Australia v India – MCG, Day 4: “The drums of India are beating…..”



The drums of India are beating early this morning and they are hoping for a victory from their boys.


The morning is overcast but a usual at the G the scuds of rain will not deter play starting on time.


I imagine India will go all out for quick runs as they will be determined to put the Australians out of any equations.


Agarwal and Pant do go for the runs and they nearly double the score from the overnight 5/54 when Agarwal on 42 gets yet another good ball from Cummins (5/18) and India lose their first wicket of the day at 81. The lead is now 375.


Right throughout this series I have mentioned what a fine replacement for M.S. Dhoni Rishabn Pant has been. Except for a couple of minor blemishes his keeping and enthusiasm behind the stumps has been great and his vigorous batting opening up the game at times.


Jadeja (5) gets another great ball from Cummins that rears up at him and Khawaja diving forward takes a clean catch.  India 7/100. Patrick Cummins 6/27.


They must declare soon. They do.  Pant (33) tries to ramp Hazlewood and Paine does the rest.  India 8 declared for 106. Cummins magnificent performance 6/27 and Hazlewood 2/22.


Australia have a target of 399.


They start disastrously as Boomer Bumrah beats Finch and next ball Finch (3) lashes at and Kohli takes a safe catch.  Australia 1/6. Surely Finch must be dropped for the next Test.


Harris (13) has looked sound but is a little tentative against Jadeja and gets too far forward and is caught. Australia 2/33


Khawaja remains the one constant for Australia. Standing like a lighthouse, very little signs of angst and even wearing a jumper today. He’s our one shining light in the top order and while he is there the fans feel comfortable.


He and S. Marsh carry the side through to lunch but there is a long way to go.


The first half hour after lunch is comfortable for the batsmen. Shami has bent his back and beating the bat on the odd occasion. An interesting bowler, when he does put that extra effort in to a delivery, he is hard to play.


So, it is with Khawaja on 33. Shami gets a beautiful ball to move slightly past his bat and he looks plumb. DRS goes against him and he departs on that long slow walk of his. Australia 3/63


India are well on top and the game could be over today. Marsh again needing runs to salvage his test career is sound and now that he has a start is laying strokes.  It is when he doesn’t play shots that he is in trouble.


Marsh and Head are giving Australia a chance with some solid batting after the first session in the afternoon/ However the ever reliable Bumrah beats Marsh (44) and he is out LBW. Marsh reviews but has to do the long walk.  Australia no more DRS and the score 4/114


Marsh The Younger takes the place of the Elder with his place in the team at stake as well. The Elder could have saved his spot for the next Test at least but the Younger played a rash shot on 10 to be caught by the irrepressible Kohli.  Australia 5/135.


Skipper Paine came into warm applause by the intuitive crowd who acknowledged the young man’s contribution to the game over the last 12 months including his fighting spirit. He is one who won’t through the towel in without a fight.


While everything else has been going on The Rulebook’s second favourite Travis Head (first is the keeper Carey) does just that.  Holds his head.  It will be interesting to witness how this innings will pan out for him.


He has done it again! Why oh why did he play an almighty drive from Ishant to a ball wide of his off-stump when he still had all day tomorrow to bat. I reckon that is the third time this series.  He plays on for 34. Australia 6/137.


Cummins in. Australia’s two most redoubtable players at the crease.  Ishant is giving Cummins a work over but the batsman is equal to the task.


The drums have not stopped all day and they are getting louder. Is the end nigh?  I don’t think even the Phantom can help the beleaguered Aussies.


A good crowd of 19,855


It has just occurred to me! Why don’t Australia take a punt and play Cummins as the all-rounder in the Test team and add another trundler? His technique has always been sound, he handles responsibility and sets a fine example.  Could do no worse but who the other player would be is anybody’s question. I would plumb for Marius Labuschagne who did not fair that bad in the UAE. Always seems to get a wicket with his bowling, his fielding is excellent and his batting on a par with what we have got at the moment.


Paine on 26 flashes at Jadeja and Pant takes a neat catch behind the stumps. Australia are now 7/176 and nothing will save them now.


Cummins and Starc are definitely not going down without a fight and are frustrating the bowlers no-end. Starc (18) can bat so why did he slash at Shami when he was playing so well. Oz 8/215 and the game should be finished later today.


Should they call it a day or should they play on.  That is the talk going around the ground. The lights have been on since mid-afternoon so that is OK. Kohli has obviously used his prerogative to claim another eight overs. Cummins and Lyon have had enough but on we go. Cricket, there is no other game like it.


The Indians take the new ball and Cummins takes his fifty.  A wonderful innings and what a great day for the young man from Westmead. Six wickets and a fifty odd not out.


Great defensive batting by Cummins and Lyon. Two of the three great fighters in the Australian line-up.


At stumps Australia 8/258. Cummins a wonderful 61 and Nathan Lyon 6.  The Indians just could not break them and tried everything to no avail.


Great finish to the day’s play.


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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. Luke Reynolds says

    CB, you’ve nailed it about the three great fighters in this current Australian team. Sadly not always the required level of fight in the other 8 members.
    Disappointing by Head to get out like he did, but he has shown he’s worth perservering with. S.Marsh was looking good and was unlucky with his DRS dismissal, while Finch and M.Marsh played awful shots given where the match was at.

    P.J.Cummins is a star.

  2. Surely there must be batting changes for the next test. India’s bowlers are far too good for the Aussie batsmen. Perhaps the selectors could look at some of our lady cricketers – they couldn’t possibly be any worse than Finch and co. Thank god for Pat Cummins – what a bright future this lad has. Despite often getting himself out after doing most of the hard work, I feel Head must be persevered with – he certainly doesn’t bore us to death like some of the others. Perhaps the wayward Starc should watch Bumrah for control tips

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