The much-awaited CB Series did not exactly got off to a flying start with the opening match between India and Australia played at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, being washed out by rain and thundershowers without any result on Sunday, 3 February 2008. There might have been a few relieved sighs as well when nature intervened to prevent India from another crunching defeat with Australia clearly dominating the proceedings of the day. Although the game was somewhat evened out when India managed to capture three Australian wickets for 51 runs after being bowled out for merely 194 runs earlier, still the advantage lay with Aussies who simply needed to stay on the crease to take the match home.
Earlier in the day, India won the toss and chose to bat but had an ominous start as both Sehwag and Tendulkar departed without making much of a contribution. The Youngsters took charge of the game from here onwards, as Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma started carving out a crucial third wicket partnership worth 65 runs and 12.5 overs. The maturity of this young Indian pair was exemplified in their stint on the crease marked by an intelligently balanced display of batting. It was just when there seemed to be a ray of hope in the tunnel for India that Johnson and Lee struck back to claim their wickets to make the scorecard read 93 runs for 4 wickets. Disaster followed in its wake, as India lost the wickets of Tiwary and Uthappa as well in quick succession, bringing Dhoni and Pathan on the field to take stock of the situation. Both of them played out with grit and passion whatever cameos they were destined to, before an unlikely slip form the young duo resulted in a grisly run-out for Pathan. In a characteristic display of cricketing spirit, Harbhajan and Dhoni put up the last acknowledged line of defense from the Indian side. The wall of defense, however, seemed too vulnerable to the sheer brilliance of Lee's pace, which brought an end to the stand by claiming both of the wickets in the 45th over. The Last wicket of Sreesanth went out in style as Hussey, Lee and Haddin came together to bring up another excellent run-out effort to bundle out India for 194 runs with 5 overs to spare in the innings.
Australia started off much in their usual belligerent fashion but soon the game changed complexion as Gilchrist and Hopes fell victim to the pace and swing of Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma. Soon, Sreesanth claimed the prized scalp of Ponting, which raised a few hopes for India, even as Aussies were comfortably placed to reach the non-competitive target put up by the Indian team. The game seemed to be alive with Michael Clarke and Symonds on the crease and the young Indian bowling brigade all charged up to avenge the Twenty20 defeat at the hand of Aussies when Rain played the perfect spoilsport and the game had to be put on hold before being declared drawn. The game ended without any result even as both of the sides were awarded 2 points each with Australia ending up at 51 runs for 3 wickets in 7.2 overs. Even as the opening match of the CB series turned out to be a non-starter in every sense, India had quite a few things to learn from the game, which might as well shock them out of any further complacency in the future matches.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012