That’s it for us, a short and sweet day or night at the cricket. The third and deciding match will take place on Wednesday in Chennai. We’ll see you then.
Hard to get your head around that. Australia lost badly in the first match, all out 188, but they did make India work had for the win five wickets down, with some serious wobbles at the start. Today could not have been any more different, after ram-raiding the Indian batting, then looting the bowling before making a quick getaway.
Marsh opening the batting has been a revelation. He has been used at No3 a lot the last couple of years, which often isn’t much different. But it will be interesting to see what happens when Warner comes back, given Head’s proclivity for big scores up the top.
What a thrashing. Only twice in history has a score been chased in fewer overs for an Australian team to win an ODI. They bowled out India in 26 overs, too. So that was a 37-over match with both innings completed: shorter than a normal T20.
11th over: Australia 121-0 (Head 51, Marsh 66) Just to complete India’s day, here’s a dropped catch. Head slog-sweeps Axar, big top edge, Shami running around from mid on gets to the ball but jumps in the air as he tries to take it, a bit of panic, and rather than taking the catch, he chests the ball down like he’s at the edge of the box about to lash a left-foot volley under the crossbar. While Shami is cross-coding, Head runs two, then two more through square leg for his milestone. Hands the strike to Marsh, who finishes it with a whistling shot behind point.
10th over: Australia 112-0 (Head 46, Marsh 62) Well set now, Marsh takes two balls before belting Kuldeep into the stands. A fraction short, Marsh steps back and pulls a ball that doesn’t deserve it on length, but gets the treatment anyway. Into the crowd at midwicket. Kuldeep nearly sneaks through onto the stumps next ball, a bottom-edged cut, but once Head gets on strike he simply dumps a ball over wide long-on, inelegant but effective, shovelling it off a length off the back foot, into the air and into the gap to bounce once over the rope. Keeps strike with a single, will get a shot at a fifty, and Australia have just about won the match in 10 overs.
9th over: Australia 100-0 (Head 41, Marsh 55) Travis Head won’t be left behind, consecutive boundaries from Axar’s bowling. One whipped over the leg side, the next cut through the off. A pair of singles raise the hundred. Kuldeep will get a bowl, far too late in the piece for someone who might have tantalised the batters through the air.
8th over: Australia 90-0 (Head 32, Marsh 54) Hardik Pandya comes on, first ball, belted for six! He captained in the first match, this match he’s hit into the second tier and nearly the third. Marsh just gets on the front foot and pounds that over long off. Fourth ball of the over, six again! A cutter, angled into the bat, and angled off the bat over deep midwicket. Marsh picks it and picks it up. Fifth ball, he goes again! Similar area of the ground, a bit straighter. A baseball punish this time, home run over left field. He has another half century today… 30 of them in sixes. Three dots in the over, on the bright side for Hardik.
7th over: Australia 72-0 (Head 32, Marsh 36) Now we go to spin. Axar Patel gets the ball ahead of Jadeja. Does tangle up Marsh for a couple of balls, but eventually Marsh gets a big stride in and middles him through the covers for four.
6th over: Australia 66-0 (Head 31, Marsh 31) Not much variety from Rohit Sharma, persisting with his opening quicks instead of trying to take pace off the ball. Head responds by whipping Siraj aerially off his pads to the fence, then glances another boundary fine. Third ball, top edge for four! Pull shot from Head, not much elevation on it but enough. Make that four in a row, as he flat-bats a length ball back past mid on! Not timed perfectly but once it beats the fielder it gets there. The final ball of the over he tries to make it five in a row but finds fine leg on the bounce with a hook shot. That’s 17 from the over, scores level between the two openers, and 11 per over through the innings.
5th over: Australia 49-0 (Head 14, Marsh 31) Shami up to Marsh, who thumps him for six. Over long-on, that simple swing through the ball from Marsh who excels at that shot. He fell short of a hundred in the first match and his dismissal brought about a collapse. He wants to fill his plate today. Four more to follow! That back-foot drive once more, beating cover point’s dive. Two balls later, six more: short ball, flat six over square leg. Sixteen from the over, all in boundary shots.
4th over: Australia 33-0 (Head 14, Marsh 15) Thrashed by Marsh to greet Siraj’s new over! Airborne through cover but he gets the placement right and hammers it to the boundary. Tries again and nearly inside edges onto his stumps. It’s not entirely simple to hit through the line on this pitch, even if Marsh is trying to get a chunk of the runs taken care of early to avoid any wobbles. A single that time to fine leg. Head lays into a short ball and belts that for four behind square. 85 to win.
3rd over: Australia 24-0 (Head 10, Marsh 10) Yet another wide, Shami straying down leg. Few enough to defend without giving away runs. Marsh defends one length ball, then rifles away the next with a back-foot drive! The timing on that, and the power. He played shots like that through point during his 181 in the Ashes Test in Perth. Next ball, again takes it at the top of the bounce and this time lifts it over long on. Doesn’t try to hit it very hard, just pops it. Four. Beaten on the inside edge to follow, an in-between shot to an in-between length, before Shami is wided for a marginal ball that goes just over the striker’s helmet.
2nd over: Australia 13-0 (Head 10, Marsh 1) Siraj starts with a wide, this one over the head rather than past the pads, and follows up with a hip-high ball for Head to place through square leg for four. No need for power on the shot, just a deflection. Wide outside off next ball, and Head gets up on his toes to flash it through point! In the air, dicey, but the back foot punch finds the gap. Another punch gets him a single to cover. Marsh does similarly to get off the mark.
