Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has weighed in on Australia’s recent loss to India in a thrilling World Cup match, providing his insights into where the visitors faltered during the game. While many pointed to a dropped catch when Virat Kohli was on 12 as a turning point, Tendulkar believes the story goes beyond that moment.
In a match filled with hard-hitting memories of past encounters, including the 2017 Champions Trophy final, the 2019 World Cup semifinal, and a group-stage tie against Pakistan in the 2020 T20 World Cup, Australia had a golden opportunity to put India on the back foot. After dismissing Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Shreyas Iyer for ducks, they were on the verge of reducing India to just 21 for four.
However, it was a moment of sheer miscommunication between Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Alex Carey that saw Australia miss a chance to dismiss Kohli. The former Indian captain went on to score a crucial 85 off 116 balls and combined with KL Rahul, who remained unbeaten with 97, to build a record-breaking 165-run partnership. India comfortably chased down the target of 200 with 52 deliveries to spare.
While some may attribute the dropped catch to Australia’s loss, Tendulkar sees it differently. He believes that Australia lost control of the game from the very beginning when they won the toss and opted to bat first. Tendulkar commended the Indian bowlers for their performance in restricting Australia to 199 runs. He also noted that Australia missed the services of left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who had been ruled out of the tournament due to a calf injury.
“I was surprised to see Australia bat first after winning the toss. Commendable performance by the Indian bowlers to restrict them to 199. Australia started well but I felt they missed a left-arm spinner on this surface,” Tendulkar stated.
Tendulkar also highlighted the pivotal partnership between Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, which played a significant role in India’s comeback from a precarious position of 2 for three in the second over of the innings.
“The partnership between Virat and Rahul sealed the game for us. They very smartly took their time and were able to execute some superb shots. The ball surely came onto the bat much better in the second half of the game. Congratulations to #TeamIndia on a good start,” he added.
Earlier in the tournament, Tendulkar had expressed optimism about India’s chances, predicting that the team could make it to the semifinals based on their strong batting lineup and a well-rounded bowling attack. His analysis of the recent match sheds light on the complexities and nuances that make cricket such a fascinating sport, where a single moment can define a game but often doesn’t tell the whole story.