By Sanjay Ganjoo
Mohali: Oct 18, 2013
On a high after a sensational performance in Jaipur, a supremely confident India will look to keep the momentum going with another dominating display when they take on a shell-shocked Australian team in the third cricket ODI in Mohali on Saturday.
After registering the second highest run-chase in the history of limited-overs cricket, the Indian team would not like to settle for anything less than an overwhelming win at the PCA Stadium Saturday.
As for George Bailey‘s Australia, the quicker they get over the disappointment of that defeat, better it will be as this Indian team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s stewardship can decisively seize the momentum from the visitors.
To chase a target of 360 inside 44 overs requires a Herculean effort, and the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have now proved that no target in the world is safe when they come out all guns blazing against the opposition.
Three immensely talented batsmen have completely different areas of strength but what binds the troika together is their ability to give it back to the opposition as good as they get.
Dhawan’s 95 in Jaipur was all about brute power and taking the opponents by the scruff of their neck. Rohit’s 141 had the silken grace that has always been associated with this wristy Mumbaikar.
Kohli’s innings was all intimidation as he showed why he was turning out to be one of the premier batsmen in limited-overs format. His 52-ball 100 had everything. Skill, power, artistry all of which goes into the making of a brilliant cricketer.
As rival skipper Bailey had aptly pointed out at the post-match press conference in Jaipur that the Indian batting’s top seven is wonderful to have in ODI format.
After a disappointing first match, the remarkable comeback would have certainly helped the Indians rejuvenate as they would like to go for the kill on another placid Punjab Cricket Association Stadium wicket which is expected to be full of runs.
For Dhawan, it will be like homecoming of sorts as it all started at this very venue with a smashing Test century on debut.
The only worrying factor for Team India is its bowling which has conceded a whopping 864 runs in 120 overs so far (T20 match included) at a pathetic economy rate of 7.20 overs.
Both have been dismal with the ball as they have failed to contain the run flow. Despite a heartbreaking loss, a positive aspect of this Australian team has been its batting which has fared well in all three matches.
The Aussie bowlers would have never have imagined the thrashing they would get after having bowled some really fast stuff in the first one dayer at Pune.
Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson were taken to the task by the Indian openers while none of the visiting team bowlers could escape the fury of Kohli’s long blade.
In all, it will again be a battle between immense talent of the Indians and the gutsy attitude of the Aussies.