Australia v India – Adelaide, Day 3: Can’t you hear the thunder?

The delicate sound of thunder accompanied my breakfast, and it was no prog rock album. A look at the Weatherzone radar shows a swath of multicoloured crosses indicating lightning strikes sweeping across Yorke Peninsula aimed at Adelaide. Rain arrives shortly thereafter, but by the scheduled 10:30 start it’s stopped and the main cover comes off the centre square. All the players warming up on the ground indicate the outfield can’t be too damp, nevertheless a couple of blokes dragging a thick rope between them on quad bikes weave their way through all of them, in an effort to dry the outfield. Somewhat fortunately, injurious entanglements are avoided.

 

The hessian comes off for the umpires to inspect at 10:45, they walk on and the announcement duly follows that play will start at 11:15. But the OzRock playlist component of the unrelenting general loudspeaker barrage has reached Men at Work’s Down Under and the line “can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?”. Well, no I can’t (did I mention the sound barrage?), but the radar indicates another burst is coming. After a few overs during which Australia passes 200, Starc falls along with the first raindrop, a windy flash nicking to Pant. The hessian cover is back on before Starc is off.

 

Close to an hour’s delay ensues, during which lunch is inexplicably not taken. Lyon joins Head on the resumption and plays quite brightly, culminating in a hooked six off Shami. But a couple of balls later Head’s hitherto fine judgment deserts him, wafting a clear edge to the keeper to end a critically valuable knock, and No. 11 Hazlewood follows suit off the next ball. Australia fall 15 runs short of the Indian total.

 

The lunch timing issue proves moot, as again the fall of a wicket precipitates the heavens to open, heralded by thunderclaps. The innings break becomes the lunch break, and it’s 2:15 by the time Indian openers Rahul and Vijay face Starc and Hazlewood. The batsmen find the early going as heavy as the skies. Hazlewood’s first four overs are maidens. But after the first half hour there’s not much sideways movement evident, and the scoring rate begins to lift.

 

The over rate is a different story though, and it’s not all the fault of the fielding side. After the third between-overs changeover in a row which sees Indians in fluoro orange going out to the batsmen with fresh gloves, water and who knows what else, umpire Nigel Llong loses patience and shoos yet another attempted entrant away. His sidekick Gerard Abood can be seen gesturing firmly to the Indian ancillaries that they should wait for the designated breaks.

 

An eventful 15th over of the innings sees Rahul slashing Cummins over point for six, then a classic cover drive for four to the foot of the Jack Oatey stand. The Indians are increasingly looking comfortable, but then a reintroduced Starc pitches one up and draws the edge from Vijay, Handscomb pouching it at second slip.

 

Lyon has bowled well, generating several half chances, and wins a caught behind decision against Pujara from Llong. But DRS doesn’t support it, and he stays. The wicket falls at the other end instead, Rahul getting a nick clearly visible from the Riverbank Stand off the next over, from Hazlewood. Kohli is disappointingly booed, though far from universally, as he comes to the crease. Surely, whatever his perceived slights in the past, he deserves a fresh start and respect at the start of a series.

 

Both sides struggle for supremacy through to tea and beyond. It’s good, tough Test cricket. There’s a palpable sense that the outcome of this session is likely to decide the Test. Lyon is again on the wrong end of a successful DRS challenge, the path extrapolated from impact with Pujara’s much-forwarded pad passing millimetres over middle stump. Unfortunately my first hand account ends here as I have to dash to the airport. A glimpse of the Coopers Alehouse screen shows Kohli’s promising innings being ended just short of stumps by a bat-pad catch to short leg, Lyon finally getting a reward.

 

With a lead of 166 and 7 more wickets India have the upper hand, however the match remains in the lap of the gods, Thor and otherwise.

 

Stumps Day 3: India 250 & 3/151 (Rahul 44, Pujara 40*); Australia 235 (Head 72, Bumrah 3/47, Ashwin 3/57)

 

About Mark Duffett

Expatriate Croweater in Tasmania, still following Centrals in the SANFL. You can take the boy out of Salisbury, but...

Comments

  1. Mark yes a day of a lot of nearlys,My favourite Skull line re DRS that it’s a bunch of drugged Uni students who say hey that will do overall I agree.Kohli great player but that’s it folks personally I well and truly understand why people boo.Starc is either injured or under done ridiculous that the quicks played so little shield cricket they had to hit this series full bore v much advantage,India ohh for our two best batsman correctly not playing due to there own stupidity thanks Mark

  2. Lovely piece Mark. Achieved in 5 minutes, what I no longer have the patience for over 7 hours. I love watching Kohli. Burning eyes and perpetual intensity. The crisp movements at the crease and the purposeful feet.
    Is the greatest loss from T20 cricket the death of footwork in batting? Finch, Harris, Marshes (both of them – Shaun and Watto Junior) all look like they have lead in their boots. Where are the twinkletoes of IM Chappell and DK Walters these days?

  3. Good summary, Mark. Cheers

  4. Mark Duffett says:

    Thanks Rulebook and Peter, concur with your comments, which are insightful flesh on my bare bones. Cheers Smokie

  5. M Duffett.
    Have you heard of the Bureau of Meteorology?
    You’ll love it.

    Well played.

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