Australia v India – Adelaide, Day 2: Battle!


Walking down through the Broughams’ this morning, stopping briefly at the Queens Head, I did not have to stop and worm my way through the crowd. There wasn’t any.


The new Liberal government in SA will be on the front foot now to insist that any future Test matches played here must be day-nighters.


I did not dare ask the Manager at the Queen’s how much would his takings be down because of the cricket world, and in particular Australia, bowing to anything that the BCCI say. And remember the Heads is one of many, many establishments that bank on the day-nighters for the bank.


The day starts dramatically with two wickets in four balls. Shami (6) tickles Hazlewood’s first ball of the day to Tim Paine. India all out 250. Three balls later Finch (0) is clean bowled by Sharma.  Australia 1/0 and Sharma’s bowling average in Australia tumbles down.


Coming on from the river end Jasprit Bumrah is like a whirling Dervish. Arms and legs flaying in every direction. “Froggy” Thomson comes to mind for you ancients like me. Eighteen steps with a Fred Astaire in the middle then a quick whip of his bowling arm he can send the ball regularly in the high 140s.


New boy Harris starts confidently pushing Bumrah through mid-wicket for three.  As usual Khawaja plays with an air of an heir apparent. No fluster, no gestures just an air of an heir.


The members stand is filling quickly with the anticipation of seeing what this “new look” Australian batting line up is like. Disappointed early.


The Richies are in force today with about 100 of them sitting under the scoreboard. They were here yesterday but like most remained under cover. Mind you their wigs would have been terribly hot if they had sat out in the open.


I must confess one of the reasons I love coming to The Adelaide Oval is the custard tarts and lamingtons. Balfours (baking since 1853) deserve five chefs’ hats for these culinary delights.


Harris is looking solid, in more ways than one. There is something satisfying about a square, squat smallish batsman. A “Boonie’ is probably the right name. He is moving into his shots now as his confidence grows and plays a couple of sweet drives off Ashwin.


As usual once you give praise.  Harris (26) succumbs pushing Ashwin to short leg for Vijay to snare. Australia 2/41.


Shaun Marsh enters the fray and like all the Australians, bar Uzzie, needs runs.  He is the enigma as he can go from chocolates to boiled lollies in the stir of a spoon.


Australia go to lunch at 2/57.  It has been an interesting mornings play with honours about even today.  The wicket is not doing much and the warm wind is not helping the bowlers.


I often wonder why so many wickets fall shortly after a break in play?  I have a simple theory that when the batsmen take off their helmets it’s a weight off their mind and they find it difficult to get back into the swing of the game.


And so, it was with Shaun Marsh (2) playing on to Ashwin.  Australia 3/59.


The recycled Peter Handscomb needs runs despite his exceptional fielding and after a slow start is OK.


Meanwhile at the other end Khajawa continues to reign even though the going is slow.  More like Queen Victoria than Edward VIII. Mind you the Indian bowlers are keeping the ball away from his favourite shots.


Done it again!  Uzzie (25) goes DRS caught by Pant off Ashwin (3/25).  Australia now struggling at 4/87.


Local hero Travis Head enters with warm applause.  He too needs runs.  Who doesn’t in this team?


The batsmen are trying to consolidate under some very accurate bowling from Ashwin and the fast men. Despite their poor showing in the first dig this Indian team looks very competent and confident in their approach. Know doubt the captaincy and leadership shown by Kholi filters down to his troops.


With the weather intimidating and the bowling accurate it has been a slow progression by the two Australians. JL would be happy because they are still there!


They are still there at tea. 4/117 with Handscomb (33) and Head (17).  Ashwin has 3/38.


Notice there is a lack of colourful clothing amongst the spectators this year.  Is that because it is a day match only and some people just would not like to be seen in some of those outfits that we see at the cricket nowadays.


Intriguing day perhaps bordering on boring but who knows what the last session will bring?


Like the Murray River the play meanders around and around until Handscomb (34) plays a nothing shot of Bumrah and is taken behind.  Australia 5/120.


Jasprit is an interesting bowler and how he can get nearly 150 clicks with the slinging action is beyond me.  It is most effective.


Finch, Marsh and Handscomb have all departed the scene with deplorable shots.  At least this will allow the experts carte blanche to look at the line-up for Perth.


Captain Tim (5) does not last long. Pushing at Sharma he tickles to Pant.  Australia 6/127.  This pushing and poking is not helping the team.


Kohli and co will now concentrate on the tail and forget about Head who is not causing any damage. However, he is still there which will make Rulebook and fellow Crows happy.  Head then plays his best shot for the day cutting Sharma for four and then follows it up with a glorious cover-drive.  All of a sudden, he is moving.


Great initiative by the South Australian captain by taking the game up to the visitors.


Eat humble pie Citrus!  Head’s fifty, and in particular the second half has seen some delightful stroke play around the wicket.  50 from 103 balls with 5 fours – well played.


As was the case yesterday the last hour will prove vital.  The bowlers are getting tired, Head is in fine form and Pat Cummins is very handy when he puts his head down.


Cummins (11) shoulders arms to Bumrah and despite his DRS he is out.  Australia 7/177.  Great wicket for India as the pair had put on 50 partnership.  The first of the match.


India are anxious to close the day and have a quick turn around of bowlers with Ashwin bearing the brunt of the attack.


Head’s last half of the day has been full of confidence, determination and grit. The 25-year-old has cemented his place in the team for a few more games.  He leaves his home ground at the close of play very pleased with his effort no doubt.  Head 61 and Starc 8 with their team 7/191 still trailing by 59 runs with three wickets in hand.


For the visitors Ashwin bowled tirelessly all day for his 3 wickets while Sharma and Bumrah have 2 apiece.



Order Now!

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. Colin Ritchie says

    Test cricket is alive and well! This what it is all about; a slow grind at times, lots of intrique, ups and downs for both teams, the anticipation of something special is about to happen, Test cricket has the lot and more! The third day should be a cracker! Love your reports Citrus!

  2. Comprehensive as always Citrus. I was trying to work out who Virat Kohli reminds me of with his flaming intensity. Jose Mourinho?

  3. John Butler says

    Citrus, this was what I’d actually consider a tough, hard day of cricket. Every run earned. Bowlers probing constantly.

    And nobody had to mouth off to show how tough they were.


  4. Citrus while we all have doubts re Finch as a test opener the insane idiotic incompetent money hungry programming of games played a major part.Shaun Marsh just hasn’t got it mentally enough is enough.
    I said before,Travis made his debut he is a chance to be our test captain before he has played,10 test matches distinct chance to be around the mark ( ohh for a couple of stupid idiots who are correctly suspended ) Yep disgraceful that,India have so much power to prevent it being a night test match thanks,Citrus

  5. Tendulka was quite right in his assessment that he couldn’t believe how slow Aust batted – often quite dreary. As for S Marsh, his test career has surely taken a dive – what a ridiculous shot. For all that, full marks to Head. Let’s hope our bowlers can again come to Australia’s rescue.

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