Adelaide Test, Australia v India – Day Two: Lambs to the Slaughter

Will he or won’t he? He will!

The saga of Australian captain Michael Clarke continues and he walks out to bat with Steve Smith. A 10 minute session in the net was the final conviction he needed to resume his retired innings of 60. What will the press write about when he is completely free from injury?

The weather was overcast (light on) which probably pleased all the country members of SACA who would have already completed their silage and harvesting 3 days earlier than expected. This is their big event of the year and the disruption would have put them out of kilter.

Smith continued from where he left off with three sparkling boundaries off Ishant Sharma who bowled pretty well on day one. Clarke followed suit with one delightful late cut. 30 runs in even time showed how comfortable the batsmen were.

The weather finally took charge and players had to leave the ground through rain after fifty minutes of play and the umpires decided to take an early lunch. Australia 6/405 – Smith 98, Clarke 85. The two New South Welshmen where in fine form and the 51 runs came in even time.

Rain continued throughout the lunch break and delayed play once more. First ball on resumption Smith pushes through square leg for his 100. A poignant moment as he walked towards the pavilion and touched the 408 emblazoned in the ground. Another moment for cricket folklore at the Adelaide Oval. Shortly after Clarke ran to 98 before rain stopped play again. Is this the first time in Test cricket that rain has stopped play twice with a batsman on 98? I must ask Rick Findlay, he will know for sure.

With very little play for the day I turned my attention to the press box, and in particular the new look commentary team for the ABC. We know that “No Cuts Tony” has already taken his Team Australia selectors knife to Team ABC and in particular regular sports commentators David Morrow, Peter Newlins, Dan Lonergan and the ubiquitous Drew Morphett. The last three mentioned are all hanging in there and hopefully there will be a reprieve. Particularly I would like to mention the work of Trent Copeland the former Australian (three tests) fast medium bowler, who seems right at home with his incisive comments and his knowledge of the dressing rooms. He is in for the long haul if he wants it.

Rain continues to frustrate play. It is light and certainly would stop farmers from harvesting and cricket at Adelaide Oval. The Press Box seems to be working overtime as journalists look for something to write about.

You would have thought that there was a football match taking place, such was the rubbish being spoken in the Neil Kerley and Peter Carey bars. The Oval is a perfect place to talk rubbish when cricket is at a standstill. Over behind the Bradman Pavilion people were gathered under cover to talk the same rubbish that was taking place in the Kerley/Carey bars. The rain may have some of the farmers smiling, particularly if they had completed their harvesting. There is always some good for some people.

No doubt there would have been some discussions about the team for Brisbane but selectors have got in early and named the same 13 players for the northern game. A game man or women would probably have given Ryan Carters, the New South Wales opener a chance. Come to think of it, why don’t they just select New South Wales to represent Australia? Governor Arthur Philip would be pleased.

Ground staff do not give you any joy as they lackadaisically wander on to the ground to dismantle the tarpaulins. With only nine members they fail badly in comparison with the ground staff at Galle in Sri Lanka where a staff of 100 volunteers from the local gaol carried out their duty with aplomb with perhaps the shortening of their time inside as an incentive.

Play re-commences after a delay of nearly three hours. Aaron bumps Clarke twice in a row. The Commander takes a single to go to 99. A tucked shot backward of square brings up his century. He becomes the fourth New South Wales batsman to pass the century mark in the last 2 days (promising opener Ryan Carters making one against Tasmania, also).

Smith is going for it and he starts slogging Aaron around the ground; taking 15 of one over. He is so confident about his game at the moment that nothing seems out of his grasp. Oops! He is missed by the keeper. A simple stumping.

Smith takes charge after that let-off and flays the dispirited Indian attack. Already things are looking bad for the visitors and this is only day two of the tour. There is lethargy about their game that doesn’t bode well for the remainder of the series. Mind you, the fact that the day has been on again -off again has not helped either.

If India were playing like lost sheep before the latest rain delay they were like lambs to the slaughter after. A missed stumping, five dropped catches and a continual flurry of runs by Smith and Clarke sent the visitors to the abattoirs. At last! A catch dismisses Clarke on 128 (caught by Cheteshwar Pujara off the unlucky Karn Sharma). Australia 7/517. A magnificent partnership of 163 runs off 180 balls with the bro’s bother batting splendidly and Smith still there on 162.

With bad light finally stopping proceedings after a stop-start day, Australia have made the most of it by scoring 163 runs off 30 overs. The home side have been completely in control and dominant and things are looking grim for the visiting Indians.

Talk about home ground advantage and dropped catches. Fair dinkum.

 

 

So, you enjoyed Bob’s take on Day Two? Click here to read more from our Adelaide Test contributors as well as some great general Almanac cricket writing. 

 

 

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. Jeepers Bob.
    Sparkling debut on Day 1, “ground staff at Galle” woven into press box musings on Day 2…
    ASADA may come a-knocking.
    Great stuff.

  2. Thanks Bob. Sounds like you’re enjoying yourself at the ground and the keyboard! India’s lack of concentration in the field, while not overly costly, is certainly a worry. I reckon they’ll bat better than they’ve bowled.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Bob personally I prefer the Garry McIntosh bar

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