Australia v India – MCG, Day 3: “Who said Test cricket is dead?”

AUSTRALIA V INDIA  DAY 3

 

WHO SAID TEST CRICKET IS DEAD?

 

As we said yesterday the third day will be the moving day in this test match. The ex-cricketers that I spoke to this morning believe that the vulnerability of the top order of the home team will be the key.

 

David Hussey you are brilliant!  “I really worry about the top order and we could be all out by the end of the day,” he said when I spoke to him before play.

 

We get off to a shocker after both openers played a couple of great shots and looked comfortable. Finch (8) plays what has now become his “get-out-shot” lifting a ball into the on side to be beautifully caught by Agarwal at silly mid-on from Sharma. Australia 1/24

 

Shortly after Harris hooks Bumrah for 4, a great shot.  Two balls later does the same thing and it goes down Sharma’s throat.  Out for 22 and Australia 2/34. At least the tyro plays some shots and with more games under his belt will cement his place in the team.

 

As for Aaron Finch I cannot see how they can play him in Sydney. He just gets out too easily when a plan is set.  Once again who would take his place?  If S. Marsh makes runs today, he could be the man.

 

Marsh knows he is playing for his spot and this is probably his last chance to cement it. He is laborious before he finally gets his first run.  As usual Khawaja is looking in supreme form.  Sometimes I just wish he would look a little more vulnerable. We expect so much from him in this team.

 

He moves to 21 before he pushes at Jadeja (bowling very well) and Agarwal takes a simple catch. Australia 3/53.

 

Head joins Marsh.  He is playing with great confidence and let us hope he has forgotten his “sucker” shot that has cost him his wicket this series. The erstwhile Rulebook will be looking for a score from him today. “The Book is running a very big campaign at the moment for Travis Head.  “Make Head The Head” it says.  A big score today will up his credentials once Paine retires.

 

Just on lunch Marsh (19) gets a good one from the reliable Bumrah and is plumb.  Australia 4/89 and it has been a marvellous morning for the visitors.  Bumrah 2/28

 

Will this be the end for Shaun Marsh? Only the stroke of a pen will tell.

 

Well Head (20) does not help you Rulebook!  An atrocious shot just after lunch and he is clean bowled by the Boomer Bumrah.  Australia 5/91.  Just what do they have for lunch?  Yippee beans!

 

Mitch Marsh looks sound but pushes at one from Jadeja and Rahane takes a simple catch at slip.

 

Marsh the Younger out for 9 and Australia falling in a heap now are 6/101 and Jadeja has 2/21.

 

Once again since he was elevated to wear the crown Tim Paine has to carry the rest of the court if his team are to get out of this mess.

 

At least the Australian tail does not give up easily and they will have to show it again this afternoon.

 

The game has now reached the halfway mark and moving day has been all India.

 

Paine and Cummins are digging in.  These two are fighters and won’t give their wickets away easily. A terrific effort as the Indian bowlers are attacking with great verve.

 

A DRS from Shami to Paine looks close but the umpire is right. Bowling much better than his earlier efforts Shami bowls Cummins (17) with a ripper that would have bowled anyone. Oz 7/137. Remember Shami’s spell in Perth – Australia are in big trouble now.

 

Australia go to tea at 7/145 with Paine, again a fine fighting knock on 22 and Starc 5. Australia have added 46 runs in two hours for the loss of three wickets.  A great team bowling effort by India with Bumrah 3/32 and Jadeja 2/44 leading the pack.

 

Paine (22) has been a rock all afternoon tickles a good one from Bumrah that he could have left alone but it moved into him at the last moment. Pant catches Australia 8/147. How many times has this happened this series?  Seems like every time there is a lengthy break in play a wicket falls.  Must ask the doyen of scorers Rick Findlay this tomorrow.

 

Ah The Boomer!! What a bowler and revelling in these conditions’ traps Lyon (0) in front Australia 9/151 and Jasprit Bumrah has 5/33.

 

Make that 6/33 ! Hazelwood (0) clean bowled.  What a magnificent bowling performance by The Boomer 15.5 overs 4 maidens 6 wickets for 33 runs. Sharma 1/40, Jadeja 2/45, Shami 1/27 and all on a wicket that the Australians toiled for two days.

