It was disappointing to note that Team India fell short of perfect ten and thereby missed an opportunity to win 10 ODIs on the trot for the first time. Thus we joined select band of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in that category to go without a perfect ten. Virat Kohli can term the defeat as inconsequential, but it was not a great batting effort also to lose by 21 runs after winning the series 3-0 in the first three outings. Thus the captain predicting no stoppage after going through a clean sweep in the first game and the momentum failed to continue at Bengaluru. Facing a huge total the team failed to put up a still close fight to show their supremacy in our backyard. Rain interrupted game for some time just like in Chennai but still we were two runs behind Australia at the time of the break. The team without Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneskumar and Jasprit Bumrah lacked the penetration and succumbed to the pressure. David Warner hit a run a ball hundred to set the KSCA stadium on fire with a whirlwind stand of 231 in 35 overs with Bruce Finch (94). But it was young Peter Handscomb propped the score beyond 310 with big hitting, which ultimately turned the tables. Indian pace bowling lacked penetration and conceded too many runs, whereas Aussie pacemen had good measure and defended the total very well. Rahane-Rohit stand failed to prosper beyond 100 and the latter got run out to give the visitors an opening. Pandya, Jadhav and Pandey cameo could not create a stir as others followed him perished meekly giving Australian team its first win and broke the sequence of India’s winning spree.
Thus David beats Goliath riding David Warner’s century and gave some respect to a beleaguered Aussie side. They played without a plan from Chennai and paid heavy price for complacency. Had the revised target achieved with same application in the first ODI, the series would have reached an interesting stage by now and the final game at Nagpur will be a deciding factor. It appeared really impossible when ex-captain and tagged finisher was cleaned up by Richardson. The end was in sight and the jam packed stadium was slowly getting emptied as wickets fell in a heap. From 4 for 286 runs, four wickets fell in the space of 27 runs and the expected loss followed. Kohli failed to Coulter-Nile as in the past and it reminds the way the captain was squared by Anderson in the India-England series on regular basis. The Indian fielding wilted under pressure to perform and the bowling lacked the usual penetration on a placid track. Batting was good only in patches and vice captain Rohit Sharma got run out in a mix up and the Mumbai batsmen proved lazy once again. It is time to avoid frequent changes in the bowling line up and instead the batting can be rotated to find the correct set of batsmen for occupying the top order. In all it was a lesson for complacency as we were too over confident.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)