(Last Updated on : 17/12/2010)
The India-Australia ODI, Sydney, 2004, can be taken as an example of how a team can lose a match due to missed chances. The Indian team was having a good tour in Australia under the captainship of Saurav Ganguly and the team was also playing well in the tri-nation VB Series. The match was the fifth match of the series and the third encounter between the two teams in the VB Series. The Indian team played the match after losing the first encounter and winning the second encounter against Australia in the series. The team was quite determined to have a good show in the match; however, India eventually lost the match by 2 wickets in Duckworth/Lewis method.
Winning the toss, the Indian captain, Saurav Ganguly took the right decision of batting first in the day-night ODI. Though, there were some early disasters in the Indian innings, yet the Indian middle order played well and got a huge total on the board. The Indian team lost the first wicket that of Saurav Ganguly on the score of only 1 run, when Ganguly got out to a Brett Lee delivery. Then, the other opener Parthiv Patel and VVS Laxman made a good partnership of 62 runs for the second wicket, before Patel got out after scoring 28 runs. Australia got yet another success within a short period, when Andrew Bichel removed Rahul Dravid from the crease, on India's score of 80 runs. However, the real delight for the Indian cricket enthusiasts came after the departure of Rahul Dravid, as Laxman and Yuvraj Singh made a spectacular partnership of 213 runs for the fourth wicket. Both the batsmen played with utter brilliance in the match and they played their shots all over the ground. Yuvraj Singh was more destructive than Laxman in the match and he played a superb innings of 139 runs from only 122 balls. Laxman also made a century and remained not out on his individual score of 106 runs. The Indian team eventually scored a good total of 296 runs from the stipulated 50 overs.
Chasing a good target of 297 runs from 50 overs, the Australian team lost its first wicket on the score of only 24 runs, when Simon Katich got out to one Irfan Pathan delivery. However, that did not do great harm for the Australian team, as the other opener, Adam Gilchrist was at his destructive form in the match. He was hammering the Indian bowlers mercilessly and made a good partnership of 126 runs, with the Aussie skipper, Ricky Ponting for the second wicket. The partnership helped Australia to get into a strong position in the match. However, as rain affected the match during the Australian innings, the match officials revised the target to 225 runs to get from 34 runs for Australia. The Indian team got into a good position in the match, when they removed Ponting, Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist within a span of only 4 runs. Australia was soon reduced to 154-4 from 150-1 and the Indian bowlers were bowling with more intensity at that point of time. India continued to pick up Australia wickets in regular intervals; however, as the Australian batsmen kept their mind cool till the end, they eventually clinched a 2 wickets victory in the match. Australia reached the target of 225 runs in the 34th over of their innings, thanks to a brilliant innings of 95 runs from Gilchrist. The poor performance of India on the field and a missed stumping chance of Michael Clarke by Parthiv Patel also helped Australia get the total. Though, Saurav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan bowled brilliantly and took 3 wickets, each in the match, their performances failed to yield any good result for India.