One day internationals are like poos. Over the course of a year there are so many that they become meaningless and inconsequential, yet every so often one occurs that is so incredible that it is destined to be remembered for a hell of a long time. Wednesday’s second ODI was like the dump you have when you get home from a music festival, or one after a night on the beer following a week of being constipated. India’s batting was wall-clenchingly, breathtakingly, porcelain-stainingly brilliant.
Basically, everyone scored runs, but some scored more runs than others. George Bailey, who at this rate will by Christmas be more popular chez 51allout than Jacinta Stapleton, top-scored for Australia with 92, but all their top five made it to 50. Glenn Maxwell made his annual contribution, before being comically run out. In a nutshell, Australia’s 359/5 was impressive, even against a bowling attack featuring Ishant Sharma, but not as impressive as the pictures of Jacinta Stapleton you can find online.
But if one team are going to make chasing 360 easy, it is India. After misfiring at Pune, the openers set up a large platform (176 from 26.1 overs) on which Virat Kohli could build the match-winning innings. Rohit Sharma batted through for 141, but it was Kohli’s 100 (India’s quickest in ODIs) that secured victory in such an easy manner, i.e. with 39 balls remaining. The pitch clearly wasn’t conducive to low-scoring and Australia seemed to bowl fairly badly (certainly worse than in the first game), but India were far too strong. Even if Brad Haddin had taken the sole chance offered, it would just have bought Kohli to the crease sooner. As shits go, this was a good one.
We could probably just reword what we said after the first: if India’s batsmen perform as they ought to, then they will triumph, even if they persist with selecting Ishant Sharma. We should mention too that most of their bowlers were a bit rank at Jaipur, including Ravi Ashwin who really ought to be be controlling the run-rate.
It’s hard to know where Australia can turn to, considering their XI for both games seem to be the best available. Let’s not forget that they won at Pune and scored more than 350 in Jaipur, which is probably more than anyone predicted, even Darren Lehmann. The mental scars from such a defeat might be severe though; Bailey and the management need to get the team focussed on what they’ve done well rather than what India achieved.