November 4, 2013
India have beaten Australia by three matches to two in a closely contested ODI series. The batsmen dominated throughout, with scores of 350 becoming commonplace. In the last match in Bangalore, a record 38 sixes were hit in the game. A total of nine centuries were posted in the series, with Rohit Sharma becoming only the third player to record an ODI double ton, which included a record 16 sixes. At no time did any bowler on either side seem safe. The downtrodden breed may claim unfair fielding regulations, but their case is weakened somewhat if balls are so regularly clubbed out of the park. Maybe bats should be made smaller.
India won the last two games after the fourth and fifth matches were washed out by rain. In game 6 in Nagpur, India chased down 351 thanks to Virat Kohli (115 not out), Shikhar Dhawan (100) and Rohit (79) after George Bailey (156) and Shane Watson (102) had enabled Australia to set an imposing target. In game 7, India reached 383 – 6, after scoring a hundred in the last five overs. Australia made a game fight of the chase, with James Faulkner scoring 116, but ultimately fell 57 runs short.
As the Australians depart, India is clearing the decks for celebrations to mark Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from the international stage. His 200th and last test will take place in his home city of Mumbai. First though, we have the warm-up act – the 199th in Kolkata. Indians are saying, “This is not the Diwali festival. This is Sachin festival.”
Preparations for The Ashes in Australia are under way. England have drawn their first tour match in Perth against a Western Australia Chairman’s XI. Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott have established some early season form by scoring hundreds, but the three tall pace men, Steven Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett – competing for the third seamer slot in the test side, were clubbed for a total in excess of 300 in their 60 combined overs. Welcome to Australia, boys. Off the field, the war of words is hotting up, with Shane Warne the latest to take a pop at the visitors and, in particular, their captain Alastair Cook.
It is one all in the five match ODI series between Pakistan and South Africa. In game 1, with just 19 needed in 55 balls with six wickets in hand, Pakistan managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, falling just one run short. They made amends in game 2, after defending just 209. Unlike in India, it is the bowlers who are dominating proceedings.
Following two sterile test matches where bat dominated ball, Bangladesh have completed a clean sweep in the three game ODI series at home to New Zealand. Bangladesh will be heartened at establishing dominance, for the first time, over an established cricket nation.
The Scoop 04/11/13