2019 Cricket World Cup – Australia v India: Simply out-classed

It was like it was summer again.


The cricket would come on. India would pile on runs with a newfound confidence. Openers would craft Starc, Cummins and co around the ground, building on a steady partnership that King Kohli would capitalise on. Then Bumrah would prove unstoppable, our batsmen having no clue against the wily spinners who followed the unorthodox pace dynamo. With Warner and Smith back, it wasn’t meant to happen anymore. But the brilliant Indians proved they are the real deal, and perhaps the favourites for the tournament.


The game was on to be taken control of early, and it was a wise old combo of batsmen who did the job. Against some fiery balls from Starc and Cummins, Dhawan and Sharma managed to get through the tough first spell while ticking the scoreboard over. There were no chances given, but it felt like the Aussies had them reigned in on a tight leash.


Suddenly it changed. Towards the end of the opening spell the Indian batsmen found it easier. When Coulter-Nile and Zampa were introduced, they exploded. With an ease that harked back to the Australian summer, the Aussie bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Dhawan had found his spark, Sharma was enjoying piling on runs. The evenness of India’s batting line up was shown when Sharma was the first to go, leaving Dhawan to make the century this time.


King Kohli then strode out, the fire in his eyes eternally stoked whenever facing the Aussies. Like always, he wasn’t going to let this side off the hook. Precise drives, angry cut shots and a stoic hook let him bound along, comfortably scoring at a run a ball while Dhawan and then Pandya exploded.


They ran hard between wickets and never looked like going out. Kohli sped along to 82 before falling to Stoinis trying to smack the ball to Scotland. Pandya’s whirlwind 48 off 37 balls was ended by an exhausted Cummins, before Stoinis struck again to remove Dhoni and give the Aussies a minute chance of stemming the flow. It was all too little too late. The Indians had chalked up 352 and couldn’t be stopped. With Bumrah twiddling his thumbs in the dressing room, demons of the past year would need to be suddenly overcome for Australia to have any type of chance.


The chase was done and dusted ten overs in.

Despite not losing a wicket and being similar to the Indians in terms of run rate, something just didn’t feel right. Australia didn’t boast the heavy hitting line up that India have, so they had to get out in front early and fight tooth and nail to stay there. A large part of this was on Warner, whose usual bullish nature seemed unsure and unwilling to take risks. He spluttered along to a half century that was beneficial for him long term but debilitating for Australia’s chances in this encounter. Unlike Dhawan, who just flourished the more he stayed out there, Warner was desperately searching for some spark but never found it.


India’s bowlers had a field day – Bumrah didn’t have to shoulder the load as Kumar and their clever spinners all fired. Smith was anchoring the innings once more, but his 69 wasn’t as impressive as his knock against the West Indies due to the need to up the ante. Khawaja played solidly, but our top order looked shockingly one-paced without Warner’s dynamic attack. Maxwell came in and tried to bump up the score, his cameo proving entertaining and frustrating, so a typical Maxwell innings. The only batsman who showed suitable dare and talent was Carey, whose 55 off 35 balls was ultimately only a consolation prize for a 36-run loss. He should definitely be batting higher – he has the potential to be a De Kock type asset to Australia.


The Indians now appear to be favourites after England’s stumble against Pakistan. They have such a well-balanced team, and are star-studded (Test keeper Pant hasn’t even made the team). If Bumrah is ably supported by Kumar and spinners, then their bowling outfit is scary and versatile. With Virat, Sharma and Dhoni littering their batting order, they will always be a danger. So it’s not panic stations for Australia, perhaps just a reality check so that they can build form and nous for bigger games.


India – 5/352 (50 overs)

Dhawan 117 (109 balls)                                                        Stoinis 2/ 62 (7 overs)

Kohli 82 (77)                                                                          Cummins 1/ 55 (10)

Sharma 57 (70)                                                                      Coulter-Nile 1/ 63 (10)


Australia – 316 all out (50 overs)

Smith 69 (70)                                                                         Kumar 3/ 50 (10)

Warner 56 (84)                                                                      Bumrah 3/ 61 (10)

Carey 55* (35)                                                                       Chahal 2/ 62 (10)



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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