Australia v India – First Test, Day 3: Game over? Come on!





by Citrus Bob Utber



After two absorbing days of play day three as looming as the make-or-break day for both teams.  India holds a slight advantage but there is so little between the two teams that the fluctuations of the game can change regularly.


What a first session of cricket!  I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it although Frank Tyson’s demolition of the Australians at the G is the nearest thing.


Night-watchman Jasprit Bumrah (2) was not expected to last long and he dollied an easy catch back to Pat Cummins 2/15.  Remember that score 2/15.


As the great Bill Lawry was prone to say “it’s all happening” and as fast as Mohammed Ali could turn out the lights in his bedroom India were 6/19.  Pujara (0), Agarwal (9) and Rahane (0) were all caught behind with each wicket ball moving at the last moment for Paine to take the easiest of catches.  Cummins (2 wickets) and Hazlewood (2) were making the ball move like Fred Astaire.  India 5/15.


How would Kohli react to this situation? That was the question being asked. It did not take long for an answer and after cracking a four he was brilliantly caught by debutante Green in the gully.  It was to be a close call as the umpires went to DRS for an answer as to whether the ball was cleanly taken. Looking at numerous replays it appears the ball hit Green on the forearm first. A great catch for such a big man.  India 6/19 and in more trouble than the early settlers.


Magnificent bowling by the two Australians who continued the dominance of bowlers in this match.  They were just too hot to handle.


It has got even hotter with Saha (4) and Ashwin first ball falling to the rampant Hazlewood.  India in total capitulation has fallen to 8/26 and Hazlewood has 4/3. Never seen the like of it I repeat.


Any chance of at least making a few more runs evaporated when Vihari (8) gave Captain Paine his 5th catches of the innings and when Shami was hit a painful blow on the arm by Cummins the innings was over. India 9/36 all out with Shami unable to continue and Yadav four not out.


For the statistical minded Mayank Agarwal’s 9 was the highest score but the team score was not the lowest Test score. That privilege is held by New Zealand when they made 26 against England at Auckland in 1955.


Hazlewood 5/8 and Cummins 4/21 completely shattered India and the visitors will have a hard time trying to recover from this battering for the remainder of the series.


Australia need 90 to win and the two openers need to be there if they want to play in Melbourne. Wade slashes a four in the first over but Burns really playing for his place is tentative and Bumrah nearly makes him nick one to the keeper.


Moments later Bumrah hits Burns on the elbow. It’s a painful blow and the batsman seeks treatment for the injury. P. Baulderstone in Perth would suggest that he retires valiantly and so goes out of the Melbourne Test (out injured) rather than being dropped.


The two Australians come out after lunch/dinner determined to carry all before them. The Indian bowlers found it harder than the Australian bowlers and Wade in particular was severe on anything drivable.  The fifty partnership came up in the 12th over with Wade (31) and Burns (18).  Burns struggled for a while but once he pulled Yadav for 4 it was like a very heavy weight lifted from his shoulders.  Such is the mind of a professional sports person when things seem to be going against them.


Wade on 33 is run out in unique circumstances.  He pushes to short leg and the ball ricochets to the keeper who takes of the bails with Wade stranded down the pitch.


Labuschagne (6) tries to in the game quickly but skies Ashwin for Agarwal waited for the ball to fall. Australia 2/82


After two of the most wonderful day/nights of Test cricket Day 3 was an anti-climax.  Not even the most ardent of the Fanatics would have thought Australia will win this game on Day 3.


Hazlewood and Cummins were supreme and only gave their batsmen 90 runs to win which they did so for the loss of two wickets.


Joe Burns (51 n.o.) finished the game in spectacular style when he hooked Yadav for six but not until Bumrah made a great attempt to catch the ball one-handed.


And so ended a truly unique game in just over two and a half days of enthralling cricket and the lucky ones who were able to attend certainly went home satisfied. The ebb and flow of who is winning and then today amazing.


Tim Paine was awarded player of the match and rightly so.  Except for the dropped catch his game was flawless.


India will now go on to Melbourne with their tales between their legs and with out captain Kohli.  Will they recover for this staggering defeat?  Who knows.



See the full scorecard courtesy of Cricinfo HERE


Read more Adelaide Test reports HERE.



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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. Daryl Schramm says

    Haven’t put my summary together yet Bob. Had to leave after the first session. Walked back to up to O’Connell St shaking my head at what happened. What will you do the next two days? Thanks for the write up.

  2. Never seen anything like it either, Bob. And I’ve only been following the game for 40 years! How anyone can compare the other stuff to the real game is beyond belief.

    Looking forward to being part of the crowd at the G on Boxing Day.

