Australia v India – Adelaide: An investor’s experience

by Daryl Schramm

 

I have a vested interest this year in Australian Cricket.  While some individuals’ interest may have waned, mine has increased due to signing up for the SACA Ashes tour via CATO for Lords and Leeds next August.  I was also happy about it being a day game.  Four to five nights in a row when attending takes a while to recover from.

 

Test match preparation commenced Wednesday with shopping for supplies for the duration, with an extra bounce knowing Marsh M had been tapped on the shoulder.  The daily menus are available on request; fairly plain fare but created daily comment amongst friends.

 

Very hot Thursday.  A noticeable sigh emanates from the shaded garden out the back when Kohli wins the toss.  We are in for a long day.

 

But hang on, what’s this?  A ‘back to basics’ bowling and field setting plan.  Acrobatics from an unlikely source in Khawaja, a lack of patience by the batting team and our discipline combine to get me started on my lunch a little earlier than anticipated in the excitement.

 

The ground announcer’s intrusion and that pesky overhead camera which had been shooed off at least twice by the officials in the morning session was the only cause for complaint for my group to this point.  The less than expected attendance also created discussion.

 

Pujara was magnificent all day.  A great example of an old fashioned innings building mentality where following the upwards progression of his SR from 20 to 50 in steady increments of 5 became a fascination for me.  It was also assisted by the bowling and field placing losing its way later in the day.  Is it no longer possible to get set batsmen and tail-enders out by conventional means? India got 50 more runs than they should have because of our approach.  Captain or bowlers at fault?  A sensational runout seemed an appropriate outcome to an absorbing day’s cricket.

 

I missed the last and the first wickets on day 2 (Friday) being a little late in.  Can’t go into details but it happened to be my birthday and had a couple of distractions (you know, phone calls and the like).  A big noise as I was checking in via the east gate meant something happened: Finch,  1/0.  Good ball, poor shot.  Here we go.

 

There was a similar story in the FoW for the first innings of both sides.  India had the two biggest partnerships at 62 and 50, each ball was crucial and runs were like gold. Dismissal causing shot selection had a symmetry and India’s discipline in the field led by Kohli’s attention to detail was noticeable. Captivating cricket in my view.

 

Bumrah was intriguing.  A most innocuous looking approach who made our blokes really hurry on occasions.  I did take a more than cursory look at some of the replays at the ground and wondered about the legality of his action.  It looked OK in the main.  A $39 jug of Pimms shared between three occurred during the tea break.  Very pleasant and civilised.

 

Saturday was frustrating with the rain and delays (and the timing of the loss of wickets).  We just seemed to be slightly behind in all aspects, including luck.  Earlier on my way in I met a lovely couple from Launceston.  I was wet through but my soft seat was saved by Suzie offering to cover it under her poncho.  Some quite marvellous sledging between our group during the breaks helped pass the time.

 

In conditions that really suited I thought Hazlewood was disappointing on Saturday afternoon and evening.  A mate (the one that shouted the Pimms) had earlier made a comment to me about this aspect of Hazlewood’s bowling.  Too much need not be played at.  Starc was another matter altogether.  I missed the late Kohli wicket as was on my way up the hill to for additional birthday distractions.

 

Sunday morning’s session was when the game slipped away for us. We needed at least one wicket in the first hour to keep us in the match. It didn’t happen, caused by incorrect ‘short’ tactics allowing, in the context of this match, easy runs. In my mind there was no way we could get back into the game, despite the approach by the Indian batsmen later in the innings. Five wickets in 55 minutes after lunch was unexpected. Ashwin, Rahane and Shami must have felt sorry for Lyon with his previous lack of luck.

 

So, 323 to get. Who is going to make the big ton to give us a chance? Khawaja the ‘popular’ choice followed by Marsh S by virtue of his last shield fourth innings ton in Adelaide. We have a chance, most thought, but throughout this match we have been playing catch-up. To me, it was only a matter of time. Four down at stumps, when occupying the crease was the first priority, reinforced my thoughts.

 

Another early start Monday morning. I decided to have a change of scenery in the outer in the shade (level one halfway back in front of the Foster Williams stand).  The previous four days were in the top tier of the Chappell stand a third the way up.  A bit remote for me but when your mates save you a seat, who am I to quibble.  Gold coin donation day, and a sparse gathering greeted the players at the start of play.  By lunch, the outer crowd increased substantially, excited kids with their families, the Swami Army and avid Aussie followers hanging on every ball.

 

What was noticeable was the chatter on the field. We saw Kohli and others with their body language from a distance in the first four days, but when every ball is a near miss, even from the middle of the bat, my attitude changed a little and was now, more than ever, hoping to win. Paine and Cummins’ positive attitude was a joy to watch, despite being still a long way behind.

 

A move to the ‘normal’ spot after lunch had us surmising what the end time and difference might be. I’ll freely admit I chose 2:00pm local time with 120 behind. Well 3:14 we are still going and are 63 behind.  For me though, it was still a matter of time. I’d said many times to others I’ll only get really excited when we have 10 to get.  3:34pm and 38 to get. Still only a matter of time (but what an atmosphere). Anyway, you know the result.

 

A really absorbing test match from start to finish, with India just out of reach in the end.  Adelaide, you have done it again.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Need someone to carry your bags next August Schrammy?

    And a belated Happy Birthday.

  2. Daryl- that’s a good wrap of the match. Interesting points about Hazelwood and his inability to make the bats constantly play him. I shall be looking at this closely from Friday.

    The 2019 Ashes- how magnificent! Leeds will be fun. Although I’ve not been to any cricket there I did see the Vagina Monologues one autumnal night.

    Belated happy birthday from me too. Note how both Swish and I didn’t write, “Happy belated birthday” like millions of others on the internet which, of course, is ungrammatical and biologically impossible.

    Cheers!

  3. Daryl Schramm says:

    Swish. Already signed up for the single supplement despite efforts to find a tour share, but thanks for the offer.

    Mickey. Am having 5 days in London before the tour starts second test eve. Looking for a district or two outside of inner London to experience. My niece is marking/lecturing history at Leeds Uni so I have an additional few days after the tour there. The cricket grounds of the Lancashire League is an attraction to me. Then fly to Calgary to catch up with my son who now resides in Panorama Mountain near Invermere BC (home of the very highly rated Greywolf Golf Course). Looking forward to it all.

    Thank you both for your belated wishes on the anniversary of my birth!

  4. Mark Mackie says:

    Daryl’s mate needs to clarify his comments regarding the daily menu. Fairly plain fare. Seriously. Baguette, kabana, fritz, sauce, strawberries, salad, Monte Carlo biscuits and throw in the pickled onions. Eaten in that order. Then add the fact that Dazzling Daryl couldn’t find his transistor radio circa 1990 immediately after lunch. His mate thought he ate that as well.

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