India lose to Australia at Sydney, almost out of CB Series
India brought out their worst batting display of the Commonwealth Bank Series at Sydney on Sunday, crashing to a 87 run defeat against Australia, almost ending their chances of qualifying for the finals of the Series.
India were without two of their best bowlers of the series – the Royal Challengers Bangalore pair of Zaheer Khan and Vinay Kumar sitting out with injuries to the calf and hamstring respectively. Praveen Kumar however justified his return with the early wickets of Shane Watson and Peter Forrest.
Umesh Yadav contributed with the wickets of half centurions David Hussey and Matthew Wade after Jadeja removed David Warner while Virender Sehwag chipped in with three lower order wickets to help India restrict Australia to 252/9 in their 50 overs.
Ben Hilfenhaus produced a brilliant piece of work to catch Virender Sehwag off his own bowling before Sachin Tendulkar was contentiously run out on 14. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir added 44 runs for the third wicket. Kohli looked at ease and was the ideal foil for Gambhir who was having a harder time before a bowling change accounted for him. He was too early into a shot off Watson’s bowling and gave an easy catch to be dismissed for 21 off 26.
The next few overs saw Gambhir playing on to his stumps off McKay and Raina and Jadeja failing to play the medium pace offerings of Watson and Christian. MS Dhoni hung around in a desperate innings before being dismissed for 14 off 49.
Irfan Pathan and R Ashwin put up a 30 run stand for the 8th wicket in the course of which Ashwin posted India’s top score of 26 while Pathan hit the only two sixes of the innings.
Doherty ended the game when he snapped up the wicket of Pravin Kumar in the 40th over after India reached 165, sealing an 87 run win for Australia and all but knocking India out of the tournament.
India must beat Sri Lanka with a bonus point and hope for Australia to beat Sri Lanka as well if they want to qualify for the final of the Commonwealth Bank Series.