Warner continues. And so do the Indian batting woes.

Australia V India – Perth, Day 2 – 14 January 2012

 

India 161 & 88/4

Australia 369

 

Events surrounding this match have unearthed one of Cricket’s greatest conspiracies, the existence of The International Cricket Curators Association (India Excluded) and the weird rituals practised by their members to thwart the plucky Indian players in their efforts to win a Test away from home.

 

If it wasn’t for the diligent and astute members of the Indian sports media, this conspiracy would never have come to light. However, it was there for all to see. The WACA ground staff on the night before a Test seated in a circle drinking what appeared to be alcohol while others including bare-footed women stood and watched. Who knows what spells were being cast on the Indian team by this rabid out of control group.

 

I am sure all will be revealed in time when Kerry O’Keefe and the ABC commentary team track down and interview the actual seagull bribed with a half-eaten Chicko Roll and a few soggy chips to tip off the Indian media to this secretive group and their nefarious actions. The BCCI have indicated that they will formally protest to the ICC.

 

First Session

Warner and Cowan were perhaps expected to continue the onslaught from the previous afternoon. They did not disappoint although the pace was a little moderated. Warner obviously dislikes Ishant Sharma because he lofted his first delivery of the day well over the fence. Warner was dropped at first slip by Virat Kholi off Zaheer Khan when he was 126. Cowan was bowled by Yadav on 74 when he got an inside edge onto the pads and then the stumps.  This was an innings to make the selectors think long and hard about the battling line-up when Shane Watson is again fit to play.

 

Shaun Marsh was unconvincing and was Yadav’s second victim. Ponting was his third when he bowled him with a fuller length ball. Yadav bowled this length more consistently than Khan and Sharma and was well rewarded for his efforts. Australia put on 107 for the session.

 

 

 

Second Session

 

Australia resumed full of hope to push on to a big score against a dispirited bowling attack.  Warner was hit on the elbow in the pre-lunch session and held up play for a few minutes. Now, he was starting to look a little tired. His response was to lash out. A flurry of boundaries and another big six took him to 180. Another lofted drive went high but not far enough and Yardav took a good catch running backwards off Sharma. The end of a great knock that will long be remembered.

Michael Clarke fell to Khan for 18, and Brad Haddin lasted three balls. Hussey got bogged down and was Vinay Kumar’s first Test wicket. Siddle knocked up a quick 30. The tail ticked the score board along to 369. Yadav got 5 wickets and was clearly the best of the Indian bowlers. A lead of 208 looked good, but only the Australian openers can be satisfied with their efforts.

 

Third Session

India came to bat a second time facing a daunting task. They needed someone to anchor the innings and others to play significant supporting roles. It has happened many times in the past, but it does not seem destined to occur in this match.

After nine overs, Clarke replaced Harris with Starc. He got Gambhir with a short ball that reared up. Gambhir tried to fend it away and it was accepted by Hussey in the gully. Siddle got Sehwag in the next over. The openers had again fallen early and left the old warhorses, Dravid and Tendulkar to face a fresh and enthusiastic bowling attack. Clarke took Starc off after only one over and bought back Harris to try to destroy them.

In the 16th over, Starc returned and trapped Tendulkar lbw. The little man did not like it. However, there is no DRS (Do Not Review Sachin) in this series. The replay looked convincing. VVS Laxman edged Hilfenhaus to third slip for a duck. India were 51 for 4 and there was speculation if it would be a two day Test.

Dravid and Kholi steadied things and live to fight another day. Australia should go 3-0 in the series sometime tomorrow.

 

The Warner Innings 180

The WACA has been the home of more rapid fire centuries than probably any other Test Venue.

  • Doug Walters ( 103 in 119 balls) made a century in a session including a six off the last ball of the day against England in 1974.
  • Chris Gayle (102 in 70 balls) for the West Indies in 2007
  • Adam Gilchrist (102 not out in 57 balls) against England in 2006
  • Roy Fredericks (169 including 100 in 71 balls) for the West Indies in 1975.

David Warner has added his name to this list of fine performances.  While it is difficult to rate such performances, here are some things to ponder –

  • Walters innings was batting at six and was in conjunction with a big hundred by Ross Edwards
  • Gayle’s innings followed a huge score by Australia and he probably felt he had nothing to lose by going for it
  • Gilchrist went in at 365/5 with England on the ropes
  • Fredericks was facing Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson at the pinnacle of their careers supported by Max Walker, Ashley Mallet and Gary Gilmour ( the richly talented all rounder who never achieved his full potential and self-destructed)
  • Warner’s innings was against a moderate bowling line up, but in a match where only one other batsman has so far passed 50

The late Roy Fredericks gets my vote.

 

JJ Leahy

 

 

 

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