Australia v India – Perth, Day 3: Brilliant contest

PERTH DAY 3 2018

 

The day dawns with a strong wind blowing. I wonder what the winds of time have for the two sides today?

 

I wonder what the size of the crowd will be in this much vaunted arena.  I think there are many out there who will wonder why, particularly the Westralians who forked out $1500 each in their taxes to pay for it.  A bit disappointing you Sandgropers.

 

Australia get the early break when Rahane (51) tickles Lyon to Paine. Gone before he had a chance to settle in today.  India 4/182.  Just what Paine would have wanted and his excellence in glove work came to hand again.

 

Hanuma Vihari is an interesting player as he has the highest first-class average in the world at the moment yet we in Australia know little about him.  He looks very impressive as a square cut and a straight drive show.

 

The Indians are intent on scoring whenever possible as the short singles are showing.  Some of them have been risky but they have got there.

 

This is what I came for.  Another magnificent century from King Kohli and as he showed the crowd, he let his bat do the talking.  The Greatest Showman has just put on another class act.  Starc takes the new ball KK is on ninety-four one through mid-on for two and then a classic straight drive next ball for four.  Oh, what a player.  As PB put it so eloquently last night, Brave Horatio guarding the bridge. Pity there are not more people here to see the world’s best in action against a class attack.

 

Vihari (20) plays at Hazlewood, snicks and Paine does the rest.  5/214.  A good ball and a good wicket for Australia.

 

Now what will Pant do?  He was swashbuckling in the first test.  Will he settle down and accompany Kohli for a big score?  So far so good and he plays each ball on its merit.  Meanwhile KK just keeps on bringing out another ace from his bag of tricks.

 

Without taking wickets the pace attack has performed creditably this morning not giving Kohli too much to hit and keeping Pant in check.

 

Handscomb, easily Australia’s best fielder, takes a superb catch to dismiss Kohli (123).  He has to dive forward to his right and just gets his fingers under the ball as the TV replay says.  Good bowling by Cummins who has thoroughly deserved a wicket and WHAT a wicket.  India 6/251.  Wish they would stop showing it on the TV. He is out – “read in tomorrow’s paper”.

 

This is the wicket that Australia wanted and well deserved by Cummins.  Enough said about Kohli other than to say his innings was a pure delight.

 

It becomes 7/252 when Lyon gets one to move away slightly from Shami (0) and the ever-reliable Tim Paine does the rest.  In the space of five minutes Australia have taken the session with four wickets for the addition of 80 runs. Another fine morning of Test cricket.

 

Ishant (1) doesn’t last long and is out to a fine caught and bowled by Lyon.  India 8/254.  Three wickets to Lyon as he again reaps reward for effort.

 

Fine captaincy by Paine is not allowing Pant to take control.  His field placings are excellent and whilst Pant can take singles it is putting Yadav in the firing line.  For Pant he has five men ringing the boundary.

 

Pant gets a chance and takes to Lyon with a four and six of successive balls.  The chirpy keeper is a fine addition to the Indian team with his competent keeping, blazing bat and motor mouth.  Yadav is giving him good support and not attempting anything silly.

 

Pant (36) tries to hit Lyon out of the ground but it drops short and Starc takes an excellent catch diving forward.  India 9/279.

 

Bumrah (4) is well caught by Khawaja at slip off Lyon and India are all out for 283, 43 runs behind Australia.  Nathan Lyon with 5/67 from 34.5 overs finished up the best of the bowlers.  This is the 14th time Lyon has taken five or more wickets in an innings. Hazlewood and Starc 2 wickets and Cummins 1.

 

The game is now certainly set up.

 

The Australian innings continues the evenness of this game with Harris and Finch thwarting some fine and fierce bowling from Ishant and Bumrah.

 

Harris receives a nasty blow on the helmet when he turns his head away before the ball even reached him.  Lucky for him.  Seems to being having trouble finding a helmet that fits him.

 

Shortly after Finch gets a nasty blow on the hand from Shami and is forced from the field.  The umpires sensibly take tea at this stage.  At tea Australia 0/33.

 

Finch dos not return and head to hospital.  Retired hurt 25.

 

Harris (20) unbelievably lets one go from Bumrah and it takes his off-stump.  Bumrah is the heart and soul of this Indian bowling attack.  Australia 1/59.

