India vs Australia 2017: Yuzvendra Chahal gives fitting reply to Steven Smith's 'two new balls' excuse
What's the story?
Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has given a perfect riposte to Australian skipper Steven Smith's 'two new balls' excuse following the conclusion of the opening ODI between the two teams at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
"The 21-over game was a plus-point for Australia because the rules were not according to T20. The extra fielder was always inside the circle. If they had won the game, they would have said it (two new balls) was a plus-point for them. Because in T20s, if there is a new ball from both ends, then it is good for the batsmen," Chahal asserted in the post-match press conference.
However, he also went on to admit, "There was something in the wicket, so we too had an advantage. Whether it is a new ball or an old ball, our bowlers bowled well. We got a good start with the way our pacers bowled. We managed to keep the pressure on them from the start and didn't give them a chance to come into the game."
In the aftermath of Australia's 26-run defeat in the game, Smith had claimed that the reason behind the visitors' faulty chase was the use of a new ball from both ends on a pitch which was conducive to bowling. Even though he pointed towards India's difficult start, the 28-year old conceded that his team just 'weren't good enough' during the match.
The heart of the matter
During September 2011, the International Cricket Council (ICC) amended the playing regulations for ODIs by introducing the use of a new ball from either end. Although the move was aimed at reducing the disparity between bat and ball, it inadvertently took out one of the most powerful weapons for seamers. No longer able to scruff up the ball in time, fast bowlers had to make do without the impact of reverse-swing.
During the series opener in Chennai, the overhead conditions, as well as a bowler-friendly surface, ensured that the pacers were able to trouble their batting counterparts. On a pitch which Smith referred to as a 'new ball wicket', the most telling spell came from Chahal. His 3/30 included the key scalp of Glenn Maxwell and propelled India to a comfortable victory.
The second ODI between India and Australia will take place on Thursday at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With the strip being relaid in recent times, both teams can look forward to another bowler-friendly surface.
Usually not the one to mince words or offer any excuses, Smith's justification for the visiting team's poor batting performance was a stark departure from the traditional Australian attitude of taking responsibility for every outcome. In such regard, Chahal's precise response is akin to an unplayable googly.