1st over: Australia 2-0 (Head 1, Marsh 0) Shami coming around the wicket and he tends to do now to left-handers, had success against David Warner doing it in the Tests. Warner still isn’t playing today despite coming back from Australia for this series, apparently he now has a problem with a quad muscle to follow his elbow fracture sustained in the second Test. In other news, Travis Head has shaved his dirty big moustache. The tale of Samson, anyone? He takes a single from the first over, which joins a wide as the only scores.
Here we go. Marsh and Head to open, Shami with the ball.
If you’re thirsting for some Mitchell Starc stats, let me tell you that his work across 50 overs is unprecedented. Nobody has rattled through teams like he has.
Hello team. Isn’t that a turnaround? India’s bowlers fed Australia through the chaff machine in the first match, and now the favour has been performed in the inverse. Nothing to brag about in India’s batting, aside from a few nice Kohli shots and Axar doing the business alone as he did a few times during the Test series.
I will leave you in the capable hands of Geoff Lemon to steer you through Australia’s run-chase. Short shifts all-round.
Catch you back here Wednesday for game three.
That was the 26 overs of Steve Smith’s dreams. On a pitch with pace and bounce his seam bowlers settled into their Australian length and profited from an abject display from a strong Indian batting order, justifying their skipper’s decision to field first.
Mitchell Starc was the chief destroyer with five-for-53, ripping out the top order early on, but he was backed up by Sean Abbott (3-23), Nathan Ellis (2-13), Cameron Green (0-20) and Adam Zampa (0-6). On top of that the tourists held every chance that came their way, including one absolute blinder from Smith diving miles to his right at second slip to remove Hardik. Credit too to the umpires for pulling the trigger on three top-order LBWs.
Starc is back for his third spell, in search of his five-for, and Axar greets him with the shot of the day, a clean, straight six back over the bowler’s head. And he backs it up with another maximum! This time carting a leg-stump half-volley way over backward square. Splendid entertainment towards the end of a frightful innings for India. Demonstrably farming the strike he affords his No 11 two deliveries to survive. The first of which is reviewed for a wildly optimistic LBW appeal that the third umpire confirms has very little going for it. The second clatters into off stump. All over red rover. Starc gets his five-for.
25th over: India 103-9 (Axar 16, Siraj 0) No hat-trick for Abbott with Siraj playing inside the line of a delivery outside off-stump, but he will be delighted with his over nonetheless.
Two in two for Abbott! Length outside off to Shami who pokes a flat-footed edge through to the keeper. India’s batting has been abject.
Another one goes. Abbott didn’t send down the greatest short ball, but it was quick enough for Kuldeep to mistime a pull straight to midwicket.
24th over: India 101-7 (Axar 15, Kuldeep 4) Ellis into his fifth over, and he gives up just one run to this cautious partnership.
23rd over: India 100-7 (Axar 14, Kuldeep 4) Zampa’s two-over spell didn’t do a lot so Smith returns to the seam of Abbott. Three more singles eventuate as India continue to consolidate and Australia curse the unavailability of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
22nd over: India 97-7 (Axar 12, Kuldeep 3) Three singles from the latest Ellis over as we move into something of a holding pattern as India look to bat out time.
21st over: India 94-7 (Axar 10, Kuldeep 2) Zampa has seven fielders inside the circle as Australia pile the pressure on India’s lower order. The squeeze keeps the batters to just a single apiece.
20th over: India 92-7 (Axar 9, Kuldeep 1) Kuldeep Yadav continues the run of lefties from both ends, and he’s off the mark early. He’ll need to improve on his ODI average of 12, and highest score of 19, if India are going to post a challenging total.
Ellis has another! Just a touch shorter, but it skids on nicely, and Jadeja – who has not looked in good nick – tries to glide a delicate cut but can only feather an edge through to the keeper. Australia into the bowlers.
19th over: India 90-6 (Jadeja 16, Axar 8) Time for spin. Starc makes way for Adam Zampa after just one over of his second spell and the leggie settles into his work from over the wicket to the two lefties. He induces a leading edge from Jadeja, but for the third time this innings it doesn’t go towards a fielder. Otherwise there’s not a lot to report either in the air or off the pitch.
18th over: India 85-6 (Jadeja 13, Axar 7) Ellis is coming around the wicket now with two left-handers at the crease, and he gives a hearty shout for LBW against Jadeja that is sensibly not reviewed, with an inside-edge saving the batter. The change of angle disrupts the bowler’s rhythm with three leg-side wides in an over as long as Rapunzel’s hair, but not so magical.
17th over: India 82-6 (Jadeja 12, Axar 7) Excellent attacking captaincy from Steve Smith, recalling Starc and going for the jugular. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that, the bowler doesn’t deliver. There are singles aplenty, a wide, and a half-volley slapped through the off-side to give Axar a handy confidence boost.
“Good morning Jonathan,” season’s greetings Colum Fordham. “Starc’s fiery spell has put his team in the driving seat but Jadeja, and Axar, could be thorns in Australia’s side if they manage to regroup. Was about to write Jadeja and Kohli but that straight delivery from Ellis has put paid to that. Just when Virat was looking his old imperious self.” Indeed, Australia know all about the batting talent at the crease from the recent Test series. But this is a very different – almost Australian pitch – not the dusty hard-spinning minefields we saw with the red ball.
16th over: India 73-6 (Jadeja 11, Axar 1) Excellent over from Ellis, testing the stumps on a full length, making India’s batters work every ball, even despite overstepping fractionally and conceding a free-hit no-ball.
Be First to Comment