4th ODI: India v Australia at Visakhapatnam, 3 Apr 2001
Anand Vasu

India innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, End of match,
Australia innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, End of innings,
Pre-game: Toss and teams,


While India were never in the game after losing quick wickets in the middle overs, Harbhajan Singh entertained the crowds with a spanking 46 as India went down by 93 runs. The five match series is now level at 2-2 with one match to play at Goa.

Australia had outplayed India with a superlative batting performance. At 149/7 India were well out of the game when Shane Warne scalped Vijay Dahiya. Harbhajan Singh, clattering the ball all over the park managed to hit his way to 46, falling just short of his' maiden one-day half century. Michael Bevan was at the receiving end of the best part of Harbhajan Singh's assault. Zaheer Khan with a 28-ball 29 (3 fours, 1 six) tried to match Harbhajan Singh (46 runs, 34 balls, 3 fours, 3 sixes) but fell short.

A comprehensive wrap up of the game will be up on the site shortly.


While the first 15 overs saw Tendulkar leading a spirited Indian response to the massive score Australia posted, the second 15 overs saw wickets fall in quick succession, India lose their way completely and Australia set their sights firmly on victory. At the end of the 30th over India were 139/5 and well out of the game, requiring 200 to win at a required run rate of 10 runs an over off the remaining 20 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar, after making 62 off just 38 balls, drove a ball from Nathan Bracken straight to Steve Waugh at short cover. VVS Laxman (11) was stumped when he played and missed a ball slanted down the leg side. Rahul Dravid (7) was caught and bowled by Shane Warne and Hemang Badani too did not last long. After playing one classic cover drive Badani (25) drove Steve Waugh into Shane Warne's hands at short cover. Sounds like a tiring procession of wickets? That's exactly what it was for the Indians.

The crowd went quiet at the stadium, batsmen's shoulders drooped and the game was all but over. India had lost four top order wickets and added just 55 runs in 15 overs. At 139/5 India have very little batting to follow. Vijay Dahiya, just at the crease had one run to his name while Robin Singh, prodding and poking rather inelegantly had 15.


If Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting were precise and efficient in keeping the run rate high, Sachin Tendulkar was strong, in-your-face and outright aggressive in his response. Chasing the massive target of 339, India managed to get off to a sizzling start despite the dour batting of the out of form Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly, going back to his original position at the top of the order was once more in trouble. Not specifically bothered by the short pitched ball, he fumbled his way to 9 off 36 balls, including his first boundary of the series. However, that was all he managed, driving one from Nathan Bracken straight to Shane Warne at short cover.

VVS Laxman watched Sachin Tendulkar blazing away from the pavilion for a time. After coming in too, all Laxman could do was watch as Tendulkar took the Australian attack to pieces. One sweetly timed straight drive is all Laxman could manage as Tendulkar, cut over the infield, flicked past the fielder at short fine leg, drove through covers… You name it, Tendulkar played the shot.

Glenn McGrath, usually on top of the batsmen found himself at the receiving end today and fell to pieces. Spraying the ball around, McGrath was wided more than once and took it upon himself to have a word or two with the umpire. Tendulkar too was not left alone, with McGrath going down the pitch and saying a few things to him as well.

As it turned out, Tendulkar's reply came from his extra heavy blade. Tendulkar struck the ball to the fence 11 times in making 62 not out off just 37 balls. VVS Laxman, unbeaten on 9, kept Tendulkar company as India reached 84/1 after 15 overs.


Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting had the kind of rivalry and competition that benefits any cricket team. The left and right combination irritated the Indians no end, causing them to move incessantly in the field. While the singles kept the fielders on their toes, that is something the Indians wouldn't have minded as much as the boundaries. Between them, they struck 21 boundaries and two sixes, boosting the scoring rate to very healthy levels. Hayden (111 runs, 113 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and Ponting (101 runs, 109 balls, 13 fours) put on a mammoth 219 for the second wicket in a period of 35.2 overs. Riding on the back of the efforts of the twin centurions, Australia posted a potentially match winning total of 338/4 in their allotted 50 overs. India, not completing 50 overs in the requisite time, might well be docked a few overs, and that will make an extremely difficult task that much harder.

It was Hayden who won the race to the three figure mark. Moving from 91 to 97 with a clean hit that cleared the ropes on the on side, Hayden managed to employ the sweep well and get to his century off 101 balls. Clearly overjoyed at his effort Hayden acknowledged the crowd's cheers, took his helmet off and kissed the Baggy Green badge. An emotional cricketer, Hayden has managed himself impeccably on this tour of India. Not getting into controversies like some of his team mates, Hayden has won over many admirers both with his efforts with the bat and simply by the way he has conducted himself.

Ricky Ponting was anxious to get to his century and that showed. Stuck on 99 for a few deliveries Ponting hit the ball cleanly, but straight to the fielder on more than one occasion. When the ball was on his pads and full the Tasmanian middle order bat managed to whip the ball through midwicket, registering his century from the 105th ball he faced. A relieved man, Ponting had finally made runs in proportion to his talent on this tour.

The relief however did not last long. Attempting to hit Ajit Agarkar right out of the ground Ponting sliced a ball straight up in the air. Sachin Tendulkar running back a few steps at mid off took a comfortable catch and Ponting (101 runs, 109 balls, 13 fours) was back in the pavilion.

