By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar
Australia 252/9; India 165 (Australia won by 87 runs)
The scorecard of the match is here.
India undid the good work that their bowlers did for them when Australia batted first and soundly repeated their recognizable theme of the Australian summer - resounding failure with the bat. It was only during the 7-over (from the 8th over to the 16th), 44-run stay from familiar quarters - also the biggest partnership of the innings, when India actually looked on even keel, perhaps even ahead. But it all ended abjectly, pusillanimously...familiarly.
This is the match seen through the Impact Index prism.
, with an innings of 66 in 68 balls, within the context of this match, was easily the highest impact player of the match. He absorbed the pressure of 57 for 3 and was out at 107 (in the 21st over) and was largely responsible for there being no run-rate pressure on the Australians. His was the highest impact batting performance of the match and he was rightly given the Man-of-the-Match award.
Shane Watson provided the highest impact bowling performance of the match - despite being saddled with captaincy responsibility in his very first match after his injury break. As the premier ODI all-rounder in the game today, he lived up to his IMPACT numbers, and followed up a disappointing early dismissal with the highest Economy IMPACT of the match to go with his 2 crucial wickets when India was beginning to stabilise, which also registered the highest Pressure Building IMPACT on the match. Along with the impact of his captaincy and his two catches, he had the second-highest impact in the match.
Matthew Wade, Australian wicketkeeper, produced a crucial 56 (off 66 balls) at a crucial juncture (107 for 4) and had the third-highest impact in the game.
David Hussey, who was very lucky to survive an obstructing-the-field appeal at a crucial juncture (it is strange how many laws are being allowed to be rendered useless due to this nonsensical application of the "spirit-of-the-game" sentiment; a good percentage of penalties in football would not be given if a similar logic was applied - "self-defence"), was the fourth-highest impact player of the match with his 54 in 64 balls - it took Australia to considerable safety, which in the end, perhaps made all the difference.
Warner and David Hussey were the only batsmen in the match to absorb pressure successfully.
Xavier Doherty and Daniel Christian produced the only all-round performances of the day. Doherty's 13 (in 9 balls) and 2 for 26 (in 7.3 overs) getting him a Batting IMPACT of 1 and Bowling IMPACT of 2.40 respectively. He was the fifth-highest impact player of the match. Christian got 24 in 32 balls, and then pitched in with 1 wicket for 8 runs…all of which got him an IMPACT of 3.08. It was that kind of a match.
Virender Sehwag's unexpected spell of 3 for 43 in the end-overs had an impact of 2.94 and a very minor contribution with the bat actually narrowly made him India's highest impact player. It is a sad reflection of India's poor batting performance that just 5 runs in 11 balls could have even registered any kind of impact.
Praveen Kumar was India's best Test bowler in 2011 and the star when India won the CB Series in 2008. So, it had been very perplexing why he was not being given an extended run in this tournament, especially after a somewhat rusty beginning to this campaign. That sanity was perhaps on a rotation basis too was somewhat demonstrated today as he was overwhelmingly India's best bowler - he helped India begin the match very well. He was India's highest impact bowler and had a significant Economy IMPACT.
Umesh Yadav was the only bowler to have a Partnership-Breaking IMPACT in the match. His two wickets got him a reasonable impact in the match but his negative Economy IMPACT undid a lot of his good work.
That the much-vaunted Indian batting failed miserably can be seen from the fact that Ashwin and Pathan were India's highest impact batsmen, with scores of 26 and 22 respectively. They might have just failed to take their last chance in this series.
Overall, Australia had a Team IMPACT of 2.42 as compared to India's 1.57 in this match. A big gap to reflect the sorry state of Indian affairs, especially with the bat.
For more information, go to www.impactindexcricket.com