 

Australia all out for 151 and they trail by 292 runs.  It really has been India’s moving day.  I cannot believe that Kohli has not enforced the follow on.  His bowlers did it easily today in excellent conditions and Australia are crumbling at their knees. Get ‘em while they are down.

 

A good crowd of 33,447 has witnessed a humbled, crushed Australian innings.

 

Questions have been asked about the makeup of Australia’s team for the next Test and it is the same 13!! Should have realised that the team had already ben picked after the win in Perth. I know this is early but fair suck of the sauce bottle (sorry Kev) they have been annihilated at this point in time.

 

How can the Marx brothers survive?  The black and white days are over.

 

Will we see the Indians go for it?  I think so as they have nothing to lose.  Bat out the rest of tonight and half an hour tomorrow and they should be well over 400 in front.  The weather forecast says rain for the next two days so they will not want to put the shutters up.

 

Agarwal and Vihari are in no hurry and it is puzzling.  Surely getting the runs on the board is a priority?  After 12 overs they have scored 27 runs.

 

Vihari (13) get a fine lifter from Cummins and Khawaja does not have to move in the gully to catch it. India 1/28.  It becomes 2/28 when Pujara (0) turns Cummins and Harris takes a very good catch at short backward leg.  This could be a blessing in disguise for the Indians as this brings Kohli to the wicket.

 

DITTO!  Kohli (0) goes exactly the same way and India are 3/28.  Cummins has 3/2

 

What a fine player Pat Cummins has become. Six wickets for the match and a determined rear-guard action with the bat.  MAKE THAT SEVEN!!

 

Cummins now has 4/2 when Rahane (1) tickles one through to the sure hands of Tim Paine.  India have lost 4 wickets for four runs as the crowd come alive.

 

Cummins on a hat trick as Paine changes the field and he nearly get it as Rohit flicks one just wide of Khawaja.

 

What a game Test cricket is PB.

 

14 wickets have now fallen today after just 10 in the first two and there are still seven overs to bowl.  India lead now by 326 runs.

 

The day is petering out as India are now more interested in survival.  It has not petered out for the Australians as Sharma (5) edges Hazlewood taking over from Cummins to Shaun Marsh.  India 5/44.

 

Australia are not done yet. It has been a magnificent fight back with the ball and some very poor batting by a couple of the Indian batsmen.

 

At the close of a great day India are 5/54  Pant (5) and Agarwal (29).  Pat Cummins 4/10.

 

Day 4 could be the removalist day as both teams go for a win.

 

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About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

Comments

  1. Comeback? Dead cat bounce.
    All over by lunch day 5. Finch, Head and Mitch Marsh have footwork like Aaron Sandilands. All eye no technique.
    Hopman Cup starts tomorrow. Yippee. Real world class sport returns to Australia in January.

  2. Silly me. Fancy me thinking the Aussies could do and India and bat forever. Obviously I didn’t take into account our very brittle batting. Not 1 batsman worth a pinch of you know what.Surely it’s time for the Marshmellow boys to go.If it wasn’t for our bowlers, despite abysmal catching, the game would already be done and dusted. Incidentally I heard the Bancroft and Smith ball tampering interviews and was not impresses. To me, Bancroft came over as a weak individual and has a long way to go before returning to Test Cricket. Similarly Steve Smith was most disappointing with his answers. In my humble opinion he should never be allowed to captain a cricket side again. Now we wait for Warner’s side of the story – I can hardly wait. Almost time for another Rulebook rant

  3. Following on with the ball tampering theme, One of the most disappointing thing s about the whole incident is the way other countries have treated their players who were guilty of similar deeds – a twenty cent fine, banned for one match and a slap on the wrist. Before Australia’s stand on this world cricket has been extremely weak. Remember the Murili chucking fiasco – a complete disgrace. Poor old Ian Meckiff (disgraced all those years ago with nowhere near an obvious throwing action. Sorry folks, but I’ve finally got that off my chest.

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