Australia made it into the final of the ICC World Cup 2015 by defeating India in the 2nd semi-final of the tournament by 95 runs. Congratulations to Australia as they went to win their 5th ICC World Cup championship against fellow co-host New Zealand in the final.
Unfortunately, India is still waiting to win their 3rd trophy, in the ODI format, of the game. India and Australia clashed 12 times in the ICC World Cup in 2019, and India won only 4 times in those matches. Anyway, let’s discuss how India’s World Cup journey ended in the 2nd semi-final match of the ICC World Cup 2015.
Steven’s Century vs. Yadav’s 4 Wickets
After winning the toss in that match, Australia decided to bat first and ended up scoring a team collective of 328 runs. They spent 7 wickets to get there. Usually, this is a fairly healthy total to challenge the opponent. And, so, it turned out to be in the end.
Steven Smith is the 1st Australian batsman to score a century in a semi-final match of a World Cup tournament. He is actually the fifth batsman among all the teams to achieve this feat, following Graham Gooch (115 runs in 1987 against India), Saeed Anwar (113 runs in 1999 against New Zealand), Sourav Ganguly (111 runs in 2003 against Kenya) and Mahela Jayawardene (115 runs in 2007 against New Zealand).
Finch-Smith: A Partnership of 182 Runs!
The Australian top-order batters played pretty much consistently in the entire tournament, crossing a 300 runs total 4 times in the entire tournament, including the final match; in fact, they scored a gigantic total of 417 runs against Afghanistan. Therefore, 328 runs were pretty much expected, and so were the individual performances.
But the best part of the Australian innings was the 182-run partnership between opener Aaron Finch and Steven Smith that started after the very quick departure of another opener, David Warner when the team score was only 15 runs. While adding to the team’s total, Finch scored 81 runs off 116 balls with seven 4s and one 6. On the other hand, the ‘Player of the Match’ Steven Smith scored 105 runs from 93 balls with eleven 4s and two 6s.
Not-So-Economic Balling by the Indian Squad
Although the 328 runs from 50 overs is not evidence of an entirely bad balling, meaning- it could have easily crossed 350 runs otherwise, it surely was not what skipper MS Dhoni had planned for. The irony here is that the most successful bowler of the day had the worst economic run rate, too. It was like the more runs he gave away, the more wickets he scalped down.
Umesh Yadava took 4 wickets of the Australian squad from the 9 overs he balled at the expense of 72 runs. His economic run rate was 8.00. Not only that, he was also hit by the most number of boundaries and gave away the most extra runs in the innings. No wonder he didn’t get a chance to ball 10 overs despite being the highest wicket-taker.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin was the most efficient baller in the Indian squad. He picked up only one wicket, yes, but gave only 42 runs in his 10 overs with only 2 boundaries, and not a single extra was produced from his balling. If more ballers in his squad could be as economical, perhaps there would be much fewer runs to chase down for his team.
Another interesting record took place in that match when Glenn Maxwell was caught out by Ajinkya Rahane, facing a ball delivered by R Ashwin. This was the only wicket Ashwing took in that match. But it was the 500th catch in a World Cup tournament. More catches were taken later in that very edition of the tournament, yes, but with this catch, it already reached the highest number of catches taken in a World Cup. The previous record was 449 catches in the 2003 World Cup.
MS Dhoni Played a Captain’s Innings
The target was not that much for the Indian batsmen to chase down, and yet, they failed to do so. Although they didn’t chase down that big a target in this particular tournament, they did score pretty much the same runs. But statistics have it that no team has managed to successfully chase down a 300-run target in the knockout stage of a World Cup to date.
The Captain’s Innings with a 100.00 Strike Rate
Only the skipper of the India National Cricket Team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, seemed to have it that day to face the Australian ballers, despite knowing the match was already beyond rescue for them. He scored 65 runs from 65 balls with three 4s and two 6s. Apart from him, only Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane reached the 40s.
Highly Economic Balling by the Australian squad
233 runs of 50 overs say it all already! Mitchel Starc was the most efficient baller of the squad, picking up 2 wickets at an economical run rate of just 3.16. On the other hand, James Faulkner took 3 wickets at an economical run rate of 6.25. Looking at the balling scorecard of both teams, it can easily be said that the pitch favored the batsmen.
India didn’t shine their brightest in that match, and Australia went on to face fellow co-host New Zealand in the final, ending up winning the trophy. The two teams- India & Australia- are to face each other in their first match in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 on October 08.
The entire cricket world is having their eyes on that match in the hope of witnessing some great cricket as well as some new records to take place. Will India manage their 5th win against Australia in a World Cup match this time? Time will tell.