3rd ODI: India v Australia at Indore, 31 Mar 2001|
Steve Waugh (23) was caught by Tendulkar off the bowling of Ganguly, going for a lofted shot over long on for a six. Damien Fleming (9) was caught behind off Srinath as McGrath remained unbeaten on zero.
It has been a brilliant all round performance by the Indian team. We will be back with you shortly with a complete report on the day's play.
Adam Gilchrist who was in supreme form in the first fifteen overs was given a couple of extra lives; Ganguly and then later Dahiya dropping easy catches. Gilchrist did not last much longer though, swatting a full toss from Harbhajan Singh straight to Ganguly at mid-wicket, who did not make any mistake with the catch. Glichrist made 63 off 70 balls with the help of ten boundaries and a six.
Australia were reduced to 102/2 upon Gilchrist's dismissal and never really recovered, losing wickets at regular intervals. Ricky Ponting's nightmare with the bat doesn't seem to have an end. After making 23 runs he gave an easy return catch to Ajit Agarkar, trying to drive a rising ball on the up.
Wickets started to fall like nine pins in a bowling alley as Michael Bevan (7) was bowled off an inside edge by Harbhajan Singh. When things go wrong everything seems to go wrong, Andrew Symonds (5) was distinctly unlucky to be given out, caught behind off Agarkar. He was given out by the umpire after the ball brushed the pads on its way to the keeper.
Darren Lehmann (1) cannot blame his luck though, he slapped a short ball from Agarkar straight to Badani at point. Ian Harvey (1) was the seventh wicket to fall at 136, popping up an easy return catch to the off spinner, Harbhajan Singh. Agarkar and Harbhajan have done the maximum damage picking up three wickets each.
Gilchrist started cautiously and then got into his rhythm with a cracking square cut off the fifth ball of the second over bowled by Zaheer Khan. In the fourth over, Gilchrist played his favourite square cut off the last two balls, into the point fence.
Martyn played sensibly giving good support to Gilchrist, displaying his ability to punish the loose deliveries as he twice struck Srinath into the cover boundary in the fifth over. In the ninth over Martyn (19) was caught by Dahiya off the bowling of Srinath. Australia were reduced to 46/1 at that stage.
Ricky Ponting who has been struggling with his bat of late, started well by striking Khan to the cover fence. Gilchrist changed the complexion of the game by scoring 22 runs off the 12th over bowled by Khan. The first ball was thumped past mid-off for a four, the second ball was played back to the bowler, the third ball was sent soaring high and handsome over the long off fence, fourth ball was smashed through covers for four, fifth was pulled handsomely to the mid-wicket fence for four and the last ball was driven straight for four; the sequence being (4, 0, 6, 4, 4, 4)
In the 33rd over bowled by Martyn, Tendulkar struck three boundaries. The first was a delicate late cut to the third man fence, then a ferocious pull to the mid-wicket fence and the third was a glorious straight drive that went like a rocket. He launched an attack on the part time bowlers, Michael Bevan (2-0-23-0) and Symonds (4-0-37-0), as boundaries flowed from his bat. Tendulkar was the fifth batsman to be dismissed at the score of 279 in the 46th over, caught by Fleming off the bowling of McGrath, trying to pull a short rising delivery.
With the fall of Tendulkar's wicket, India lost its way and could add just another 20 runs, losing three more wickets in the process. McGrath bowled a brilliant spell to pick up three wickets; when he bowled Vijay Dahiya for a duck, he became the third Australian bowler to get to 200 ODI wickets. Dinesh Mongia (4) gave an easy return catch to McGrath.
Ajit Agarkar (1) who was trapped plumb in front of the wicket off a McGrath slower ball, only to be given in by the umpire, did not last long. He was soon trapped lbw by the wily Ian Harvey. Damien Fleming was easily the best of the Australian bowling, finishing with the most respectable figures of 10-1-34-2. It was Fleming who dismissed the terribly out of form Ganguly for a duck. The Indian skipper lasted only for 3 balls, giving an easy catch to Bevan, going for a big shot.
India owe their big score to Tendulkar and Laxman who put together 199 valuable runs in 29.4 overs. Laxman made 83 (88 balls, 6 fours) before being run out by Andrew Symonds. Laxman seems to have been flirting with run outs recently. It was another commanding knock from Laxman, which gets overshadowed by the brilliance of Tendulkar. Hemang Badani who scored a hundred in the second match looked set for another good score. He swung Shane Warne over long on for a huge six and had moved to 23 off 25 balls, when a mix up with Tendulkar cost him his wicket. He was easily run out by a direct throw from Gilchrist to the bowler's end.
There has been pyrotechnics with the bat too, as India surged to 157/1 in 30 overs. The partnership between VVS Laxman (61*) and Tendulkar (73*) has yielded 125 runs in 22.2 overs so far.
Tendulkar swept Warne past the keeper for a four to bring up his fifty in 66 balls. Soon Laxman brought up his half century by lofting Warne straight over the bowler's head for a one-bounce four. The batsmen have been forced to improvise a lot to accumulate runs against a competitive Australian bowling and fielding. Ian Harvey in particular bowled a brilliant tight spell of 7-0-31-0. Warne too has bowled better than his figures of 7-0-46-0 suggest.
Damien Martyn was brought into the attack in the 29th over and Tendulkar immediately got into the act; first guiding him through the slips for a cheeky boundary and then lofting the ball high to the long on fence for another four. Andrew Symonds too received some of the Tendulkar treatment, paddle swept to the fine leg fence for a four. Tendulkar has so far struck eight boundaries in his knock, while Laxman has cracked five fours.
In the fifth over bowled by McGrath, Tendulkar slashed one hard and the thick edge flew through the slips for four. Dravid stepped up the tempo by smashing a straight drive past the bowler for his third boundary. The batsmen were slowly taking control over the situation.
In the seventh over bowled by Fleming, Dravid (15) went for a big off drive, only to edge it through to Adam Gilchrist, who took the regulation catch. Dravid faced 34 balls and struck three boundaries in his brief stay at the crease. India lost their first wicket at 32.
Tendulkar opened out in the 12th over bowled by Fleming. He played a cracking square cut off the second ball to the fence and brought up the Indian fifty; the fifth ball was played on the rise through the covers for another boundary. Fleming did come back strongly as he beat Tendulkar all ends up, the ball missed the bat and the stumps on its way to the keeper.
VVS Laxman has hit a couple of boundaries so far in his unbeaten 12 off 21 balls. Tendulkar is looking good for a big one and is unbeaten on 30 off 37 balls.
India have made one change to the team that played in the second ODI; Sunil Joshi makes way for Ajit Agarkar. Saurav Ganguly who has had a wretched time with the bat is not opening today. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar will open the innings for India.
Australia have made a few changes to their side. Mark Waugh who has a fractured finger will miss out the remaining matches; Matthew Hayden and Nathan Bracken are being rested. Ricky Ponting, Ian Harvey and Shane Warne come into the side. Adam Gilchrist goes back to his opening spot and has a new partner in Damien Martyn.
With the series tied at 1-1, it promises to be a thrilling contest at Indore.
India: R Dravid, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, *SC Ganguly, HK Badani, D Mongia, +V Dahiya, AB Agarkar, J Srinath, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan
Australia: DR Martyn, +AC Gilchrist, MG Bevan, RT Ponting, DS Lehmann, *SR Waugh, A Symonds, SK Warne, IJ Harvey, DW Fleming, GD McGrath.
Umpires: V Chopra and K Hariharan TV Umpire: SJ Phadkar Match Referee: CW Smith (WI)
Date-stamped : 01 Apr2001 - 06:26