Advertisement
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com
Down Under

Outside Off

India never really looked like winning this one at the SCG, after being 51 for four in the 11th over, despite Gautam Gambhir-- who swam against the current and got a ton-- and the valiant Robin Uthappa, who took India close.

Outside Off
Outside Off
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Walking the plank, in the alleged corridor of uncertainty outside off, India perished on Sunday evening, though that didn't spoil the night out for the Indians in the stands, who remained in good voice until the end.

The end, when it came, was softened by Gautam Gambhir--who swam against the current and got a ton--and the valiant Robin Uthappa, who took India close. But the truth is, India never really looked like winning this one at the Sydney Cricket Ground, not after being 51 for four in the 11th over.

Four of the visitors fell trying to drive outside off, Adam Gilchrist consuming all; the dismissal of the first Indian, actually, had foretold a sorry tale. Sachin Tendulkar's last days at the SCG aren't proving happy, and he'd hope to get another chance--in the first of the finals--to alter the script.

Gambhir smashed the ball with unsuspected strength, scampered his singles and twos right until the end; but, playing a lone hand for the most, he could not win it on his own, or with the help he got from Uthappa.

But, to be fair, the game was up much before the touring batsmen fell in the falling dusk; it was over bar the shouting when Australia ran up 317 in 50 overs. The home side has defended scores of 236, 202 and 184 in the tournament; their laggard batsmen have been saved by their bowlers. And today, on the best One-day track of the series, they could be spendthrift millionaires and still be the winners.

In fact, the game was up for India when Australia smashed their first 100 runs in just 12 overs--big Matthew Hayden muscled his way through the initial Indian resistance before easing up; Ricky Ponting found his feet, literally, and found his touch. His 26th ODI century saw him lose his diffidence as he found his confidence and form; his 124 took its time coming, and Australia never got the 350 they looked like getting, but the captain's return to form, and that of Andrew Symonds, spells danger for the Subcontinental visitors.

Ponting found runs with the first ball--his defensive jab got his three early runs; in the fifth over, he got two fours--a cut and a drive through the covers; in the sixth, he got fortune's blessing he needed desperately. Ponting smashed the ball to point where Rohit Sharma dived to his left, shaping to take the catch with both hands; but the ball seemed to curve away from him, Rohit was left clutching at it with his left. Ponting grabbed the plank thrown to him and lived to fight on.

Ponting drove Ishant for two fours in the eighth over before he regained his trademark pull in the ninth. Pathan's first ball was short, Ponting rocked back, freed his arms and swung his bat in a powerful arc, swivelling his feet, and the ball was deposited in the stand behind midwicket.

The Australian captain went through a slowdown as the Indian slow bowlers made an impact; but when Symonds started bashing the ball, Ponting joined in and the tempo picked up.

Ponting had attempted to destroy his demons with a longish nets session before the game--later, he said that you don't lose your skills, accumulated with years of labour, when in a slump. On Sunday, he found faith and inspiration in the past--India must do something similar on Tuesday against Sri Lanka.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement