Aussies put acid back on Indians
AUSTRALIA gave India a little taste of the torture they’ve been going through for the last nine months when they pulled off a stunning victory at the SCG last night.
Slammed relentlessly both on and off the field since the ball tampering scandal, the Australians showed how quickly fortunes change when the blowtorch is taken off them and turned on their opponents.
But before Australia gets too carried away, World Cup winners Shane Warne and Mark Waugh have called for Glenn Maxwell to be immediately promoted up the order after the Aussies almost blew the deal .
Australia pinched the series opener by 34 runs after an inspired bowling performance by rookie paceman Jhye Richardson (4/26) and debutant quick Jason Behrendorff (2/39), but almost threw it all away until Maxwell took a catch in the deep to remove the dangerous Rohit Sharma (133).
Maxwell faced just five deliveries himself after coming to the crease in the 48th over, batting at No. 7 and while he made a quick 11 not out, everyone was left guessing what he could have got if he’d only been given more time.
“Maxwell should have faced more than five balls in a oneday international. He’s so dangerous,” Warne told Fox Cricket. Waugh, also commentating on Fox Cricket, agreed with his former teammate. “I don’t know about this batting order,” he said.
Australia’s middle-order all made runs, but none went on to make the really big score that Sharma showed was possible when you take a few calculated risks.
Peter Handscomb (73), Usman Khawaja (59), Shaun Marsh (54) and Marcus Stoinis (47 not out) ensured their own survival for now at a time when self-preservation is the order of the day amid the constant chopping and changing of selections.
Australia didn’t hit a six until the 44th over and finished with just four for the entire innings, while Sharma cleared the ropes for India six times himself after MS Dhoni made a pedestrian 51 off 96 balls to encapsulate India’s fall from race after the top-order collapsed.
Just a week ago, Virat Kohli’s men were dancing a jig on the same hallowed turf, but are now embroiled in their own firestorm.
Two Indian players, allrounder Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul, have already been suspended for making sexist remarks about women on a TV chat show that was aired at home.
The comments, which included boasts about having sex with multiple women, have been greeted with outrage in a country already dealing with massive protests about the way women are treated in India.
Indian cricket officials have been accused in the past of being too lenient towards star players who have stepped out of line, but have acted swiftly this time by booting the pair out of the squad for the current series in Australia and the forthcoming ODI tour of New Zealand.
They’ve also ordered them to get on the first plane home to face charges of misconduct and indiscipline.
India’s skipper moved quickly to distance himself from his disgraced team-mates, condemning their actions.
Kohli didn’t think the controversy would affect his remaining players, but not even he could lift their spirits as they struggled to rediscover their cocky swagger against a desperate Australian team that knows all too well how quickly things can fall apart.