Often, when a wicket falls after a large partnership, another one falls quickly. That was precisely what happened today. Ponting fell on 225 and 21 runs later Hayden was dismissed. Coming down the track to Harbhajan Singh, Hayden (111 runs, 113 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) missed a drive and was well down the wicket when Dahiya whipped the bails off.

Harbhajan Singh, who has tormented the visitors on this tour managed just the consolation wicket, conceding 58 runs off his 10 overs.

Steve Waugh (35) played a quick cameo before holing out to long on, trying to clear the ropes. Michael Bevan (43 not out, 41 balls) doing what he does best, played a busy innings, mixing clean hits with good running between the wickets. Shane Lee, coming in at the fall of Steve Waugh's wicket had very little opportunity to peddle his wares, scoring 25 off 11 balls.


The period between the 15th and 30th overs in most limited overs matches is used by teams to consolidate their position. When batsmen go berserk in the first 15 overs, when quick wickets or lost or when chasing a very tall score this sometimes does not happen. The Aussies today, batting first, and in an ideal position to post a big score and put pressure on the Indians went about pacing their innings with care. The batsmen in question, Matthew Hayden (batting 75, 87 balls 6 fours) and Ricky Ponting (83 batting, 91 balls, 9 fours), teamed up well to keep the scoreboard ticking over at a fast pace. Australia had a good platform to build on at 174/1 after 30 overs.

Ricky Ponting had a terrible time in the Test matches, averaging under four in the matches of longer duration. However, Steve Waugh backed him completely, saying that he was too good a player to miss out for a long spell. As the fourth one-dayer demonstrated, the Australian skipper's faith was not misplaced. Driving crisply through the line, Ponting concentrated on playing in the 'V' between mid off and mid on.

Matthew Hayden has grown tremendously as a cricketer on this tour of India. Harbhajan Singh, who has troubled all the Australian batsmen on this tour could not get through Hayden's defenses. Using the pace of the wicket well, Hayden turned the ball around the corner with regularity to defy the Indian bowlers.

The mediumpacers filling out the fifth bowler's slot – Robin Singh and Sourav Ganguly proved to be easy pickings for the well set batsmen. Ganguly was no ball prone while Robin Singh drifted down the leg side too often for his own good.


Steve Waugh did the right thing at the Indira Priyadarshini stadium at Vishakapatnam. On winning the toss, the Aussie skipper elected to bat first on a flat batting track. Bringing back the in form Matthew Hayden to the side, the Australians also fielded a stronger team than the one that lost the last one-dayer by 118 runs. Darren Lehmann misses out while Shane Lee and Nathan Bracken get a chance to have a go at the Indians. As it turned out, the first fifteen overs were all about Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting.

Adam Gilchrist, who played a blinder at Indore not four days ago found that his touch had deserted him. The Australian stumper spent just three minutes at the crease and managed to strike one boundary before falling to Javagal Srinath. Flashing hard at a ball just outside the off stump, Gilchrist found a well pitched ball, just short of a length, and rising on him too hot to handle. The attempted drive through the offside resulted in a thick outside edge. But wait, it was not all over yet. Vijay Dahiya, who had a mediocre game behind the stumps at Indore fumbled, palmed and dabbed at the ball before pouching it. Having dropped Gilchrist in the last game, the least Dahiya could do was hold on to a sitter here.

Gilchrist (6 runs, 5 balls, 1 four) failed to make an impression in the fourth one-dayer.

Hayden was at his calm best, mixing the ingredients of caution and aggression in just the right manner to serve up a dish that will upset the Indians' tummys. Clipping the ball around the park with a straight bat, Hayden seemed to know just where the gaps were in the field. Putting away the loose ball when it was on offer Hayden showed once more that he favoured the pull shot, putting away a Zaheer Khan short ball in style. Ricky Ponting, not enjoying his cricket in India to the fullest possible extent, began well on this occasion. Driving straight and with the full face of the bat, Ponting helped himself to 31 (40 balls, 4 fours) while Hayden motored on with 31 (45 balls, 2 fours) to his name. Australia were a steady if unsensational 74/1 after 15 overs.


Steve Waugh won the toss and did not hesitate in electing to bat first in the crucial fourth ODI being played at the Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Corporation Stadium. The pitch looks good for runs but might keep low towards the second half of the day. The outfield looks patchy and in a bad shape.

India have made just one change to their winning side from Indore. Dinesh Mongia gives way for the veteran Robin Singh, who is making a comeback into the Indian side.

Australia do realise the significance of this match; they have to win to keep their hopes alive in the series. The Aussies seem to have put the rotation system on the backburner. They are fielding the strongest team available from the 14 players they have in India. With Mark Waugh back in Australia with a broken finger, Matthew Hayden will have to produce yet another big knock. Darren Lehmann and Ian Harvey have been left out and Andrew Symonds is the 12th man. Allrounder Shane Lee comes into the Australian side for the first time in this series.

It is a hot and humid day in Vishakapatnam. There have been long queues lining up since early morning. Though the maximum capacity here at the Stadium is 24,000, we might as well see a crowd in excess of 35,000 by the afternoon.

India: *Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Hemang Badani, Robin Singh, + Vijay Dahiya, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, 12th man Yuvraj Singh

Australia:* Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden, + Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting, Michael Bevan, Shane Lee, Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming, Shane Warne, Nathan Bracken, 12th man Andrew Symonds

Umpires: Messrs GA Pratapkumar, SK Tarapore Third Umpire: Alok Bhattacharjee Match Referee: CW Smith

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Date-stamped : 04 Apr2001 - 06:25