Shane Watson
Shane Watson celebrates after dismissing India's Irfan Pathan in their World T20 Super Eights match in ColomboReuters

Australia comprehensively outplayed India in all departments of the game, crushing Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men by nine wickets with over five overs to spare in the Group 2 match at the Premadasa Stadium.

Given a total of 141 to chase on a wicket that was supposed to aid spin, India put in a thoroughly abject performance against the Aussies with Shane Watson and David Warner making the Indian bowling look like schoolboys.

The seven-minute rain delay, after three balls of the Australian batting innings, did not help the Indian spinners - three frontline ones in R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla -- with them finding it difficult to grip the ball. However, that was hardly an excuse as India let their heads drop the moment Watson (72 from 42) and Warner (3 in 41) got stuck in in the first two overs.

The opening duo put on a partnership worth 133 runs for the first wicket, notching up a massive ten sixes and nine fours between them.

"I think the rain came at the right time for the Australians," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation. "Our spinners just could not grip the ball and it reminded me a little bit of playing in England, when you could get absolutely no purchase.

"I think the rain was a big factor in deciding the outcome of the game."

Watson was named the man of the match for his half-century as well as three wickets.

Earlier, India started off pretty decently, Gautam Gambhir and Irfan Pathan opening the innings, after Virender Sehwag was left out with Dhoni preferring to go in with five bowlers, and finding the boundaries consistently. Gambhir (17 in 12) was needlessly run out with the score on 21, Pat Cummins right-footing the ball onto the stumps while the openers tried to steal a single.

India was chugging along nicely, even after the wicket, reaching 50 in 5.5 overs. But once Virat Kohli, India's form batsman this season, got out for 15, the Indians seemed to lose the plot completely.

Yuvraj Singh never really looked comfortable at the crease, and was soon followed by the wickets of Pathan, making 31 off 30 balls but should have really scored quicker if he is sent in to open the innings, and Rohit Sharma for one.

Dhoni and Suresh Raina tried to bring India back towards a little bit of respectability in the middle overs, but the captain uncharacteristically got out with four overs remaining. Raina hit a few lusty blows to take India to 140, which, in the end, Australia made look ridiculously easy.

The Indians will now need to pull their socks up for their next match against archrivals Pakistan on Sunday.

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