Australia v India – First Test, Day 3: Even more experiences and observations

More Experiences and Observations from Day 3 19/12/2020

by Daryl Schramm


Well, it was a wicket 2nd ball day 1, a wicket 3rd ball day 2 but not quite, but close to a wicket 1st ball day 3.  I had a lovely morning brunch catching up with fellow participants of last year’s SACA Ashes tour.  Thank goodness the trip wasn’t scheduled for this year.  A change of scenery at the oval on a slightly warmer day sitting eight rows back from the fence in front of the Sir Edwin Smith stand hoping to see some good cricket before needing to depart after the first session.


The nightwatchman Bumrah hit a return catch to Cummins.  Judging by the reaction of the bowler, he thought it was coming back to him a lot faster than it did.  2/15 after 8 overs.  I wonder if there are any players or support staff from the newly identified post code hotspots.


3/15 became 4/15 when Hazelwood got Agarwal caught behind after Cummins had Pujara dismissed in the same way.  I had been nodding off after the brunch and the extra exercise.  Hazelwood got his second wicket in his first over when Rahane presented the skipper with his third catch of the innings.  Was Josh a bit pissed off with not bowling last night?  5/15 of 13 overs.  That’s 4 for nought in 29 balls.  I’m wide awake now!


Now Cummins is back in the act having the ever-present Kohli juggled and taken (after a lengthy review) by the debutant in the gully.  6/19.  Unbelievable.  5/10 lost today after 9 overs in 48 minutes of unanticipated mayhem.  Wade at short leg took my attention as he did from further away on day 1.  Weight is backwards when anticipating the ball.  That is only natural, but it does illustrate why Bancroft is so special in that position.  He doesn’t flinch.


Drinks taken at 3:31. 61 minutes, 12 overs, 5 wickets and 17 runs.  Incredible.  The 4th ball after drinks Saha is out to a soft dismissal.  7/26.  Bloody hell! Ashwin out first ball tickling once again to Paine.  8/26 and Josh is on a hattrick with 4/3 off 4 overs.  Unbelievable.  Nicks galore.  Vihari was also caught be the skipper off the first ball of the 21stover.  9/31.  That’s 8/22 today, and the highest partnership of 8 belonging to Agarwal and the nightwatchman for the 2nd wicket.


Why the short stuff to Shami?  Some sort of payback maybe?  Shami far from comfortable and eventually had to retire hurt.  Cummins misses out on a 5th wicket, which thought was a bit of justice.  All out for 36.  I’m sure many records were broken.  I’ll leave that to others to report.


The Australian innings commences 19 minutes before the scheduled dinner break at 4:30. 72 overs required (so what I hear you say).  I predict a maximum of 4 wickets lost before the target of 90 is reached.  I walk back to the car at the break, shaking my head at what we have just witnessed.  I think I’ll really enjoy tonight’s Christmas dinner party.


Seasons greetings to all readers.



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  1. I heard the 1st wicket driving yesterday while working then the next time I checked it was 5-15 it read like a kids game score then watched the rest of the game at Payneham in a state of shock just bizarre
    they kept snicking em,Paine kept catching em surely,5 catches in a session is a record also
    I admit jealous I wasn’t there ! Thanks Darryl

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    More nicks than Norman Gunston.

  3. Mark Duffett says

    The Indian outfield catching throughout was almost as woeful as their second innings batting. Someone on Twitter observed that many have been in Australia so long that they’ve started to use an Australian Rules football during warm-ups. It seems to have affected their catching technique as well. Several of the spilled skiers were needlessly jumped at like a full forward on the lead.

  4. I’m always intrigued when Warnie, and other experts, refer to Starc being able to swing the ball both ways. I’d sure like to see anyone do that. Surely he means SWING THE BALL EITHER WAY.

  5. Be interested in your thoughts on Day/Night tests in future, Daryl. They are a bit like a one (or two) night stand. Great while it lasts but not very satisfying.
    Seems a combination of factors to me. Grassy pitch to preserve the ball. First test of the summer before batsmen have adapted from short forms. If it was a fourth test in January I think batsmen would cope better.
    I like the concept and wouldn’t like to lose them but CA, SACA, Ch7 and cricket fans worldwide are all feeling like we’ve been sold a pup.

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    Thank you all for your comments.
    Ernest – I spent most of yesterday reading and watching the days play. I saw nothing of the 75 minutes after dinner as had other commitments. I still see it, but I still can’t believe it.
    Swish – Agreed. Norman got outdone.
    Mark. The twitter comment, on reflection and recall, is very astute. Shaw’s was backing back into a pack.
    Fisho. That’s not the first time you have said that I reckon. However, the Browns had an opening bowler during the sixties and seventies who had a lot of baseball experience. I have heard stories of his ability to make the ball deviate both ways from those who faced him in matches, and as a youngster, witnessed it from behind the bowlers arm in the nets a few times. Well beyond me.
    PB. Who knows what the powers to be are thinking. They might have bigger fish to fry at the minute. Personally, I don’t like them. Too many opportunities to gain a greater advantage knowing what the conditions are likely to be in advance, and four to five late nights in a row is far too much for most. A one day game or a T20 or a footy match is one night. The one advantage of the mayhem Saturday was it was only two late nights in a row. The disadvantage was there was a list of jobs to be done around the house yesterday morning.

  7. Mark Duffett says

    It was indeed too late by the time one got home, for too many nights in a row. But it wouldn’t have been nearly so bad had each day concluded when it was supposed to at 9:30 pm. The over rates were disgraceful, the tone set from the first session by the Australians.

  8. Actually Daryl, this is the first time on the Almanac I have mentioned the ball swinging both ways. Previously I wrote a footballer would find it difficult to kick the ball WITH BOTH FEET. Surely it would be far better to be able to KICK WITH EITHER FOOT.

  9. Daryl Schramm says

    I reckon over rates in general are an issue for cricket Mark. Australia’s recent performances in this area in both tests and ODI matches is very ordinary, especially first sessions. It’s as if the know they have 390 minutes to get through their overs instead of 360. Give them (all teams) seven hours and that’s what they will take.
    I stand corrected Fisho. Kicking a ball with both feet would be like bowling with both arms.

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