Batsmen trying to plant front foot forward and offering a straight bat during the first 15 overs of compulsory and bowling
Given the predictions on how the Ferozeshah Kotla surface would behave and the way it had during the Champions League T20 matches, it hardly surprised after Australia elected to bat on Saturday and caution remained the name of the game even when India batted in the days of throwing caution to the wind.
Adapting to the conditions --- restricting free-flowing shots and forcing batsmen to graft for a better part of the match --- was going to be the key and Australia got three such knocks from the top three against a sub-par attack to give their bowlers something to defend. Michael Hussey was the pick of the lot for the way he paced his innings and picked the gaps with soft hands before breaking free towards the end.
The Indian innings was following the same script after being reduced to 52 for three in the 16th over with Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Watson st Dhoni b Yuvraj 41
Ponting lbw b Jadeja 59
Hussey not out 81
White c Dhoni b Raina 0
Voges c Kumar b Harbhajan 17
Henriques b Jadeja 12
Johnson not out 9.
Extras: (b-4, lb-3, w-3) 10
Total: (for 5 wkts, 50 ovs) 229
FoW:1-72, 2-128, 3-129, 4-172, 5-200
Bowling: Kumar 5-1-16 -0, Nehra 9-0-51-0, Ishant 5-0-24-0, Jadeja 9-1-41-2, Harbhajan Singh 10-0-37-1, Yuvraj 8-0-30-1, Raina 4-0-23-1.
Sehwag b Johnson 11
Tendulkar run out (Johnson) 32
Gambhir b Hauritz 6
Yuvraj lbw b Henriques 78
Dhoni not out 71
Raina not out 9
Extras:(b-4, lb-5, w-14, nb-1) 24
Total:(for 4 wkts; 48.2 ovs) 230
FoW:1-37, 2-51, 3-53, 4-201
Bowling:Johnson 9.2-2-43-1, Siddle 10-0-41-0, Bollinger 10-0-25-0, Henriques 8-0-51-1, Hauritz 10-0-48-1, Voges 1-0-13-0
This was when Yuvraj dared to do what nobody else had. The sudden burst came against the weaker bowlers but the timing behind those shots --- a six over wide long-on and a few drives on the off along the ground and over the top --- showed why Dhoni insists on having him at No 4. It also exposed the chinks in a depleted attack which suffered a blow with potential trump card Nathan Hauritz going for runs.
On a pitch where the ball was rarely driven on the up, Yuvraj pierced the cover cordon on a number of occasions, using minimum force, after getting a good feel of the conditions. Dhoni was quick to notice that his middle-order mainstay had hit sublime touch and started giving him the strike immediately.
After tormenting debutant Moises Henriques, Yuvraj became his first ODI victim. It briefly revived Aussie hopes of making it 2-1, but Dhoni made most of the batting powerplay in the last five overs to make sure it was his team which left for Mohali with the lead.