With just one week before the most-awaited World Cup game (India Vs. Pakistan), team India’s losing streak continues. After a four month long tour of Australia, team is yet to taste a victory. So was the case today against Australia in a World Cup warm-up match in Adelaide.
David Warner and Glenn Maxwell struck blistering centuries as Australia flexed their batting muscles to expose defending champion India’s bowling limitations. Opting to bat first, Australia piled up 371 in 48.2 overs and bowled out India for 265 in a dominant display to explain why they are being considered as favorites for the World Cup.
Warner set the tempo for the first half of the Australian innings with a 80 balls century. And Maxwell accelerated later, reaching his hundred from just 53 balls – the second 50 coming from only 19 deliveries. Maxwell rushed on to 122, retiring after hitting three consecutive sixes to Umesh Yadav in a 27 run huge over.
India had a scare when Mohammad Shami left the field with a split webbing but returned soon after to resume bowling. India bowled well enough late in the innings to prevent Australia reaching 400 (not to forget Maxwell Retired himself otherwise the kind of form that he was displaying 450 was always on cards 😀 ). After his savage welcome at Warner’s hands, Shami recovered strongly to dismiss George Bailey (44), Mitchell Johnson (19) and Pat Cummings (5) to finish with 3-83.
Australian Super-hero Maxwell, after his knock said, “It’s nice to be hitting the ball really well coming to a massive tournament like this. One more practice to go and then hopefully I hit the tournament running with lots of runs and in a good head space.”
Their batting on a good track could not offer much relief, however, with only Shikhar Dhawan (59), Ajinkya Rahane (66) and Ambati Rayudu (53) managing to impress. Batting mainstay, Virat Kohli dragged a Mitchell Starc delivery onto his stumps and the Australian nonchalantly took a one-handed blinder on the edge of the boundary to dismiss India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a golden duck. While Rahane and Dhawan were together, in a 104-run partnership for the third wicket, India were scoring at just behind the run rate needed to threaten Australia’s total.
But, when both were out within 15 runs between the 25th and 29th overs, India’s challenge faltered. India captain MS Dhoni suffered the indignity of a first-ball duck caught by Mitchell Starc from the bowling of Pat Cummins, one ball after Suresh Raina was run out, to effectively end India’s bid for a drought-breaking win. Ambati Rayudu made 53 as India’s last hope but he was out at 254-8 in the 42 over, with 118 still needed for victory.
Dhoni said he was still looking for the final 11 players for next Sunday’s tournament opener against Pakistan. “It’s a very long tournament and what we have seen is the team that does well is the one that comes from the bottom and slowly picks up momentum,” he added.