India 249-8 Australia 252-4: Martyn and McGrath send Australia into semi-finals
Monday 30 October 2006
One of the dictums of modern cricket is that the sub-continent in general and India in particular makes up the game's power base. All that money, at least in India's case, and all those fans desperate to watch, at least on television.
Lately, the subcontinent in general and India in particular have flexed their muscles and occasionally threatened to take their bat home if they cannot have their own way. After years of virtual subjugation they have the tools to stand up for themselves. What is needed to be a proper power base, of course, goes a little further. It needs a winning team. Instead of which, the Champions Trophy moved into the semi-finals yesterday without a representative from the subcontinent.
India, the last hope, were eliminated by losing their last group match. There was the odd hiccup but Australia won pretty much as they liked. The margin was six wickets with 4.2 overs unbowled but as soon as they had restricted India to 249 for 7 and launched a rampant assault against some uncontrolled new ball bowling they were, as they say, in the pound seats. The 300 rupee seats (minimum) occupied by a rare full house were soon being vacated while Damien Martyn accumulated an unbeaten 73 from 104 balls.
Australia will be extremely tough to beat now in a competition they have, bizarrely, never won. But it was a huge blow for a tournament which needed India to reach the semi-finals. The stadiums for the final three matches of the mini-World Cup will be deserted.
The reason for the under-performance is that the sub-continental sides have been forced to play on virtually alien pitches, full of swing and seam movement, in their autumn. Method and application were lacking.
With India it may be something more: captaincy, coaching or a tendency to be too easily satisfied, according to some. They needed more 50 more runs but squandered sound starts. Their bowlers are up to it only in patches.
Australia were typically robust. Glenn McGrath, recently bereft of form, took 2 for 34 in 10 beautifully disciplined overs and removed Sachin Tendulkar. He is warming up for something and it is not the Champions Trophy semi-final.
Champions Trophy draw
Australia v New Zealand (Mohali, Wednesday)
West Indies v South Africa (Jaipur, Thursday)
* FINAL Mumbai, Sunday 5 Nov
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Isco will provide just as great a threat at Anfield as the injured Gareth Bale would have
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Chelsea vs Maribor player ratings: Cesc Fabregas? Eden Hazard? Didier Drogba? Who was the star of the show at Stamford Bridge?
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella