The Indian batsmen made a merry against the Australian bowlers after having posted a massive score of 352/5 in 50 overs at The Oval on Sunday. Shikhar Dhawan smashed a fabulous 117-run knock, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli stroked brilliant fifties each. Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was given a promotion at number four to up the ante, played a fantastic cameo knock of 48 runs off just 27 balls that included of 4 fours and 3 sixes.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh foresees Hardik Pandya dominating the ongoing World Cup the way South African Lance Klusener did in the 1999 edition as he feels the Indian all-rounder’s clean-hitting is something that no opposing skipper can deal with.
“It’s the innings of Hardik Pandya that will send shivers down opposition spines. This guy might just be the equivalent of Lance Klusener in the 1999 World Cup. He has the ability to begin his innings like most finish, with clean hitting that no opposing captain can protect,” Steve Waugh wrote in his column for the ICC’s official website.
Australia went on to win the World Cup title by outclassing Pakistan in the final. “When they (India) get off to solid opening partnership, as they did against Australia, they then have the luxury of seeing Virat Kohli orchestrate the remainder of the innings,” Waugh wrote.
They missed some crucial chances in the field
Praising veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni who hit a 14-ball 27, Waugh said: “The cunning and sheer brilliance of MS Dhoni rarely fails to deliver and again he timed his assault on Australia to post a 350 plus target.
“Australia will be disappointed that they missed some crucial chances in the field and their bowling was at times loose and not as disciplined as expected.”
Chasing an imposing total, the Australians would have required a solid platform before launching an all-out assault in the last 15 overs. “Australia were never quite on track to create history with David Warner and to a lesser extent Steve Smith struggling for their usual rhythm and control at the crease,” said Waugh, one of the most successful captains of all time.
“To win against the odds everything must fall into place and the turning point came early in the innings with the run out of Aaron Finch who looked in imperious touch and looked set for a big hundred,” he said.