Adelaide Test, Australia v India – Day Three : “The Lions of India and the Lyon of Australia.”

 

Australia declares overnight on 7/517 and the great expectations were for an Australian onslaught with the ball.

Shikhar Dhawan started by “doing a Warner”, and despite being dropped by Haddin (a very difficult chance) off Johnson, hit 4,2,4,4 with some beautiful strokes around the ground. The Melbourne-based player got out of the blocks beautifully. I wonder if Victoria is looking at him. They normally do if you don’t come from the garden state.

The wind was playing havoc early in the day and was making it difficult for the bowlers. Dhawan on 25 fell to Harris when he inside edged one into his stumps. He had looked good and played with the splendid wrist work that Indians are renowned for.

Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara settled down to establish what was to be a record second wicket partnership for India in Adelaide, with an 81-run partnership. Johnson had come back in to the attack and peppered Vijay in the over before he was dismissed caught by Haddin for a fine 53. He was patient, picked the right balls but finally succumbed.

The Hughes moment was revisited when Kohli was hit on the helmet from the first ball he received from Johnson. The players rushed to Kohli immediately and Johnson was visibly upset. Kohli was OK but the thoughts of last week must have been revived by all.

As usual, the pitch was friendly for batting and if the Indians can keep this up then the Australians could be in for a battle over summer. One proviso: their bowling must improve.

Pujara and Kohli are showing that the new wave of Indian cricketers are following the greats such as Tendulkar et al. They are scoring at a run a ball and delighting the small crowd. A cover drive by Kohli was, in my humble opinion, the shot of the match. He lent into the ball like a brush stroke from the hand of da Vinci and the ball raced away to the boundary. They took the score to 192 before Cheteshwar Pujara was bowled by Lyon through his legs. His 73 was all style.

There is something other than the game that draws Indian expats to the cricket. The love of rhythmical drums backed up by belly dancing, even including a few females, rapturously cheered everything the batsmen were doing well. Conversely, I wonder if we will ever graduate from the inane “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oil, oi,oi”? I don’t think so, it is not in the Australian psyche (think singing the national anthem by our sporting teams against International sides).

Captain Kohli is leading by example, a bit different than when he was here last as a fiery youngster in 2011. One wonders when he will permanently take over from MS?

Along with Rahane they have been withstanding a belligerent Australian attack and an exquisite spell by Nathan Lyon. It has been an enthralling day’s play, with the small crowd thoroughly enjoying it.

Kohli reached his 50 of 86 balls with fluent shots to all parts of the field.

Meanwhile, my day has been made; I Spent some time speaking to one of the world’s finest cricketers Rahul Dravid. A gentleman if ever there was one – both on and off the field.  Our discourse centred on helmets and the need for more work to be done.

Lyon comes back into the attack and his enthralling duel with the batsmen continued. He finally wins through when Ajinkya Rahane (62) gloves one to Watson at slip. India is now 4/293 and it has been a fine fight back by the Lions of India and the Lyon of Australia.

Harris takes the new ball with Johnson but the two batsmen look comfortable. Kohli in particular is severe on anything that is short or too full of length. He certainly has led by example since he got whacked with the first delivery he received. He has hit 26 runs of 18 balls with five fours, such has been his dominance of the attack. In between, he ran to his century with 12 fours off 158 balls; a magnificent innings in a game that has been full of magnificent innings.

What splendid weather we have seen today and finally the crowd reached 18,505. The wisdom of the architects and designers of Adelaide was exemplified by the many people who sat on the hill enjoying the sunny weather. One of the few new sporting grounds in the world that has kept space “for the people”.

Finally Kohli (115) goes off Johnson when he mistimes a hook and is beautifully caught by a diving Ryan Harris. A great innings. 5/367. Johnson peppers the new man Wriddhiman Saha but he survives.

Two runs later the days play ends with India at 5/369. All the Indian batsmen got a start; Kohli, Pajera Rahane and Vijay all enhanced their reputations.

The Australian attack bowled valiantly with a splendid spell from Lyons and a fiery finish from Johnson.

A wonderful day of Test cricket, and we can look forward to much of the same tomorrow.

 

If you enjoyed Bob’s take on day three, click here to read more of The Almanac’s coverage from Adelaide.

 

 

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great summary , Bob now an you work on keeping , Danger at the Crows , Please ?
    Seriously a fantastic summary of a great days test cricket , sub continent players continue to entertain with there’ wristty shots

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