Coming up with a phenomenally diminutive cricketing performance, Indian team fell apart like a pack of cards to lose the sole Twenty20 International match played against Australia by no less than 9 wickets at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, February 1, 2008. The Twenty20 fiasco came as an eye opener to the skipper and the team authorities who chose a young and largely inexperienced team to take on the Aussies in what was considered more of a practice match than anything else.
India won the toss to begin with and chose to bat but was soon faced with the prospect of being bundled out in less than 10 overs when wickets started falling all around like ripe pineapples. Irfan Pathan was the only Indian batsman to be able to hold his own in the midst of chaos and managed to reach double figures which seemed like an achievement in itself when one considers the performance of the team as a whole. Virender Sehwag was the first victim of what could be described as nothing less than a brutal massacre of the cricketing kind, succumbing to a brilliant run-out effort from Clarke. Both established and inexperienced batsmen in the Indian line-up fauiled to come up with any substantial efforts which could make it something of a contest. It was only Irfan Pathan who tried to anchor the innings with his cameo but with wickets falling regularly at the other end, ultimately he too succumbed to the immense pressure as India was bundled out for the second-worst ever Twenty20 cricket score of 74 runs in 17.3 overs.
By the time Australia came in to bat, the writing on the wall was only too clear to be ignored and nothing short of a miracle was needed on India's part to turn the things other way round. Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke got right away to the task and played out their repertoire of shots untroubled. Nothing seemed to be working India's way when suddenly Gilchrist was caught deep in the field by Gambhir off an excellent piece of bowling by the Indian debutant Praveen Kumar which proved to be the sole bright spot in the Indian performance for the day. Soon after that, Michael Clarke and Brad Hodge were surging towards one of the biggest Twenty20 victories that Australia has achieved so far. In merely 11.2 overs, Australia won the match by a stupendous 9-wicket margin. It must have felt something of an achievement to defeat the Twenty20 world champions in their game even though they failed to set the standards this time around. Irrespective of the result of this unusual contest, both of the teams can look ahead to the upcoming Commonwealth Bank ODI series and make the most of their advantages to establish their superiority in the most popular format of the game.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012