Sydney, Mar 26: Indian bowlers failed to continue their impressive performance with the ball in the second World Cup semi-final match against Australia as it was the first time when they couldn't bag all 10 wickets.
Batting first Australian batters scored a mammoth 328 for the loss of 7 wickets. Indian bowlers looked haywire despite getting an early breakthrough in the name of in-form David Warner.
All three pacers -- including Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma -- went for runs and gave more than 6.5 runs per over. This helped the in-form Australian batters pile up a mountain of runs.
Umesh Yadav was the pick of Indian bowlers who claimed crucial 4 wickets but also gave 72 runs in 9 overs. Shami, Team India's leading wicket taker in the tournament, before this match, conceded 68 runs and couldn't scalp any wickets. [World Cup Q2: Impressive Indian bowlers make it 70/7; create World Cup record]
Mohit Sharma got 2 Australian wickets from his quota of 10 overs but turned out to be the most expensive bowler by giving 75 runs.
Spinners R Ashwin (1-42) and R Jadeja (0-56) were far better as compared to the pacers and helped the side mount pressure over Australian batters during middle overs.
Indian bowlers entered the semi final against Australia by maintaining their excellent form and created a World Cup record by ripping all 10 rival wickets in their seventh consecutive game in tournament's history. The world record is 10 (100 wickets), by Australia.
Team India entered semi finals after thrashing Bangladesh by 109 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) last week. But it seems the gap of six days between two matches has affected the momemtum of the Indian pace battery, which was in exceptional form till then.
With todays 4 wicket haul Umesh Yadav (18) has become most successful Indian bowler followed by Mohammed Shami (17). Mohit Sharma and R Ashwin have 13 wickets each and Jadeja has 9 scalps.
India began their World Cup defence against Pakistan on Feb 15 in Adelaide. Since that day, they are on a roll, winning all 7 games so far.
Before the World Cup started, Indian bowlers had come in for heavy criticism after failing in the tri-series in Australia. Now, team India will lock horns in semi-finals with either Australia or Pakistan on Mar 26.
They were in outstanding form till now but their performance Australia in Sydney will definitely hurt their morale.
If Team India manage to chase the mammoth total of 329 then the bowlers will have one more chance to display their bowling prowess at the MCG against New Zealand in the World Cup final.