Symonds and Lee lead Aussies to victory
It doesn’t seem to matter much to Australia as they scotched talk the newly-crowned Twenty20 champions were a match for them with a 47-run victory at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium today.
Allrounder Andrew Symonds (89 off 67 balls) continued to take out his anger on the home side with a brutal knock as Australia posted an insurmountable 7-290 off 50 overs.
Yuvraj Singh (121 off 115 balls) played a wonderful innings in reply but his spectacular century was in vain as the Australian attack led by Brett Lee restricted the hosts to 243 from 47.3 overs.
It gave Australia a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series.
There were none of the fiery showdowns witnessed at Tuesday’s match in Cochin with both sides heeding the warnings of match officials not to repeat the antics of the highly-charged affair.
But then again the main instigator Shantha Sreesanth had little reason to get too cheeky after conceding 30 runs off his first four wicket-less overs.
In the hysteria following their Twenty20 success, there has been talk in India they were ready to conquer the reigning World Cup holders.
However they have been comprehensively defeated in two of the first three matches with the other contest being washed out in Bangalore.
India have only tasted victory once in their last 10 one-day matches at home against Australia.
Symonds earlier scored his last 39 runs off 17 balls, handing part-time spinner Yuvraj a taste of his own medicine by peeling 16 runs from the final three balls of an over.
The powerful Queenslander didn’t just restrict his punishment to the Indian team with one of his five sixes believed to have collected a fan in the head.
Having scored 87 in Cochin, he will still be a little frustrated to fall short again of a hundred having been so public in expressing his desire to take down the Indian side.
Matthew Hayden (60) handed Australia a flying start in overcast conditions and Michael Clarke (59) paced the innings during the middle overs.
The Indian spinners led by Harbhajan Singh (0-38 off 10 overs) put the brakes on the Australian during the middle stages, the hot-headed tweaker this time letting his bowling do the talking following his mid-week spray on the tourists.
In reply, pace duo Lee (3-37 off 8 overs) and Mitchell Johnson (2-51 off 10) put on a masterclass in seam bowling to reduce the Indians to 3-13, their pace and accuracy in the humid conditions proving too much for the top order.
Yuvraj and Sachin Tendulkar (43) survived the opening assault and as the ball stopped swinging around, moved the score to 108 before the little master tried to make room and was bowled by spinner Bad Hogg.
Yuvraj played a brilliant hand but he had some stiff competition in the entertainment stakes with the crowd splitting their focus between him and local movie star Chiranjeevi in the stands at times.
Wannabe Bollywood star Lee then put Australia back in control by having the dangerous Mahendra Dhoni (33 off 37 balls) caught behind.
James Hopes (1-43 off 10 overs), who showed once again he belonged at the top level, dismissed youngster Rohit Sharma four runs later and at 6-176, the Indians were all but done.
However Yuvraj powered past 100 and raised local hopes of an unlikely win before Johnson uprooted his middle stump.
The Indians appear to be much like the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium itself.
Despite hosting its first international match two years ago, it is still very much under construction.
The next match is in Chandigarh on Monday.