The recent India-Australia T20 game was a refreshing change. India played like Australia and Australia played like India!
The ODI world champions clearly lack the same self-assurance in the T20 format. They started with a huge strategic error of dropping Brad Hogg on a turning track. Even without a turning track, Hogg has been troubling Indian batsmen. The Aussie bowling and fielding were not up to the mark and India won rather comfortably. It was nice to see Ponting grant the Indians the credit they deserve for the victory.
Gambhir is fast proving to be a T20 expert. He is so calm and composed even when the overs run out and he always looks to be in control. As for the rest of the batting, it was clearly India’s young blood in control. Uthappa seems perfect at number 3 followed by Yuvraj and Dhoni. Viru blew a perfect chance to shine. His failure reinforces the fact that he is not yet ready for a recall to the team. India’s batting in T20 seems very well balanced.
The bowling on the other hand does have holes. Sreesanth is a complete misfit in this form of the game. The man is fast, erratic and prone to giving away runs. RP on the other hand does have the ability to bowl tight like he did in the last over of the match. India could have done well to use Joginder Sharma (India’ last over specialist!) instead in this match. India did well to include the in-form Murali Karthik who alog with Harbhajan played a key role in restricting the Aussies.
There is no doubt the Aussies will return to the drawing board to study the T20 game carefully. In the meantime, India should do whatever it takes to sustain its momentum in this new form of the game.