Australia v India – Second Test Day 2: Skipper Rahane controls the game

“The Cricketer”
by Kate Birrell


Overcast weather made for a lively start to the day with both Cummins and Hazlewood moving the ball appreciatorily and constantly beating the bat. Both batsmen had some luck with Payne dropping Gill from a difficult chance and Pujara giving a near chance to Wade at first slip.


Wade at first slip?What is going on. The two Queenslanders Burns and Labuschagne have been sent to Coventry Perhaps there is more to it than moving players around.


Great contest between bat and ball in the first hour with Pujara and Gill surviving great bowling from Hazlewood and Cummins who have been unlucky.


I like Shubman Gill. Watched him take at least 10 minutes of throw-downs before the start of play and he looked like a young man on a mission. He has played some delightful drives, missed a few but is still there with 44 to his name.


Green bowls a good first over, swinging the ball and getting an edge from the scratchy Pujara.


Gill (45) flashes once to often and Paine takes a simple catch. Cummins deserved the wicket as he has constantly beaten the bat all morning.India 2/61.


New skipper Rahane comes to the wicket and after his impressive display as skipper yesterday will be anxious to score runs today to improve his credentials at the top.


Pujara (17) is out to a wonderful catch by Paine.Diving full length, he takes it inches from the ground to give Cummins his second wicket of the morning. The captain has more than made up for his miss earlier in the day.India 3/64 and Cummins has 2/23 from 11 wonderful overs.


It goes astray in today’s game but wonderful fielding by Labuschagne who saves a four and returns a throw right over the bails to the keeper from 70 metres.


Cummins spell this morning is over. Nine overs two wickets for twelve runs. Great bowling where his ability to contain keeps his side in the game.


Obviously, Paine’s plan was to bowl Cummins and Starc from the Richmond end and Cummins was bowling so well that the left-handed Starc was kept waiting for 90 minutes to come into the attack.


Another entertaining morning’s play not so much for the runs scored but the dour fight between the two teams. Gritty, tough, uncompromising test cricket at its best.


At lunch India 3/90 still 105 runs behind with 7 wickets in hand.Vihari (13) and a very subdued Rahane (10) the not out batsmen.


Australia took the points because they were able to contain the Indian batsmen to 54 runs with Cummins in an excellent spell taking the two wickets to fall.


Lyon started to obtain turn after lunch and despite the batsmen looking calm there was some angst in their pushing and prodding.


It was not surprise when Vihari (21) tried to sweep the spinner, only gloved the ball for Smith to take an easy catch running behind the keeper.India now 4/116 and still a long way to go.A substantial lead is required by them as Lyon will have a field day in the fourth innings.


Australia very much in the game now.


1.55pm and Cameron Green is wearing 3 hats!! Paine’s, Lyons’ and his own. The other two he has down his trousers (at the back).Why does the “new boy” always have to carry the team in his trousers?


Rishabh Pant joins Rahane and he can provide trouble when he gets going as he hits the ball, high, wide and handsome.India need this partnership.


Its moving time as the batsmen start to force the pace taking 12 from a Cummins over. One four a beautiful hook by Pant who stands upright on his toes to punish the short ball.Pant is 24 from 24 and looking very dangerous.


Pant (28), ever on the attack drives at Cummins and Green diving at full length (and that’s a lot of person) just fails to control the ball as his wrist hits the ground. Would have been a great catch.


For a crowd of just over 20,000 they are making a lot of noise. There is know doubt that the joyous spontaneity of the Indian part of the crowd is responsible for this. They love their cricket like no other nation and good for them.


Pant (29) tries to cut Starc but only feathers the ball through to Paine and the dangerous stand is broken.The ball was far too close to his body to cut.India still behind at 5/173, 22 in arrears.


Today’s work/war horse Patrick Cummins is back on. He certainly has earnt his money.Maybe a rash statement as he probably earns around $3m give or take a few hundred thousand.


The contest is still an even battle with Australia just slightly ahead as India have to bat last on what will be a turning wicket.


Rahane reaches his 50, the first of the match of 111 balls with 80 dot balls which just shows his patience today. Certainly has been a great match so far for the stand-in captain. He has risen to the occasion.


The expected rain arrives and players take an early tea with India 5/189.


Full credit to the curator for the presentation of this pitch. It certainly has given the bowlers every opportunity to take wickets and the batsmen to make runs.The only problem being that no batsman has taken the game by the scruff of the neck they have been more intent in grafting than dictating terms to the bowlers.


Jadeja (30) and Rahane (74) continue to push the score along in what could be the significant partnership of the game.At drinks India 5/236.Paine continues to switch his bowlers around in an endeavour to take a wicket but to no avail. Puzzled why he does not give Labuschagne, Head or Smith a roll just to add a bit of variety.


The Indian captain is really moving into his work now with three lovely drives of Cummins in a row.


Ajinkya Rahane reaches his century with a beautiful square cut of Cummins. With 12 fours he certainly has been both the sheet anchor and the captain of the good ship “India”.Noting that he has also received great support from Jadeja (37) who has been very solid indeed.They have now put on 100 for the sixth wicket.


From a distance it looks like the Aussies are starting to chirp a bit with number 13 right in the middle of it.


Starc gets one to lift and Rahane has difficulty controlling it. Head gets the ball in his hands and when he hits the ground the ball dislodges.A very costly miss as a whirly-gig hits the ground followed by rain.


That will be stumps for the day with India now well poised to take real control of the game.With five wickets in hand and a lead of 82 they should push on tomorrow to make the winner only one team.


India 5/277Rahane 104 not out and Jadeja 40 not out.Another absorbing day of Test cricket.



Citrus Bob Utber also reported on Day 1 of the game 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. Burns and Wade are passengers in the slips as well as at the crease. Stand so far back I’m surprised they don’t have to pay for seats. Indians bat with dead hands and nicks nearly always fall short. Doh.
    Head doesn’t move his feet. Batting or fielding.
    The bowlers are carrying this side.
    Whirly-gig? Bloody Victorians. You mean a willy-willy.

  2. Liam Hauser says

    Smith’s disappointing summer continued when he dropped a regulation slips catch to reprieve Rahane, with the third delivery of the second new ball.
    Five dropped catches have cost Australia dearly in this Test so far. Green’s dropped catch was extremely tough, but the other 4 (Labuschagne on day 1, then Paine, Smith and Head on day 2) definitely should have been taken.
    Australia’s susceptible batting will have a worthy challenge in erasing whatever deficit the host team encounters, and then trying to set a target.

  3. It appears that the Aussies red Warnie’s summation of this match before it started, firmly believing they would be playing a disorganized rabble. Well the exact opposite happened. Australia quickly became the disorganised rabble. Their batting was woeful. Going into day 2 many of us hoped the much prized bowling attack would find out the Indians. Despite bowling well Indian wickets were hard to come by. Butter fingered attempts at catching gave Cummins and co little support.Something like 5 catches were put down despite the Indians batting with much more purpose than Australia.At the end of play Australia appeared to be completely rattled and, if they wanrt to stay in the game will need to show more endevour.. The selectors have a big job in front of them for the next test.

  4. John Butler says

    India’s temperament and technique were impressive today. A great bounce back from Adelaide.

    Now we see what the Aussies are made of after a bad day.

    Onya CB.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Very absorbing day CB. As bad a catching day as I’ve seen from an Australian team. Rahane was magnificent.

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