If India thought that having chased down 200 in 20 overs a couple of days earlier meant that getting another 100 runs in 30 more overs was going to be easy, then they were in for a rude awakening. They lost by the big margin of 72 runs, and Australia have got just the start that they wanted in the one-day series.
Australia's record in the one-day contests, especially the seven-match series in earlier years, has been excellent, and it will take India something special to stop them doing it this time too. They had Yuvraj playing a superb innings in the T20, but here he was sent after Suresh Raina and lasted only a few deliveries.
You cannot fault the skipper Dhoni’s tactic of giving Raina more outings in the number four position, as with the World Cup less than two years away, the more he bats at that number the more he will get used to coping with the situations that arise there.
Yuvraj has batted at five in the last World Cup where Gambhir was number three and Kohli number four, so it is not as if he is unused to batting at that number. He is one of the best finishers in the game, so batting down the order makes sense too.
Hopefully Dhoni will use the same logic of preparing for the World Cup with the bowling attack that he has on hand at the moment, for there is not the slightest doubt that if India are going to lose, it is going to be mainly because of the inefficacy of the bowlers.
So Dhoni and the selectors should be looking out for those who can bowl well in the powerplays and especially in the final overs when the batsmen are throwing their bats at everything. The one big plus is India’s fielding which can add a fizz to the bowling by stopping the boundaries and restricting the runs. But even they cannot do much when the ball is flying high above them into the crowd.
The Jaipur pitch as seen in the recent Champions League games will assist the Australian bowlers with its extra bounce. The Aussies used the short ball to great effect in Pune where there was also extra bounce, and having seen the success, they will not be shy of banging the ball into the wicket in every game now, and so India will have to play at their champions' best to pull one back and level the series.
Professional Management Group