were hopeful for India to win this match too, as it consecutively won 7 matches in this World Cup. This was the first match which India lost, and it was semifinal. Thus road for India was blocked and brought to end by Australia today. The reason wasn’t only that Australia was really good, but also that Indian batsmen and bowlers weren’t able to perform as well as they should, being the #2 Team in the World of Cricket. Some very poor shots, and poorly bowled overs, made India lost the battle and allowed Australia to proceed to The World Cup 2015 Final to face New Zealand in the last game to claim the Cup.
Which team do you think will Win the World Cup 2015?
© 2015 NISARG MEHTA