Steve Smith scored 105 and shared a 182-run partnership with Aaron Finch (81) to help Australia post 328-7, a record for a World Cup semifinal, at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
India started its chase confidently, with openers Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Rohit Sharma (34) rushing the total to 76 in the 13th over before Josh Hazlewood got the breakthrough to change the momentum of the Indian innings.
Here goes a list of 5 reasons that cost India the match:
Losing the toss: Team India is known as a unit which likes to chase big scores but on the Australian pitches, it has been seen that the team which opts to bat first, has a distinct advantage of defending the total. Playing under the lights is not so easy as the cricket ball seams and swings in the evening.Today MS Dhoni lost the ‘battle of coin’ as it went to favour his counterpart Michael Clarke. Even though India restricted them to 328, it was a very, very formidable total.
Strong foundation laid by Australia: Even though Australia lost its attacking opener David Warner quite early in the innings, Team India’s nemesis Steve Smith once again played a brilliant knock coming at the fall of Warner. Smith went on to score a brilliant 105 off 93 balls. He batted smartly without taking any risk.
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India’s bowling failed at crucial juncture: Coming into the semis, India was the only team to bowl out its opposition in every game, with pace bowlers Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma combining to capturing 42 of the 70 wickets but today India’s bowling lacked the sharpness. Shami failed to deliver in the death overs.
Jadeja was below par as he was pedestrian right through the tournament. Except Ashwin, everyone performed sub-par.
Failure of India’s batting top order: Team India’s famed batting line up had a herculean task of overhauling a huge score of 328 runsin a knockout match. It was important that India’s top order should have played a long innings and someone from India should have played an anchoring knock like Smith.
Middle-order failed to deliver: It was for the first time that Team India’s middle order was being tested after the team was reduced to 91 for 3 in 18 overs. But to the disappointment for Indian fans, no one from Indian middle order was able to stand for long while chasing a huge score of 328 runs. India, finally, lost by a substantial 95 runs.