A colossal clash between to powerhouse nations took place between India and Australia. This game was a massive one for both countries and was a chance to make a statement going forward.
India definitely were the ones to make the statement, Australia conceded their highest score in Cricket World Cup history.
India Show The Aussies Just How To Bat
The world famous Oval was treated to a spectacular game between two definite title contenders. A pitch that was expected to be flat and get slower as the game went on never seemed to have threatened the Indian Captain Virat Kohli as he opted to bat first. That decision proved successful in the opening overs as Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma played Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc with ease. The Australian bowlers struggled and the pitch never helped either, they struggled to get any movement whatsoever. The openers both reached their half centuries with ease. Rohit Sharma scores a 70 ball 57 but what was surprising about his departure was how sudden it was – he reached his half century without a hitch but then edged a short ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile.
That didn’t affect Dhawan as he then just put on another partnership with Kohli. Dhawan led the line and was nothing short of sensational after scoring a well deserved 117. Kohli was great company in the middle, he helped take a lot of strain off Dhawan as well and scored 82 of 77 balls. When Dhawan was dismissed one might of thought this would be the turn around for Australia but that was not the case, Hardik Pandya came in on fire. He smashed an entertaining 48 off just 27 balls and helped India post an challenging 352-5.
Aussies Struggle In Big Chase
Australia struggled to get going through their innings, runs were extremely hard to come by. This was evident through David Warner who is known for his big hitting. He struggled to 56 off 86 balls. Australia could not go for any big shots which left them behind the eight ball and the run rate continued to climb. The opening pair of Warner and Finch managed to stay in for 13 overs but by this point the run rate was extremely high. Finch tried to get going but it proved to be his demise as he was run out on 36.
Just Not Good Enough
Steve Smith came to the crease and tried to stabilize the innings but the more they tried not to lose wickets the harder scoring became. Smith managed to score 69 before Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped him lbw. Usman Khawaja came in tried to play the unorthodox role of being a big hitter. It worked for him for a while when he scored 42, but he played one big shot too many and played the ball onto his stumps. At this point the score seemed nearly impossible to get, despite the best efforts of Alex Carey who scored a quick fired 55.
What This Means
This is a huge step forward for India for the rest of the tournament, most teams will now fear them even more. They have peaked at the perfect time and are looking very dangerous. Australia need to use this game as a lesson and see what they can do better going forward, especially if they have to chase a high total.