Early wickets, run-outs pushed Aussies on backfoot: Jadeja
Melbourne: Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Friday said early wickets and fours run-outs made all the difference in his side`s eight-wicket win over Australia in second Twenty20 International against Australia.
"The turning point was early wickets and the run-outs we managed. It kept them (Australia) on the backfoot and we made sure we carried the momentum through," said Jadeja.
After restricting Australia to 131 in 19.4 overs, riding on some brilliant fielding and disciplined bowling, the Indians overhauled the target with two balls to spare to record their first overseas victory in close to seven months.
The all-rounder from Saurashtra, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his figures of one for 16 from three overs and for effecting two run-outs of Australian captain George Bailey and opener Aaron Finch, said his young team entered the field today with the determination to do well.
"There was good energy. The boys were extremely positive going into the game. We wanted to give a good account of ourselves and not be affected by the 0-4 scoreline of the Test series," insisted Jadeja.
The 23-year-old, meanwhile, opined that the wickets here are offering little help to spinners.
"These are very different wickets to India. These are flat wickets and the ball doesn`t quite grip the surface. I was trying to bowl slow and mix it up."
"I am trying to vary my pace. This way I could help the team. In next matches, if I get such wickets, I would try to mix it up."
Having played a crucial role in India`s first overseas win in close to seven months, Jadeja hoped that his team would carry this momentum in the upcoming triangular One-day International series, beginning here on Sunday.
"It`s good that it has happened at the MCG where we would play our first ODI on Sunday. We would take heart from this win. We now know these conditions and it would give us confidence," he said.
Jadeja felt his good performance might help him in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction that is scheduled to take place on Saturday in Bangalore.
"I know the IPL auction is tomorrow and this performance has come a day before. It might be a help tomorrow (in getting a good price at the auction)," he said.
Talking about India's loss in the first Twenty20 International at Sydney, Jadeja said, "We were not served well in the first T20 game. When we bowled, the ground was wet and we couldn't grip the ball. When they bowled, the ball had actually begun to grip the surface."
Australian skipper George Bailey admitted that his team was surprise at the way Indians fielded at MCG on Friday.
"They certainly lifted their fielding from the other day. We talked about out-fielding them. But they out-fielded us and won the game.
"We were surprised they probably didn't field as well on Wednesday night. They are a very good fielding side with some of those new guys who have come into the T20 and ODI teams.
There's a different energy in this Indian side in the shorter format."
Heaping praise on Indian leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who took 2 for 29, Bailey said, "He bowled really well. He gives very little width to hit. He did well, given he had some serious bandaging on that hand. The thing which helps him is his bounce. He doesn't turn as much but gets a good deal of bounce."
The Australian T20 captain, however, expressed disappointment that he couldn't keep India down ahead of the one-day series.
"It certainly would have been nice to keep them win-less before the one-day series. But it's probably a little surprising that it has taken this long into a tour for India to get their first win up," he said.
Bailey defended the decision to push previous game's man-of-the-match Matthew Wade down to number six in Friday’s match, saying that the team management wanted to try out different players at different spots.
"One of the things we wanted to get out of the week was trying a few different people in different spots.
"Wadey is going to have an opportunity at the top and now in the middle as well. It was really pleasing that he showed he can achieve it in both areas. That just gives us another option at different times," he explained.
Bailey said these two games gave a clearer picture of the players, who could represent Australia in Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka in September.
"We've also got some players out in Shane Watson, Mike Hussey and Patrick Cummins. At some stage, you have to start to knuckle down, not only the guys that you want but also the roles that you want them to play.
"This week really worked well in terms of having a look at some different people."
Bailey criticised his batsmen for failing and said that four run-outs hurt the team.
"I don't think we batted particularly well tonight. The fact that we had four run-outs, that's really hurt us."
He though believed that the team has got a good mix of bowlers and allrounders.
"The bowling stuck at it pretty well. We've got a pretty good mix. We've some great young allrounders. One of our strength is going to be our versatility when we're full strength come world cup time," said Bailey.