Adelaide Test, Australia v India – Day Three: Dhawan’s Theory

Ah, Test Match Cricket, welcome back old friend. This truly is the exemplar of the game and just the way I like it; comfortably paced, familiar and meaningful. My schedule has been cleared and it is time to immerse myself in all things cricket. It just so happens that Day Three of the Adelaide Test coincides with Day Three of the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia at my local, Bellerive Oval. And so, with a clear plan in mind, my day of fulfilling the role of cricketing tragician begins.

I’ve now been a full-time Hobartian for close to four years. I live five minutes from Tasmanian cricket’s headquarters and have been promising myself that I’d attend a Shield match ever since arriving. Today, at long last, this plan will come to fruition. Radio, headphones, notebook, sunscreen and ABC Cricket magazine are tossed into the backpack. Better throw in a jumper too. Always throw in a jumper. En route, my favourite opening combination of a strong flat white and chicken salad roll are purchased from the local store. They know my order.

Wow. The new stand is imposing. Impressive. Hobart is being readied for the World Cup. The ground is nestled on the eastern shores of the Derwent River opposite Hobart’s CBD and must now qualify as ’boutique.’ Many things in Hobart now do. As I vacate my vehicle, Ryan Harris makes the breakthrough for the Aussies. Not surprising. This man is a fine bowler. Buoyed by this news, I take my seat in the Southern Stand, Bay 6 Row P Seat 22. I have substantial choice as to where I’d like to watch the cricket today.

Now, I’m not sure about anybody else, but I’ve just about seen enough of Michael Slater and Mark Taylor ‘shadow batting’ while Mark Nicholas provides some kind of bastardised Austin Powers-inspired commentary in the background. My preference is to tune in to the Grandstand team, captained by the doyen of cricket commentary, Jim Maxwell. Ably supported by Drew Morphett, the coverage is intrinsically linked to memories of summers past. In the aftermath of Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal, a question is posed; ‘ is there a theory to Dhawan’s batting?’ And this is precisely why I listen to the radio. Gold like this will not be found on the Wide World of Sports. Unlike Darwin, Dhawan’s theory may need some refining.

Despite conditions oscillating between seasonal oddities, I am enjoying my day at (and listening to) the cricket. Some kids have formed their own match on the hill and as Andrew Fekete has Tim Ludeman caught behind, I indulge in a celebratory fist pump before self-consciously surveying the vicinity for witnesses. The coast is clear, so when the unflappable Pujara is dismissed courtesy of Mitchell Johnson, I repeat the process. Soon thereafter, I spot the Tassie Twelfth Man sauntering along the boundary perimeter with a tray full of coffees and I wonder if that is a required duty of the reserve players of a state side. Perhaps it is.

This Indian batting line-up is strong, as is the way with these modern Indian sides and they are making a better fist of it than the Croweaters. Amidst the tail’s attempts to wag, Hilfy has a raucous appeal turned down, prompting a trio of construction workers in the new stand to engage in the time-honoured chorus of ‘Buuuulllshiiiittt’. Murali Vijay is the next to go. Bowled by Lyon. The tea break in Hobart brings with it a leisurely stroll along Bellerive Beach, all the while delighting in the conversations involving the likes of Harsha Bhogle, Jamie Cox and George Bradley Hogg. There is a skill to radio broadcasting that only enhances my appreciation of this great game. A game which provides the truest test of character.

One particular discussion involves the merit of playing two all-rounders. Is this an unnecessary indulgence? If Mitchell Marsh is seen as Australian cricket’s premier all-rounder, is there in fact a place for Shane Watson in our Test XI? Given the latter’s propensity to under achieve, I’d say not. I may be biased, but I am watching Eddie Cowan coming off a first innings ton, looking in rare form. Worth another shot? Rahane is chancing his arm from the get go and these Indians like the look of what Lyon is dishing up.  Unfortunately for the Australians, the city of churches is not the place for searing spells of fast bowling, and this innings is in severe danger of becoming a grind for Captain Clarke, as Captain Kohli joins in the fun.

As the tourists’ innings appears increasingly cozy, Lyon finds some turn and bounce. Rahane’s stint at the crease has ended with yet another Indian batsman scoring in excess of fifty, yet falling short of three figures. This can come back to haunt you on a pitch such as this. The Tasmanians are building an impressive lead in the Hobart sunshine as G.Bailey joins E.Cowan. I’m loving this. This is what cricket is all about. I’m also loving the lack of KFC advertising on the wireless. “Hey Colonel, if I want a pie, I’ll go to a bloody bakery pal!”

The final hour sees Virat Kohli scorch towards a fine century. Cowan does the same. Will they meet each other in Brisbane? The Aussies have their work cut out tomorrow. I may just return to beautiful Bellerive for a final day which promises much.

I have spent the day watching and listening to cricket. Two matches at once. Equally enjoyable. Cricket matches in Australia are rarely the old-fashioned drab affairs that they once were and I’ve taken immense joy in this wonderfully rare yet pleasurable day. This is how I like my cricket. It is great to have it back. Time for a Cascade.



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About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Mark Duffett says

    Sounds very close to the perfect day, Joe, I’m wishing I joined you. But you’ve taken me there with your words, the next best thing.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Love it Joe. The taking in of two games at once and finishing with a Cascade- pretty much a dream day for me! I quite often enjoy a Cascade Pale Ale, but wish Cascade Draught was available on the mainland. Like Tasmanian beers, a day spent at a Sheffield Shield game is very underrated, and should be done by more people.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Living the dream, Joe

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Joe sounds like a great day . I do exactly the same here in Adelaide go to the shield and listen to abc grandstand where ever the test match is on , watching shield cricket seemingly a hidden national treasure

  5. Keiran Croker says

    Good piece Joe. I arrived in a Adelaide last night and managed to get to the Almanac Launch at the Adelaide Lutheren Sports Club. 2nd launch in a month!
    I am looking forward to Shield cricket at the Junction Oval in St Kilda in a year or so. It is hard to watch at the G with only 50 people there.

  6. Wouldn’t rule Cowan out of a test recall. Although I think Maddison is in the frame and Silk in a few years if he retains his early form, if Rogers doesn’t kick on (and I am a big Bucky fan) I think Ed, provides the same sort of counter to Warner and is in excellent early touch.


  7. Thanks all. Had a ripper of a day.

    Mark – Thank you for your kind words, it is something well worth doing. The Tassie side actually contained eight Australian representatives. Not often you get to watch players of this calibre for free!

    Luke – Agreed. Tassie beer is underrated. Cascade Pale is a great drop, very happy to swill on a cold pint of Draught as well. Like most places around Australia at the moment, there is also a growing momentum in boutique brewing. Some fine drops getting around. I feel it is my duty to sample them! A day spent at the Shield will now become a staple of my summers.

    Swish – Certainly feels like it.

    Rulebook – Hidden national treasure it is. I will head back up the road and return at some stage today, hopefully for a nail-biting finish this afternoon.

    Keiran – Thanks mate. I’m jealous that you’ve made it to another launch. Had a great time in Melbourne. Enjoy the cricket today! Junction Oval seems the perfect setting for Shield cricket in Melbourne. I’ll be back at Bellerive more regularly from here on. Be sure to give me a shout when you next land down here.

  8. I agree Sean. Maddinson and Silk look to be the standouts for future roles. I have honestly never seen Cowan bat like he did yesterday, and he has hit four hundreds already this season. Would work well with Warner if indeed they are looking for another option. Good character too.

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