Flashback: When India locked horns with Australia at an ICC event semi-final
Yuvraj Singh was the star of the match. The aggressive southpaw smashed a 30-ball 70. (Source: AP)
The only time India have played Australia in the semi-final of an ICC event was at the 2007 World Twenty20.
At Durban’s Kingsmead cricket ground, India, under a young captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, stunned the then dominant world ODI champions Australia.
India’s young squad fought Australia every inch as the fancied side were stunned into submission. India, batting first, posted 188 for five in their 20 overs. India’s innings was built around vice-captain Yuvraj Singh’s 30-ball 70 that included five sixes and five boundaries. There were some other useful knocks from Robin Uthappa (34) and Dhoni (36). Yuvraj’s blitzkrieg approach stunned the Aussies as he smashed them all over the ground.
Only Mitchell Johnson was able to pick wickets among the regular bowers and ended with figures of 2-31.
In their response, Australia were being served well by Matthew Hayden (62) and Andrew Symonds (43) in a 76-run third-wicket stand. But once they fell the asking rate climbed and they could not chase down the target.
Indian fast bowler Sreesanth picked up the crucial wickets of stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist and Hayden. He taunted them in their celebrations and even got fined 25 per cent of his match-fees. India went onto win the contest by 15 runs and thereby set up a mouthwatering clash against arch rivals Pakistan in the final.
“Sreesanth was out of order and the incident set a poor example for the millions of people watching either at the venue or on television,” match-referee Chris Broad said. “In addition to the fine levied, I also warned Sreesanth about his conduct going forward and if he continues to breach the Code of Conduct he can expect more severe penalties to come his way.”
For Dhoni the win was a huge statement about his young squad. “Every win means a lot because a lot of the team is young and new, and it’s a big stage – the Twenty20 World Cup. The sort of teams we’ve defeated in do-or-die games was quite exhausting. The best thing is everyone is enjoying – not just their own performance but also everyone else’s. There’s no superstar in the team,” said Dhoni.
“A bit stuttery for us, wasn’t it? A bad start and then a win and a loss and a win … We never really got into a great rhythm,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying after the loss.
Gilchrist captained the side on the day because regular captain Ricky Ponting was injured.
From those in the playing XI, only Dhoni and Rohit Sharma will be in action for India on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, whereas for Australia Michael Clarke, wicket-keeper Brad Haddin and Johnson are still around.
Incidentally, the moment of the match that really stood out was when Dhoni taunted Ravi Shastri at the post-match presentation for giving his side no chance in the contest. Eight years on, Shastri will be doing all he can to build up India’s chances to win the semi-final, against the same opponent.
Source:: Indian Express