More overpowered than out-manoeuvered

Australia simply overpowered India; as such, there was little show of any of the tactical manoeuvring required to accomplish victory. What was visible, however, was a difference in the way the two captains operated. Australia had made good progress in the opening 10 overs, but M.S. Dhoni did not bring on R. Ashwin immediately, when he could perhaps have made a difference. He held him back and instead introduced Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja ahead of him.

Ashwin eventually came on in the 18th over, by which time Aaron Finch had faced 48 balls and Steve Smith 47. Both were fairly comfortable. The off-spinner would prove to be India’s most economical bowler, finishing with figures of one for 42. In contrast, Clarke brought on Josh Hazlewood for a second spell at once, after James Faulkner had bled 29 runs in his first two overs.

Hazlewood struck in the very first over of his second spell, dismissing Dhawan, and his next over was a maiden to Virat Kohli. There were no ideas in Clarke’s mind about saving him for later. It is easy to point this out in hindsight, and there is no saying how Ashwin may have performed had he come on to bowl sooner.

But, letting him have a go at Smith and Finch earlier in their innings could not have hurt. — Sports Bureau

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 8:19:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/more-overpowered-than-outmanoeuvered/article7036909.ece

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