Australia v India – MCG, Day 2: “It was bound to happen!”


It was bound to happen. The outcry from the general public and cricket personalities today about the state of the wicket at the G would match anything The Donald has to say in a State of the Union speech.


As I wrote yesterday the curator was on a “hiding to nothing” no matter what happened out in the middle.


The Westralian Wonderman Peter Baulderstone hit the nail on the head with his Fred Flintstone Bedrock related article of this afternoon.


There will be an inquiry, the public have had enough and if Tony, ScoMo or Mal had their say it would commence tomorrow.  Bugger about the result of the game. It will be a draw or an Indian win anyway.


Lucky enough to attend the Women in Cricket breakfast this morning where Boof unashamedly apologised to those in attendance and to Australia about SandPaperGate. Good on him and you could feel the angst in his voice when he said, “I apologise, we let 25 million people down”.


Former Australian captain Belinda Clarke also made an interesting comment when she said, “cricket is a game of bluff.”  Unfortunately, she did not take it any further and I wonder what she really meant.


The first session saw India resume at 2/215 and by lunch it was still 2 out and only another 62 runs added. If this was not the red light that India was going to bat for as long as they could then I will go hee.  Kohli added just 22 and Pujara 35 and the side laboured to 2/277.  Pujara a very, very slow 103 and Kohli 69.


At last something was happening after lunch and thank heavens for that the natives were very restless.  Kohli, of course, played some fine shots in his innings but on 82 he tried to ramp Starc for six only to see the ball go down Finch’s throat.  It was not his best shot and not his best innings but his stubbornness shone out.  India 3/293. The King was ropeable that he had not scored his second century of the series.


Not long after Pujara (106) was bowled by the redoubtable Pat Cummins who has tried manfully for a day and a half on an unresponsive wicket.  India 4/299


Rahane and Rohit continued on with very little problems although as usual the Australian bowlers were giving their all with both Mitch Marsh and Pat Cummins  a rate of less than 2 runs per over.


Rahane (30) and Rohit or is it Sharma (13) take the score to 4/346 at tea with Cummins 3/56 of 30 overs the best of the tiring bowlers.


India will continue to play out the day with one session to go and if the Haridwar Hurricane (Rish Pant) gets a chance it will be interesting to see what his outlook will be like.


Full-time journalists must find it a struggle sometimes to fill copy.  I am not full-time or even part-time but I have struggled.


Lyon get one to keep low and turn ever minutely to have Rahane (34), India 5/361.  Shortly after Lyon has Pant hitting in the air down the ground to Cummins who spills the catch.


Sharma reaches his fifty having played probably the best innings so far of the Indians and he is being given solid support from the Haridwar Hurricane who occasionally hits out but is mostly circumspect with his stroke play this afternoon.


THE pitch has nothing in it for anyone except The Hurricane who runs down the pitch after playing a shot, is admonished by Starc who advises the umpires who speak to Pant at the end of the over.


The new ball has been taken but we don’t expect to many fireworks from India as they want to be there at the end of the day’s play.  10 overs to go.


Pant (39) has had a few lusty swings from Starc but then holes out to Khawaja.  India now 6/436.


From my perspective I am already wondering whether Australia will make a change in their bowling line-up for the final test beginning in Sydney next week.  Both Starc and Hazlewood look as if they need a rest and the renowned spinners wicket in Sydney could see the inclusion of a spinner. Who?


My premonition is wrong as Jadeja and Sharma start swinging the bat and when Jadeja (4) skies Hazlewood for Paine to catch Kohli declares India 7/443.  Sharma not out 63.


For Australia Cummins with 3/72 is easily the best bowler with Starc (2) and Hazlewood (1) picking up easy wickets at the end.  Lyon 1/110 and Mitch Marsh 0/76.


The final crowd number of 36,524 to me was a little disappointing and well down from the MCC estimate of 45,000 before start of play.


India now have six overs to bang down at the Australian batsmen Finch and Harris. Having done nothing for two days Ishant Sharma and Bumrah have nothing to lose. The only negative is that they might just be too relaxed.

“Kohli is a wanker” is typical of a certain part of the Australian cricket crowd. Just like “Hadlee is a wanker”.  This minority group has no part in cricket and their comments should be not tolerated. Certainly, Kohli does egg them on a bit but it riles me when Kohli is treated this way.  He is such a wonderful player but I guess this mob would not know a great cricketer from their favourite beer.


For the second test in a row Harris cops one on the helmet. Jadeja come on after four overs. Bumrah, the best of the visitors bowling line up this series has the batsmen playing and missing but like the Australians there is no reward.


So play ends with Australia 0/8 with Finch very lucky of the last ball of the day.


And so to day three tomorrow. The moving day where the game will be won or lost or drawn. Interesting and know doubt the wicket “experts” will have their say overnight.


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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.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Perfect summation of the day Bob , as always

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks again Citrus. Always worth reading, regardless of your full- or part-time status.

  3. Dear Barney Rubble,
    Hope you get an OA for sitting through this stuff. Wonderful opportunity for CA and the MCG with the series evenly poised and some self respect/public interest regenerated. Shame MCC Shame. What did you do with all the money that WA footy fans gave you? Didn’t spend any on pitch technology where Adelaide and Perth were miles ahead.
    The MCG curator must feel like the dog ate his homework.
    Siddle as a sub-fieldsman? Elephant on ice. Isn’t there an elite fielder from grade cricket who could have done the honours – a la Gary Pratt for the poms in ’05? Amateur hour.
    I can only see this wicket playing lower and more inconsistent. Don’t think the Australian batsmen have the technique to cope. Making 243 to avoid the follow on will be the decider. Doubt it.
    Fred Flintstone

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