Sydney: Dejected with Indian batsmen’s poor shot selection in their 329-run chase, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar said that the pressure of the cricket World Cup semi-final got to the team as it was outplayed by Australia on Thursday.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s run-a-ball 65 stood tall amid a disappointing show as Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Rohit Sharma (34) failed to capitalised on a 76-run opening stand before the rest of the batting fell apart.
“Team India succumbed under the pressure of big finals. Team India lost in all departments, especially in batting as they failed to build one strong partnership throughout the innings. The batsmen played irresponsibly and got out to some sloppy shots,” said Gavaskar.
“While full marks to the Australian team who kept India silent throughout the match and never let them have an upper hand,” he added.
Virat Kohli’s (1) mistimed pull shot off Mitchell Johnson was also a big blow to India’s chances of chasing down the big score as Australia kept chipping away with wickets.
“What disappointed me the most today was their poor shot selection. Virat (Kohli) needs to improvise on this pull shots. The pressure of chasing 329 runs clearly showed off on the Indian batsmen as the Indian batsmen failed to set themselves at the crease and got out to poor shots in order to accelerate the scoring,” said a disappointed Gavaskar.
Gavaskar, though, opined that Australian skipper Michael Clarke had the liberty to experiment on the fielding front after their batsmen, led by Steven Smith’s 105, had posted 328 for seven after electing to bat first.
“Clarke had a liberty to experiment today. Australia had put up a big score today which gave them room to experiment with their bowling and fielding today,” said the cricketer-turned-analyst.