World Cup talking points: Australia v India
London (AFP) –
India beat champions Australia by 36 runs in Sunday's World Cup showdown between two of the leading title contenders.
Below AFP Sport looks at some of the key aspects from a fascinating clash between he heavyweights at the Oval.
India fans turn the Oval blue
India's fans provided a vivid backdrop to their team's impressive win as they took over the 24,500-capacity Oval, turning a corner of south London into Mumbai for the day.
There was a huge cheer for India captain Virat Kohli at the toss and after he won it the roar was so loud it drowned out his on-field interview.
All four sides of the Oval were a vibrant, colourful scene as fans clad in their team's blue replica shirts waved the orange, white and green national flag.
There was a constant cacophony of air-horns being jubilantly honked whenever a boundary was hit.
Celebratory Mexican waves rolled around the stands as India piled on the runs, while the 'Bharat Army' supporters' group were making themselves heard with drums providing the beat to chants of "India, India".
Even some of the rooftops of the flats around the Oval had been turned into temporary stands by local Indians.
The whole crowd were on their feet chanting "we will rock you" when Kohli unloaded a late barrage in India's total of 352-5, while Australia's boundaries in their unsuccessful run-chase were greeted with near-total silence.
Dhawan, Sharma strike again
On the previous 15 occasions Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had added 100 or more together, India had won 13 times and once again the openers laid the foundations for victory.
Dhawan and Sharma now have the joint second most century opening partnerships in ODI cricket, level on 16 with former Australia stars Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.
After a cautious start, they opened up before their stand ended on 127 when Sharma was caught behind off Nathan Coulter-Nile for 57.
Dhawan's 17th one-day hundred was the 33-year-old's fourth against Australia and third at the Oval.
By the time Dhawan was caught on the boundary, going for a huge slog off Mitchell Starc, his innings of 117 from 109 balls had put India in a commanding position.
Warner bailed out
When Australia opener David Warner chopped Jasprit Bumrah's short delivery onto his boot and the ball rolled towards the stumps, it seemed certain India would claim a priceless early wicket.
But, not for the first time in this World Cup, the ball struck the wicket but failed to dislodge the bails, meaning Warner earned an unexpected reprieve.
It was the fifth incident in the tournament of the 'zing' bails, which contain lights that flash when the ball hits the wicket, failing to come off.
Most egregiously, in the West Indies' game against Australia on Thursday, Chris Gayle was saved when the bails stayed on despite his stump being clipped by a 91 mph Mitchell Starc delivery.
Other high-profile occurences included South Africa's Quinton de Kock being reprieved against England in the tournament's opening game and Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne surviving against New Zealand.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have defended using the 'zing' bails', but it has been suggested the bails and stumps are heavier than normal equipment due to the wiring needed to work the lights.
Warner, who was on one at the time of his escape, went on to score 56, and the issue is becoming a huge talking point.
"I understand that the electronics in the stumps and the bails make them heavier. Why can't the groove the bails sit in just be made shallower? Won't that fix the problem?" New Zealand pace bowler Jimmy Neesham tweeted after the Warner incident.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also called for action.
"This is ridiculous. It's 80-odd miles per hour and it's hit leg stump. Hard. Something needs to be done. It's madness," he told the BBC.
? 2019 AFP