 

Shaun Marsh is the biggest enigma in Australian cricket and has been for some time. On 5 he tries to pull one from Shami and Pant takes an easy catch.  Australia 2/64.  This has been a brilliant display of sustained pace and accuracy from the Indian quicks without much luck.

 

Luck changes when Ishant beats Handscomb (13) and he is plumb. Australia 3/85. The game is opening up a bit now for India and putting them in with a chance with still two days and one session to go.

 

Predicting now that a lead of over 250 will be hard to get.  The batsmen are comfortable to a degree but not on top and that has been the feature of the day.  Good bowling by both sides and the batsmen holding on.

 

Spent an hour out with the Indian stronghold and you can’t help but enjoy yourself amongst this group of people. Three and four generations of both sexes make it easily to understand why they enjoy the game so much. Their favourite bowler is Bumrah and his whirling dervish approach in his run up brings out the three drums whose beat is to every step “Buma” takes followed by a crescendo that reaches high pitch when he delivers. Great stuff.

 

There are obviously more Indians than I thought here. I guessed about 35% yesterday but when you go into the outer there is far more than that. I would suggest that it is probably 50/50. Plenty of Anglo-Saxons in the members though. Shades of the Raj although the boot is on the other foot as far as cricket goes.

 

After a solid hour of consolidation after tea from Khawaja and Head, the latter on 19 fends throws the kitchen sink at a bouncer from Shami only to watch it fly to third man where Ishant makes a very difficult catch look easy.  Australia 4/120.

 

Khawaja has been patient and is holding the Australian innings together and is now 37 of 87 balls.

 

Seven and a half kilos of coffee consumed in the media centre so I have been told and it certainly has not been consumed to keep the journalists awake.

 

The visitors have been rather appealing today, more in hope than anything else and they never give up trying.  At stumps the game is probably in Australia’s favour but this is a Test match and anything can happen.

 

Australia 4/132  Khawaja 41.n.o. and Paine 8.n.o.  Looking forward to another enthralling day tomorrow.

 

Full scorecard thanks to Cricinfo HERE

 

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

Comments

  1. Richard Smith says

    Hi Citrus,

    I am liking your reportage, with a mix of fact and opinion. I also like the peripheral commentary on the stadium and other aspects of the experience.

  2. Handscomb grasping the “catch” was a man grasping at the straws of his test career. He needed to believe he had caught it. Pity the umpires on the field were so easily duped.
    At the crease he has the nervous mannerisms and stiffness of Jim Furyk without the matching ability to return the blade to square reliably.
    Two competitive bowling sides with batting lineups forged in the flim flam of the Delhi Daredevils and the Perth Scorchers. Carousing barhops who pledge weekly on a Sunday to repent and follow the straight path. But somehow fall apart every Monday when faced with a full one outside the off stump.
    Cheers Citrus. Maintain the rage.

  3. In a way we should be thankful for the failings of Australian men’s cricket in the last 12 months, CB, because it is certainly making for an entertaining series. It is still really hard to get a read on this pitch and even harder to get a read on a number of batsmen in both teams. Kohli as usual was brilliant – always looking for a fight to get himself to the level he needs to prosper. Much like poor old Travis Head, the Australian players/public fall for it every time. Two days to go with all result options a possibility – excellent!

  4. After a quiet second day, Lyon was roaring again on day 3.Kohli was, in my opinion, unlucky to be given out to a questionable catch from Hascomb. Still many question marks over Australia’s brittle batting with Head again falling for the old 3 card trick.On a positive note, we can look forward to an enthralling day 4 as the Aussies attempt to build a lead they can defend.

  5. Such is my admiration for Virat Kohli that I probably do not give Nathan Lyon as much credit as he is due. He really is the Da’Artagan of the three musketeers and allows them to have long breaks away from the crease while he continues to ply his trade. What an excellent bowler he has become in the last few years.
    Handscomb’s place in the team must be in doubt for the next Test. He just gets out far too easily. Who replaces him is a harder question? I would pump for Burns who is the most consistent batsman around at the moment but seems on the outer with selectors. Certainly not Marsh the younger

  6. Great catch by Hanscomb folks do not ever rely on 2 dimensional cameras re low catches it creates the doubt.Lyon fantastic,Kohli yep great batsman but that’s it agree Citrus it is time to play Burns

Leave a Comment

*