Getting into the 2nd T20I match, after a thumping win in Dhoni’s home town Ranchi over Aussies, India was full of confidence. David Warner, the stand-in captain for the remaining two matches in the series called the toss rightly and put India into bat on a pretty damn Guwahati wicket.
As aggressive as anyone in the sporting world, he wanted his bowlers to have a go at Indian batsmen when the ball was new and hard. And the bowlers responded to their captain’s call.
Jason Paul Behrendorff – The Tall Lethal Swing Bowler
It’s very rare to see such a deadly combo: a really tall bowler who could swing prodigiously around 140 km/h. His height reminded of the problems Mohammed Irfan gave us when India faced him for the first time in an ODI. His swing especially the in-swing reminded of the struggle, we always had against Mohammed Aamir both in Asia cups and the recent Champions Trophy final. It is not coincidental that they are our neighbors and from Pakistan, since they produce the best fast bowlers in the subcontinent.
Jason was a combo of both, which made it awkward for guys of normal height like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey. The only person who played him well was Kedhar Jadhav since he was short he could convert the good length balls into short balls and hit it for boundaries.
All being right handers made it that much more difficult to play the booming in-swing which he extracted out of the Guwahati pitch. The problem Rohit Sharma has with the moving ball, which is well documented, Mohammed Aamir claiming him humpty number of times. Jason exploited that to begin with, Virat had an unfortunate dismissal when the inner edge lobbed up brushing the pads and soon Pandey fell with his awkward poke outside off- stump.
It was such a splendid spell which broke the back of the Indian batting in the first powerplay.
Jason Behrendorff finished the match winning spell of 4/21 in 4 overs. He was rightly adjudged ‘Man of the Match’ for a frolicking spell.
Warner – The Aggressive Captain
There is so much to like about Warner in the last 18 months, his transformation both as a batsman and a leader especially for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The leader in him was so evident yesterday when he went for the throat of Indians without giving us an inch. He was so much in search of wickets he finished Jason’s quota of 4 overs within first 7 overs. The idea of wickets first, actually saved the Aussies yesterday because the Indian batting lineup cannot be contained with.
Once they see off the first six overs, they go hell for the leather, which has been the strategy for a number of years even in ODI’s. He took an important catch dismissing Shikhar Dhawan running from mid-off to long-off covering nearly 30 metres in sprint and taking a backward running catch. It was simply brilliant and the way he celebrated looking after the Assamese crowd with passion and vigor says how much it means for him to represent Australia and to win for the country. He could really challenge Steve Smith for the permanent T20I captain for Australia soon. Well done Skipper!
India’s Usage of DRS needs a Review – For Sure!
After getting steamrolled for just a paltry 118, India did start well by claiming Warner and Finch in quick succession. The way Bhuvneshwar led the attack was very impressive all the top four struggled against him. India had momentum at that point, with two new batsmen Travis Head and Moses Henriques, struggling at the crease poking for survival. At that point, Bhuvi with his tail up bowled a peach of a delivery to induce an edge from Moses Henriques bat. Virat Kohli, in the covers, along with Bhuvi, was pretty confident with the nick but Dhoni wasn’t sure about it and hence they decided against it.
It was an important moment in the match with the score just 24/2 in 4.4 overs. The only person in the current Australian team who has a better defensive play was Moses. If he would have fallen, that would have brought Glenn Maxwell who is already having a horrendous tour till now, and probably playing for his place in ODI’s and Ashes. The inexperienced and the brittle middle order which is already struggling with wrist spin could have been exposed. Unfortunately, the review wasn’t called correctly and for India that proved costly when you are just defending 118. Australia won the game but it’s yet to convince, they are going to win again in this tour. Bring on the last and the third T20I! India had an off-day but credit to Aussies!