This review will be in disjointed point-form set out in rough temporal order from my observation point alongside Justin Labrooy in the middle layer of Riverbank Stadium at a spot behind long-off.
A = It was a sweltering hot day and the Adelaide Oval was not even one/fifth occupied when the match commenced with Australia having chosen to bat.
B = Australia progressed steadily in the opening stages though Finch was bowled in his customary manner by Bhuvneshwar Kumar; while Jadeja swept onto a punch in the covers and ran out Khawaja with a direct it at the bowler’s end – as brilliant a piece of fielding as one will ever witness.
C = It became clear to me that Mohammed Shiraj was going to be a weak link in the Indian attack; while Kuldeep Yadav was not posing a threat and providing some loose deliveries every now and then.
D = Shaun Marsh at No. 4 progressed at a steady rate while Handscomb and Stoines at 5 and 6 sustained the pace of the innings at nearly a run-a-ball; till Marsh and Maxwell raised the tempo in overs 37 to 47 by hammering and/or sprinting nearly 100 runs in around 56 balls.
E = But Australia lost some momentum in the last few overs when both those batsmen as well as Richardson and Siddle sliced skiers to deep point in aiming at sixers.
F= The number of Aussie batsmen caught in the deep when aiming for sixers was significant; while the bowling stats reveal that Kumar had the best results with 4 wkts for 45 at an econ/rate of 4.90’ while Jadeja’s 1 for 49 was next in the honours line [though Shami had 3 wkts at 5.80].
G = Though Shikar Dhawan was as powerful as electric at the start, his demise meant that India’s initial progress was rather pedestrian. This ‘moderation’ was accentuated when Rayadu came in at No. 4.
H = Though Dhoni at No. 5 steadied the ship and his partnership with Virat Kohli progressed steadily, India’s asking rate for a win rose to a problematic level for those seeking an Indian win.
I = The bowling efforts of Behrendorff, Richardson and Stonies were impressive; while Siddle proved to be the most problematic for the Aussies even though his inclusion in the XI was grounded on his reputation for economy … a reputation sullied at Adelaide by the number of bouncer wides he conceded in two of his overs.
J = The most striking facet of this match in my reading was the speed and skill of the Aussie boundary riders in preventing powerful well-placed shots from reaching the boundary. Though I did not keep count, I suggest that there were 9-14 hits of this sort that were saved – meaning that 18 to 28 runs were saved … with Peter Handscomb on the eastern side especially prominent in this regard.
K = By this stage the crowd had swelled to 22,000 or so and were in good voice; while some enthusiasts in the bottom layer of RIverbank Stand insisted on arousing crescendos of Mexican waves which were about as meaningful as the passenger planes that occasionally swept over the ground in majestic fashion on their way to a landing.
L = Kohli reached a century to rousing cheers and took a toilet break. A mistake that. He was caught on the boundary – another such instance – soon after play resumed.
M = When Karthik (an unknown quantity to me) walked in, India required 57 runs to win with 62 balls in hand – not an easy prospect……………………………
N = ……. even with Dhoni there! Yes, I had seen him way back grab victory for India over Australia on the same ground by hitting a six with a helicopter-flick over midwicket. But do miracles occur twice!
O = Karthik surprised me by scoring rapidly and running well to combine with Dhoni and bringing the final target down to 07 runs required in over no. 50 …. with Dhoni on strike.
P= An easy mark that: it could be accumulated with placements into gaps, could it not? Hell, no. Dhoni launched Behrendorf’s first ball into the deep-midwicket side of the Riverbank Stand.
Q = One huge launch. A victory for brown kind.