And the series has started yet again, with a flamboyant style with almost a perfect end. India and Australia yet again face each other in this 7 ODI series true to their existing ICC ranking regards. The world’s No.1 team competing with No.2 team on turfs that are always witnessed in thousands and million across the tubes is nothing less than spectacular. The 1st ODI had all the ingredients of a brilliant drama with an exquisite screenplay. Both teams tried to put in their best possible combination forward; dis-advantage India as Yuvraj had to miss the game because of his injury. Zaheer’s absence will be felt by both teams.
Chasing 293 in never an easy task when you know for sure that you would be facing one of the best bowling attacks that come in 7 pack. With 7 for 210, the scorecard was anything but interesting for India. Australian quitely took a big nap and Indians quickly cashed on it. A fervor innings from Harbhajan and Praveen Kumar had lit the hopes of all the cricket fanatics and the match took an awkward turn again towards the end. The required run-rate at one time was more than 12, but the duo ensured that it comes down to 9 required in 6 balls. With everyone coming off of T20 style Cricket that was within the palm’s reach. Australia are deserved winners as they have put in an all-round effort but a win for India would have justified more at least for two persons, Harbhajan and Praveen.
The first ODI has more than winners and losers, it was a game that had the nostalgia of a curry, its effervescence and flavor; on the other end the speed of kangaroo, its protectionism and flamboyance. I had period of heart-attacks watching this game in awe, without anticipating the result. The perfect suspense was the best curtain raiser for this lively series between the best two. If there is any team that takes positives from this match, it would be India all the way, they are now sure what they need to move on. Australia will be left to answer their own questions, having 293 on board was less of an insurance than they thought and they had definitely learn a new lesson, its not over until its over.
Finally, my take.
Australia – 3.5 stars
India – 3 stars
Kangaroo Stars: Ponting, Hussey White and Hauritz
Curry Stars: Gambhir, Ishant, Harbhajan and Praveen
2nd ODI Preview: Yuvraj will most likely return to the side while Jadega shall be rested. It will bring a big boost to the middle order and if Yuvi sticks on for batting powerplay, Australia can forget the match, any day. Sehwag and Sachin do not fail often, one blitz will bring the opposition down like a pack of cards.
Australia will dig deep into its bowling and India can expect little more disciplined attack in the 2nd ODI. With respect to batting, nothing much will change on Australia side.
This may sound like I am biased to India, but in all honesty, India is a better team (equipped) than Australia for now.