I guess I won’t be able to present a clear picture as I am unfortunate to have missed the proceedings having buried myself deep into work-meetings. However, based on the commentary and have watched India’s batting till Tendulkar was departed rather hastily, I would bet that Australia had bowled wonderfully and suffocated Indian batting line up.
Some events are rather strange and hard to believe and they do work as domino affect. I guess Tendulkar’s dismissal is one such thing. With Sehwag looking as dangerous as he is, Australia would have guessed that the match would be finished before the second drinks break. Sachin was cool, calm, respecting good balls, punishing bad balls, driving confidence over the partners and his presence would be immensely needed at the time of the hour.
I was totally surprised by the fact of how he was given lbw by the same umpire who almost denied closed to 8 lbw decisions when India was bowling. Anyway, there is no point in hanging around one single point, things happen.
Full marks to Australia as they have pulled up a game that had India written all over it. The wicket was playing nicely and opportunities were in plenty. Not every day we should expect Yuvi and Dhoni to pull the plugs and fill the gaps, its simply not fair. Having said that, Australia on the other hand were simply more disciplined although at times plans may not work the way they are laid out; they did today for Australia (much for the explanation of why Siddle was not given a second spell).
My take (again, is totally unfortunate to have missed the main part of the game)
Australia – 3.5 stars
India – 2.5 stars
Kangaroo stars: Watson, Ponting, Siddle, Bollinger, White and Hauritz
Indian stars: PK, Nehra, Bhajji and Sachin
5th ODI Preview: With the series pretty much in re-start mode, anything can happen moving forward. Australia will have lot of momentum taken from this game but they will be cautious as they knew that the more than their game plan it was the way things have fallen into place by themselves, not denying any credit to the team however. India on the other hand I would think will not be too worried as they know what exactly went wrong. Dhoni had the courage to take on the field winning the toss keeping due condition in mind, but the matter of fact has suggested otherwise.
This will turn out more fiercer as it proceeds but I would still bet on India as they are simply the better team at this time. Keeping my fingers crossed.