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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cricket-Future Cup- India vs Australia

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The seven-match One-day series between India and Australia will be remembered for a long time by cricket fans. Australia won the series 4-2 with the first match being washed out in Bangalore.
Thrice in the series, Australia scored over 300 and there was a player who contributed to these totals. Andrew Symonds has been the key performer for Australia on this tour of India and befittingly was adjudged the Man of the Series. In the seven matches, he scored 365 runs at an average of 73. If one ignores his duck in the last ODI, his average would have soared upto 91.25.
Another scoring giant was Matthew Hayden. He has had a great run at both World Cups and continued with his form at the recent India outing. He played five matches and scored 290 runs at an average of 58.
No fine performance was displayed by the Indians as compared to the champions from Down Under. From the Indian side, Sachin Tendulkar was the top-scorer. He scored 278 runs at an average of 39.71. Skipper MS Dhoni scored 176 runs at 35.
With the ball, Mitchell Johnson leads the pack with 13 wickets in the series, including the 5-wicket haul at Vadodara. Closely follows Brad Hogg, whose chinaman bowling style fetched him 11 wickets and left the Indian batsmen bemused.
From the Indian camp, the pacers did well in patches. Indian bowlers failed to stop the run flow. Sreesanth picked up 9 wickets in 4 matches but his strike rate and histrionics did no good to him. Zaheer Khan claimed 7 wickets.
However, Murali Kartik emerged as one of the best bowler for India. He played 4 matches and picked 8 wickets. He did well in his comeback match but failed to continue the momentum in the next two matches. He came back efficiently in the last ODI in Mumbai and picked up 6 wickets to guide India to a consolatory win. Interestingly, last time Kartik faced Aussies in a Test match at Wankhede in 2005 and took 6 wickets to steer India to victory in a nail-biting finish.
Despite losing the series, India still has something to smile about. The batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar became the only cricketer to play 400 ODIs. In the same series Sachin completed another feat of hitting maximum half-centuries (85) in the 50-over format surpassing former Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul Haq's record of 83 half-centuries.
Andrew Symonds hit his sixth ODI century (107) at Nagpur and first against India. The top scorer of the series was adjudged as man of the series for his outstanding all-round show.
Murali Kartik became only the fifth Indian bowler to take a 6-wicket haul. Others were Anil Kumble (vs WI), Ajit Agarkar (vs Aus), Sreesanth (vs Eng) while Ashish Nehra has two 6-wicket hauls (vs Eng and SL).
India lost not only because Australia outplayed but also because India under-performed. The series ends but the Australian tour will come to an end at the Barbourne Stadium with a Twenty20 match on. Indian fans would like the world champions of the format to repeat their winning performance on Sunday.

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