At 277 for one in the 38th over and chasing 349 runs for victory – few would bet against the chasers. But when it’s India involved anything can happen.
And ‘the anything’ did happen, as the two-time world champions somehow managed to throw the match away when it was probably more difficult to lose. India lost nine wickets for 46 runs and fell 25 short of a target that once looked achievable at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
This was only the second time that a team has been dismissed in an ODI despite losing their second wicket after scoring 250 runs. And guess what — it were the Indians who did it for the first time as well.
In the 2011 World Cup, which India so happened to win, the hosts lost their second wicket for 267 runs and following a batting collapse, very much like the one in Canberra, were dismissed for 296 runs. They lost the match against South Africa by three wickets.
Besides the bowling travails, India’s problem has been the batting performance in the final 10 overs. This point again came to be highlighted in the ongoing ODI series against Australia.
Canberra Wasn’t the First ‘Great’ Collapse
Believe it or not, India had century partnerships for the second wicket in all four ODIs played Down Under this summer and yet went on to lose on all occasions.
India batted first in the first three ODIs and just about managed to score 300 in the first two and in the third, fell five runs short.
At Perth, India were 216 for one after 40 overs and could only manage 309 for three by the end of it.
At Brisbane, India were in an even better position — 233 for two after 40 overs and finally managed 308 for eight, losing six wickets for 75 runs in the final 10.
At Melbourne, India were 207 for two after 40 overs and could only reach 295 for six — that also thanks to an uncharacteristic 9-ball 23 blitzkrieg from MS Dhoni. Just for the record, they scored 88 in the final 10, losing four wickets.
And then came the great yet comical collapse at Canberra, from 282 for four after 40 overs, India were bowled out for 323 – meaning they scored 41 off the last 10 and lost six wickets.
A self-defeating pattern
Anyone else see the pattern developing because this is not the first time India have done this sort of a thing.
In a 2009, India scored 414 for seven against Sri Lanka in Rajkot and almost managed to lose that as well. The hosts were 335 for four after 40 overs, and with the way things had progressed everyone was expecting a 450-plus score. But India scored a paltry 79, losing three wickets in the final 10.
And thanks to some great bowling, India won by just three runs!
The 323 that India scored at Canberra, was the third highest losing total for the Asian giants in ODIs. The highest losing total for India came in eerily similar circumstances and against the same opposition.
Horror in Hyderabad
In 2009 at Hyderabad, Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat. Australia put up a mammoth total of 350 for four, courtesy Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson. What happened next was what happened in Canberra!
Sachin Tendulkar smashed 175 runs off just 141 balls, as India marched on towards the total. Then came the collapse!
India were 276 for four after 40 overs and needed just 75 off the final 10 with six wickets in hand — they were bowled out for 347, scoring 71 and losing six wickets.
This is just a small preview into the some of the shambolic batting India have done in the final 10 overs.
South Africa tend to choke on the biggest stage of world cricket, but it seems India are bigger chokers when it comes to finishing off their innings because more often than not they always fall short of the target they are expected to reach, especially after the starts they get.