  3. A very accurate description of a remarkable day’s play Bob. Many experts expected Lyon to play a big part during day 3 but he wasn’t needed with Cummins and Hazlewood in full flight whilst captain Paine continued to be a pain in India’s backsides. It was most pleasing to see the way Wade played his naturally aggressive game instead of the fiddling around he did in the first innings and his dismissal had to be seen to be believed -how stiff could he be? Burns, even collecting a painful blow close to his elbow, played his way back into form with some cracking shots. I would expect him to hold his spot in the Boxing Day Test. Head’s spot could well be in doubt, especially should Warner be available. Green must be retained.

  4. Just when it started to get interesting they took away the punch bowl.
    Kerry Stokes lawyers must be licking their lips. Channel 7 paid a fortune for the rights to show old movies on weekends?
    A day/night test early in the season makes no sense. Less sense without crowds.

  5. Good stuff Bob. Amazing seeing a test side rolled for 36. The Australian bowlers really delivered. When was the last time a test innings was completed without a player reaching double figures?

    But Boxing Day; India going to Melbourne ? A Covid cloud is floating on the horizon. Victoria is closing borders to those from Greater Sydney, and the New South Wales Central Coast. These areas are deemed red zones. Already we’ve seen jockeys who have recently been in Sydney including Nash Rawiller, and Craig Williams, not riding in Melbourne this weekend, requiring to quarantine.

    We talk of having 30,000 people attend the Boxing Day test. How many of those are from the NSW red zones: what happens to them? Where is Dave Warner? For the other Sydney based players in the test squad what happens with them, and their families, re the upcoming test?

    The recent English tour of South Africa was annulled due to Covid infections among those linked to the two competing teams. Does Australia still visit South Africa in February 2021?

    Cricket, like all aspects of humanity is facing a serious challenge. Only when there is a widely distributed vaccine don’t expect aspects of life to revert to the ‘old normal’. The future is unwritten.


  6. Talking to my son before play commenced yesterday, I said that Australia needed to have India 5 down by lunch and restrict the overall lead to no more than 160 to stay in the game. After 30 minutes of play, with 5 wickets down already, I texted that Australia was 90 minutes ahead of schedule. About an hour later, Wade and Burns were at the crease chasing just 90 to win.

    I know there have been other low scores in relatively recent times (Australia 47 and 60 in the last decade), but I’ve never actually watched anything like this at Test level. Under 15s, yes; Tests, no!

    Excellent, sustained line and length bowling; the nicks don’t come much easier for the keeper than that; and the critical chance from Kohli was accepted.

    I like Burns (Queenslander!) even though I thought he didn’t deserve to be in the First Test team. To see him there at the end, finishing it off in emphatic style and unbeaten, was good to observe. Hopefully, he has turned the corner and will go on with it in Melbourne (where I saw him score a ton several years back).

    Cricket – it’s a funny game!

    Thanks for your coverage, Citrus Bob. Now catch your Uber to Melbourne for Round 2 – perhaps use the couple of spare days to enjoy a stopover in the Coonawarra to appreciate the local drops.

  7. Post Script: While watching India’s demise, I made my annual batch of rum balls. In all the excitement, I may have added a tad more rum than Uncle Charlie’s recipe called for! Perhaps those partaking may need to allow 1 standard drink per ball!

  8. Just a incredible bizarre day as Ken Cunningham would say strike me pink unbelievable,yes it did read like a kids score ( or Redbacks in our darkest hour ) long live test cricket the real game thanks,CB

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Walked off from playing on Saturday to be greeted by my 10 year old who was delighted to tell me India were all out for 36. Had them well ahead at stumps on day 2. The great unpredictable game that is Test cricket.

    Thanks for your fantastic (as always) coverage CB!

  10. As you are all aware by now the lowest score was Gold Coast Suns with a total of 20. India are in 10th pace with 36.
    LR – Did you make more than India?
    RULE- Love to hear some of KG’s work.
    IH – Geez you better have the phone number of the Ambo’s handy on Christmas Day. Drove straight home to Mildura on Sunday morning and have gained 3 Brownie points!

    It was unbelievable and I really cannot see India recovering from this as they will have to make at least three if not four changes. Kohli, Sharmi, Sani and Shaw. The latter 2 not up to Test standard.
    GLEN – deep thoughts G. Lets wait and see.
    PB – Loved Peggy Lee. Had a great voice also Lady and The Tramp
    JAN C – Hope you get your monies worth
    FISHO – Should hold Green for your bloke with Warner coming back. Wade must stay.
    DS – The stroll through the park is always great . get that report in or you will be fined.

  11. Thanks everyone for writing in with your comments. Hope to use them in my new book.

    I really appreciate your thoughts as I am sure other readers do as well.
    Citrus Bob

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