Except in the first 10 overs of their innings, Australia kept the massive one lakh-plus crowd mostly silent as their skipper Pat Cummins had promised a day ago, by curtailing India’s scoring in the ICC World Cup final here in Ahmedabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium through fielding and rotating seven bowlers with short spells to keep the batsmen confused.
India were bowled out for 240 in exactly 50 overs.
Eighty runs flowed into India’s kitty in the first 10 overs thanks mainly to skipper Rohit Sharma (47 off 31 balls), but the cascade was reduced to a trickle as part-time bowlers and skipper Pat Cummins came into play. Cummins’s first spell of five overs was taken for just 16 runs and realised the wicket of Shreyas Iyer (4).
Rohit had fallen in the 10th over, through a catch at cover by Head running and diving with back to the batsman off Glenn Maxwell’s bowling. The skipper had provided the start he has been giving through the tournament.
But hopes of the latter batsmen building on it like earlier were dashed as Australia did not allow the Indians get a hang of the pace by mixing bowlers so much that the likes of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, who took 88 balls to bring up their half-century partnership for the fourth wicket, struggled to get a boundary for 16 overs at one point in the middle phase.
While Australian bowlers did not concede boundary balls, the fielders restricted the India batsmen from taken doubles as skipper Pat Cummins brought on the likes of Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head along with his regular bowlers for spells as short as one or two overs.
After 80 in the first 10, India realised just 17 in the next five. While Kohli (54 off 63) went at decent pace, helped by a quick start in powerplay, reaching his 50 in 56 balls, Rahul (66 off 107) struggled and waited for opportunities, of which none came.
Just as Kohli and Rahul began looking to increase the run rate, the former played on to his stumps a ball rising from the length by Cummins (2/34), who kept almost all his deliveries away from the middle of the bat.
Following Kohli’s dismissal just after the team crossed 150, Jadeja was caught behind to leave India at 178/5 in the 36th over. Rahul was caught behind in the 42nd over, just after the team crossed 200 and it was then left to the tail and Suryakumar Yadav to take India as far as possible.
The Aussie bowlers conceded 35 between 10 and 20 overs; 37 between 20 and 30; 45 between 30 and 40; and 43 in the last 10, capping off a recovery from the early onslaught that seemed to be taking India to 300.