India’s World Cup campaign ended in Sydney after Australia sealed the deal with a comprehensive 95-run win over the defending Champions. The chase was always meant to be tough after Australia posted a mammoth total of 327 runs on the board. But India did begin their run-chase positively as openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, got off to brisk starts, setting a perfect tempo for a successful run-chase. However, quick wickets and disciplined bowling from Australia put India under constant pressure and in the end India fell short of the target. (Also Read: Report: Australia vs India – ICC Cricket World Cup 2015)
India captain MS Dhoni agreed that the team was slightly under pressure while chasing the mammoth total. “I felt it was a good score,” he said.
“Yes, there was pressure, but at the same time it needed some good batting and good partnership. The score was gettable but it needed some hard work to get the runs on the board.”
Dhoni also believed India could have banked on the start that they got in the run-chase. After all, the openers had strung a good 76-run opening stand. “We got a good start and we could have continued that partnership. Once we were three down, it was difficult. Usually we always try to build a partnership when we lose wickets in a bunch but in the process it hampers our strike-rate.
“The required run-rate when we were three down had already gone up to 6 runs per over and we knew it would only get higher if we looked for more partnerships. We wanted to preserve our wickets till the 30th over and then try to chase it down with some big hitters to follow.”
It is a tough pill to swallow for the team, especially after remaining undefeated in the tournament until Thursday. But MS Dhoni took the defeat in a good stride with a gentle smile on his face and with his chin up. “Disappointed we couldn't go into the finals but only one team can win, and I felt Australia played better cricket on the day,” Dhoni said.
“The World cup is something that doesn't really belong to anyone. We definitely took it from someone, so somebody took it from us. It's as simple as that. You know, the best team takes it for four years and every other team challenges the one that has the Cup. If we would have played better cricket on this particular day, maybe we would have gone into the finals. But in any international sport you have to be at your best.”
Despite the semi-final heartbreak, India’s road to the semi-final has been really worth an applause and the captain reckoned the long tour abroad was a big learning curve for the whole side with the bowling being one the biggest positives for the team.
“We had a tough time in the Tests and ODI tri-series but everyone rose to the occasion. The biggest positive has been the way our fast bowlers have bowled. I believe the bowlers would have learnt a lot from this tour. If the bowlers can keep up the good work from all that they have learnt in the series, then it will benefit us. To win in Test cricket you need to take twenty wickets and they will play a huge role in India’s success overseas.
“At the batting front, the good thing is that the batsmen have not been bothered by pace. This batting order will remain the same in the years to come and whatever they have learnt in this series will help them perform in the tours overseas.”