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Shikhar Dhawan led India to submerge Australia

Indian batsmen led by Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli posted a huge total against Australia and their bowlers defended successfully.

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Shikhar Dhawan led India submerge Australia
Dhawan played a fine knock of 117 to help India score 352/5 against Australia. Photo: Getty

India have made it two in two at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 by defeating defending champions Australia by 36 runs on Sunday at Kennington Oval. Chasing a record 353, Australia made 316 in their innings.

After winning the toss under a clear sky, Kohli termed batting first a no-brainer. He then followed Dhawan and Rohit to a half-century of his own, as India’s batsmen made merry on a flat Kennington Oval surface.

As in India’s opening match against South Africa in Southampton, Dhawan was made to look very fidgety early in the match against pace. Driven to 352/5 in 50 overs, which is their fourth-best total in a World Cup match, on the basis of Shikhar Dhawan’s 117 and fifties to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India limited Australia to 316 in their full quota.

Dhawan’s 117 off 109 deliveries inflated his ODI batting average in England to 64.76, and in ICC one-day tournaments to 75.09.

Aaron Finch, the captain of defending champions Australia, feels that this match could be influenced by the fast bowlers on either side. He also feels that Australia’s 3-2 ODI series in in India earlier this year, which came after his team was down 0-2, has given the side added impetus as they chase a hat-trick of wins in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Rohit Sharma, a batsman who averages 61.87 against Australia in ODIs, and who is coming off a match-winning unbeaten century to steer India to victory in their first game of the tournament – an innings his skipper Virat Kohli termed the best of his career – does not quite think that what happened February-March at home will have any bearing on game 14 of the World Cup.

And despite having such a superb record against Australia, Rohit doesn’t feel he has any noticeable advantage over India’s opponents. Sunday’s game at Kennington Oval is a cracker, whichever way you view it, as second-ranked India take on a resurgent Australia.

India didn’t need to hit third gear as they beat South Africa by six wickets. Australia dispatched Afghanistan with ease and then overcame a scare against West Indies, with Nathan Coulter-Nile scoring 92 and Mitchell Starc grabbing five wickets.

Both team possess quality pace attacks, with Starc and Pat Cummins on one side and Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the other. On a rather dry Kennington Oval surface, expect both teams to not hold the pack on bowling fast and short.

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