India easily defeated Australia by 73 runs at the 2014 World Twenty20 to remain undefeated going into the knockout stages of the tournament, with the final score India 159/7 (20/20), Australia 86 (16.2/20).
Having already qualified for the next round, India planned on shaking things up against the winless Australians by batting first, with the Aussies granting the team their wish when they eventually won the toss.
The tactic seemed to take some of the juice out of the Men in Blue's vaunted group of batsmen early, but Yuvraj Singh's 60 runs on 43 balls and MS Dhoni's 24 would give the Indians a final score of 159/7, setting the stage for an interesting chase and a good challenge for the team's spin bowlers.
Those bowlers would come through early, limiting the Australian batsmen to a maximum of 21 balls while taking a number of early wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin was the hero, with four wickets taken for an economy rate of 3.30.
As reported by ESPN Cricinfo, Ashwin wasn't 100 percent satisfied with his team's performance:
Thought 160 was just above par. You have to cut the width for the right-hander, the line I'm bowling is not too wide outside off. We were stretched quite a bit while batting but we're playing well the way we are.
Glenn Maxwell would lead the Aussies with 23 runs, further demonstrating the dominance of India's bowlers.
|India v Australia Scorecard|
|RG Sharma||c Muirhead||Hodge||5||1||3|
|AM Rahane||c Haddin||Bollinger||19||34||16|
|V Kohli||c White||Muihead||23||23||22|
|Y Singh||c Maxwell||Watson||60||61||43|
|SK Raina||c Finch||Maxwell||6||11||10|
|MS Dhoni||b Stark||Starc||24||36||20|
|RA Jadeja||run out (Watson)||3||9||3|
|R Ashwin||Not out||2||5||3|
|B Kumar||Not out||0||1||1|
|Extras||lb 6, w 10, nb 1|
|Total||for 7||159||(20 ovs)|
|AJ Finch||c Kohli||Ashwin||6||15||11|
|DA Warner||c Sharma||Ashwin||19||33||21|
|CL White||c Jadeja||Kumar||0||4||2|
|GJ Bailey||c Kohli||Jadeja||8||10||10|
|BJ Hodge||c Jadeja||Mishra||13||19||18|
|BJ Haddin||c Rahane||Mishra||6||8||8|
|MA Starc||run out (Raini/Dhoni)||2||4||4|
|JM Muirhead||c Dhoni||Ashwin||3||6||7|
|DE Bollinger||not out||1||3||1|
Australia came into this match with nothing to play for and it showed in the team's performance, with the supposed tournament favourites putting together a lackluster performance across the board.
Freddie Wilde used the example of the Australians to underline the fickle nature (and beauty) of the T20 game:
Bowling first, not a single player was able to keep his economy under 6.5, with Brad Hodge perhaps looking the best for his squad.
A quick dismissal of Rohit Sharma would have been a good sign on any other day, but with the team seemingly hardly interested, Virat Kohli and Singh put some early runs on the board to give the Men in Blue somewhat of a cushion as the Australians started the chase.
But Aaron Finch, Shane Watson and Cameron White were all dismissed within minutes, effectively ending any hopes for an Australian comeback.
The middle part of the lineup would put some runs on the board for the squad, but Australia's group of batsmen fell apart late, leading to the embarrassing final deficit of 73 runs.
Captain George Bailey appeared very disappointed in his team, as reported by BBC's Mark Mitchener:
In all three of our innings there's been a lack of match awareness. I don't think we've had any batsmen stand up and take responsibility to win the match, which has been disappointing.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma and Ashwin all put together excellent performances bowling for India, giving hope for the team's chances in the knockout stages. Freddie Wilde seems to like the team's chances:
With four wins, India will top Group 2 and the team can now look ahead at the WT20 knockout stages. Australia will end the tournament with a match against hosts Bangladesh in a battle of winless teams on Tuesday.