India thundered its way to a hurricane 5-wicket win against Australia in the 4th ODI played at MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) on Sunday, February 10, 2008. Choosing to reply all the criticisms and inanities thrown its way with an unassuming class in the field, Team India rose to the occasion and displayed its subtle best in a non-starter of a cricketing contest. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, in its characteristic fashion, but what followed was most uncharacteristic of a formidable side.
Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden would have spared little thought to the prospect of two Indian youngsters dismissing them in such a cursory manner, as they were. Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma ripped apart the famed Aussie batting line-up with their cursed pace and swing with such swiftness which swept critics off their feet. To begin with, Gilchrist was caught dead in front of the wickets by Sreesanth followed by a deceptive nick off Ishant capitulated into a marvelous catch by Dhoni to send Hayden back to the dressing room. With each wicket, the shrewdness and agility of the unusual bowling duo kept improving and yet again, Ponting succumbed to his new found nemesis in the form of Ishant, as Tendulkar did the honours by taking an excellent catch to dismiss the Aussie skipper.
Clarke and Symonds also became victims of a disdainful underestimation of the Indian bowling attack. It was only Hussey who took stock of the situation as the Aussie scorecard read 75 runs for 5 wickets and took up the responsibility to anchor the innings, as Aussies are considered adept at doing. But this time around, things looked a little different, as he could not find any substantial support from the other end which could perhaps see Australia through this rough phase. The Indian dressing room went up in cheers each time they capitalized an opportunity as Australia was bundled out at 159 runs in merely 43.1 overs with Hussey remaining unbeaten at 65. Indian innings was not a dream one, to say the least, but Indian batsmen displayed enough guts to stave off the persistently stubborn efforts of Australian pace and spin attack to make for a commendable performance. Sehwag was the first one to depart in his usual fashion with Bracken doing some serious damage followed Tendulkar and Pathan who succumbed to an excellent spell form Johnson, though little Maestro remained just shy of a half century in the effort. Gambhir started off seriously, living upto his name but could notr face the pressure for long as Lee claimed his wicket in his trademark aggressive style, Yuvraj, once again turned out to be a non-starter as Clark dismissed him with a disdain. It was the unlikely duo of Rohit Sharma and Dhoni which saw India through the late midway jitters and helped India score a historic win at the MCG ground against the home side after no less than 22 years.
India scored 160 runs to seal the match with the winning run coming off a wide which only added to the unusual nature of the culmination. With this result balancing out quite a few unevens against the world champion side, India must be thinking about not getting complacent again in this series to come up with positive results on a greater scale, while Australia learnt a few lessons in giving its due respect to a young and dynamic cricketing side.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012