Men in Blue give Aussies a reality check

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Yuvraj Singh and Praveen Kumar celebrate the dismissal of Ricky PontingBangalore: Steely young turks held onto their nerves when it mattered most to help India edge past Australia by nine runs and seal CB series title win in the second final at the Gabba on Tuesday.

India selectors invested in youth and the young brigade justified by giving the world champs a reality check in their own backyard.

The good thing about the Dhoni brigade is they never seem to get rattled by the opponants, pressure situations. They believe in themselves, never shy away from responsbalities and play a fearless cricket. And this seems to be the secret behind their success.

Mind you Indian bowling attack is devoid of regular bowlers - Zaheer and RP - and there you find the rookies Ishant, Praveen, Chawla take up responsabilities and come trump.

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Unheralded James Hopes waged a lone battle in the losing cause. The all-rounder from Queensland added 76 runs with Hussey to keep Aussies afloat. However Aussies didn't had wickets in hand to give a shot at victory in the final overs. Hopes was last man out spooning a catch to Piyush Chawla at mid-wicket off Pathan.

Hosts chasing a competitive 259-run target faltered from the word go losing Gilly and Ponting early. Praveen, who led Indian pace attack in the absance of Injured Ishant, sent the Gilchrist, Ponting and Clarke in quick succession to give the tourists the edge.

The 21-year-old moved a delivery away from Gilchrist in his opening over then dismissed Ponting and Clarke after they both misjudged pull shots.

However Hayden and Symonds pulled Aussies on track with 89-run stand before their nemises Harbhajan separated the duo.

Hayden, dropped on six by MS Dhoni, was run out by a combined effort of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, then Symonds was struck on the back pad by the fiery spinner.

Hussey and Hopes knitted a fine 76 runs to keep Aussies afloat only to lose the way in the final overs. Sreesanth who had a poor first spell cameback strongly in the second to dismiss Hussey caught Dhoni.

Hopes then waged a lone battle as Lee, Johnson and Bracken came and went in whimper.

Hopes struck a six in the penultimate over bowled by Sreesanth to bring down the equation to a gettable 12 in last over. However his chipped shot ended his and Aussie innings in the Chawla's safe pair of hands at mid-wicket.


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