Twitter Reactions: Australia's batting prowess too much for India for second time in a row at the SCG

Twitter Reactions: Australia’s batting prowess too much for India for second time in a row at the SCG

Given that India was chasing close to 8 runs an over right from ball one, the batsmen did not have the luxury to get their eyes in.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

India resumed international cricket after 9 months of inactivity and the sport has not been too kind and warm for them. The visitors, after losing the series opener convincingly by 66 runs, had the series on the line today in the second ODI. They lost the second toss in a row as Australia invited them to bowl. However, with a slight bit of grass on the track, India would not have hated to bowl first.

Led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, the Men in Blue were far more disciplined with the ball upfront today, although the Aussie duo of Aaron Finch and David Warner played busily and managed to manoeuver the pacers at the start. With their foot settled in, both the batsmen opened the wide range of shots, and Warner slapped his second half-century off 38 balls. Playing a perfect foil to him, Finch drove the pressure to the Indians as he racked up a half-century too.

Glittering Smith-show after a sublime start

India finally got a breakthrough after the openers added 142 when Finch miscued an edge straight to Virat Kohli at cover. Indians tried to get inside the game when a rocket throw of Shreyas Iyer undid David Warner, who was in search of an improbable double, only to fall short of making his ground.

However, Steven Smith entered with some different plans, and after a brief patch of slowdown, he, alongside Marnus Labuschagne, took the attack to India as the two added 136 for the third wicket. Not being able to get anything right, the skipper introduced Hardik Pandya to bowl after ages. On the other side, Smith smoked a century of merely 62 balls again, before edging off Pandya to short third man.

The platform set was perfect for Glenn Maxwell to tee off, and he did, through his explosive half-century, as Australia set a mammoth target of 390 runs in a must-win affair for the visitors.

India’s perennial catch up

Given that India was chasing close to 8 runs an over right from ball one, the batsmen did not have the luxury to get their eyes in. Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal raced to a 50-run partnership in the first 6 overs, although the former failed to convert his start into a knock that the team wanted. Mayank Agarwal followed suit as he faintly edged one off Cummins to Alex Carey behind the wickets.

Being two down inside the Powerplay, India’s hopes relied upon skipper Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer. Both the batsmen tried to lead India to recovery as they added 93, however, some disciplined bowling and tight lines from the opponents never allowed them to break loose in the manner the situation demanded.

Kohli, who achieved the feat of completing 22,000 runs in international cricket, fell eleven short of his 44th ODI ton and got out after a sedate hand of 89. KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya kept India in the hunt as they added some runs briskly, although the required run rate had already clawed up to 10 for the last 18 overs. Needing 131 from the last 10 overs and a well-set Rahul and Pandya on the crease, India did not lose hope entirely, although the Aussies tightened the noose around both the batsmen and ensured that they were unable to get the boundaries.

In no time, the run rate climbed up to an unreachable territory forcing Rahul and Pandya to have a go at everything. India played way too many dots than they could have afforded and hence had too much to catch up towards the end. Once Rahul top-edged one to backward point, all the hopes of Indians went into the trash can. More wickets kept tumbling in the process of chasing a near-impossible task, and India fell short by 51 to hand the hosts an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Here is how the Twitter reacted-