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Combination error let Aussies down

india Updated: Jun 10, 2009 00:46 IST
Highlight Story

Australia's ouster from the T20 World Cup has delighted the English who in the Ashes year are hoping that it will dent the confidence of the tourists.

The Australians have not yet mastered this ultra quick format of the game and so haven't managed to get their combination right. Their fast bowlers have conceded runs and as has been the problem with all teams, the wides have been simply too many.

The Sri Lankans were playing a big game for the first time after the horrific day in Lahore and so could be forgiven for being a bit tentative. That their arrival at the ground was delayed because of a demonstration against them which saw them reach the venue just minutes before the toss would also have been disturbing but they kept their composure and went on to win.

They have some experienced heads in Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene and in Muthiah Muralitharan they not only have the world's greatest spinner but also a real character who keeps the team and dressing room buzzing with his non-stop jokes and chatter. They would have needed all that as they took on a formidable team like Australia.

Eventually, it was the calm Sangakkara who got them through and added to the joy of not only the Sri Lankan fans present but also the Englishmen.

While the Australians will stay on for the Ashes, the Bangladeshis will be on the plane home after a disappointing performance against Ireland. India played better cricket than Bangladesh so that defeat was understandable but the shots seen in the first few overs against Ireland made one wonder if the Bangladeshis thought that it was a five-over game.

Against inexperienced sides like Ireland, the pressure has to be put by making the asking rate look impossible, but when you ask a team to score at less than seven per over in this format, then it's hardly a challenge. It has made the games between the West Indies-Sri Lanka and India-Ireland academic. All four teams are through to the next stage, so they can use the games for resting some players with niggles and experimenting a bit with the batting order and bowling combination.