Australia v India – Second Test Day 3: India on top!

 

A day more suited to football than cricket Australia will need to produce far better cricket than they have played so far and India will be keen to bat well into the day.

 

Caught up with Luke Reynolds and his two fanatical cricket sons Gavin and Josh before the day’s play started.  They had enjoyed the play yesterday and were looking forward to another exciting day today.  Luke and I both agreed that cricket so far in this series had been first class and truly depicted the word ‘Test’.

 

After a slow start disaster struck for India when Jadeja called Rahane (112) for a suicide run that was not necessary and the captain was out 6/294.  A wonderful partnership of 121 had come to an unfortunate end.

 

Paine reverted to saving tactics and had no slip for Starc.  I wonder how this must feel in a fast bowler’s psyche?

 

Is this a new trend in cricket? Four Australians and Jadeja go off for a pee.  Anything to waste time.

 

29 runs in the first hour for one wicket was playing into Australia’s hand.

 

Jadeja took his score to 50 but shortly after fell for the three-card trick when Paine placed Cummins at deep mid-wicket Starc bowled short, Jadeja (57) pulled and Cummins tumbling took a fine catch. India 7/306 and the two stumbling blocks are gone.  Australia back in the game.

 

Patrick Cummins, in my opinion, would have to be the finest fast bowling fielder I have ever seen.

 

Don’t like what I am seeing out there but the Australian bowler’s short barrage at tail-enders leaves a lot to be desired. Together with Starc’s snarling have they gone back to the pre-Paine days?

 

Yadav (9) and Ashwin (14) hang around to add a few runs but finally the bumper barrage gets to them and both are out caught.  India slump to 9/325.

 

The innings is soon over when Bumrah (o) lashes out and Head takes the catch off Lyon’s bowling.  India all out 326. Lyon and Starc 3 wickets a piece, Cummins two and Hazlewood one.

 

Gavin Reynolds (12 years-old) was right when he told me this morning that ‘India would be out in the first session of play’.   Must use him more often for hints on cricket.

 

Australia begin the second dig 131 runs in arrears after an early lunch.

 

Joe Burns is in all sorts of trouble and looks like going out at any time.  His confidence is shot and it comes as no surprise when Yadav gets him caught behind for 4.  Australia 1/4 and is Joe Burns Test career over?  I will be staggered if he is picked for the next Test.

 

Disaster for India when Yadav limps of with an apparent hamstring injury leaving them a bowler short which was depleted before the game with the injury to Shami.

 

Consolidation of sorts with Labuschagne in charge of making runs and Wade hanging around defending in the most parts and only scoring from short jabs into the field.  Very un-Wade like but as usual doing a job for his team.

 

Ravi Ashwin who has a beautiful loop in his bowling drifts one away from Labuschagne (28) and then straightens back in for the batsman to get an edge and Rahane takes a simple catch.  Australia 2/42

 

I repeat and I will repeat ad nauseum when is someone going to tell Labuschagne to get off the ground when he is given out? It looks bad, it is bad and does nothing for the player’s image.

 

Whilst I am on the ‘grouch’ the Indian camp should take up a collection to buy skipper Ajinkya Rahane a new cap.  It looks like he has been milking cows down in Gippsland with the one he is wearing at the moment.

 

Australia’s chances slump when Smith (8) tries to turn Bumrah to leg and the ball just, and I mean just, flicks the leg stump and the bail falls like an autumn leaf to the ground. A big blow to the home camp.

 

Travis Head needing a score, comes to the wicket at a very crucial moment.  A big score from him will settle his position in the team for the series.

 

But it is Wade (43) who goes!  Attempting to turn Jadeja he misses and is plumb LBW despite taking a punt with DRS. Australia 4/98 and still 33 behind.

 

Rahane brings Siraj back into the attack and first ball Head (17) flashes outside the off stump and out he goes for the next Test. A truly horrible shot and for a prospective captain a black mark in the black book. Australia 5/98

 

It is up to Paine and Green to rescue the team now as the locals are in diabolical trouble but when Paine (1) tries to cut Jadeja the ball only feathers through to the keeper Pant.  Paine goes DRS to no avail and Paul ‘Pistol’ Reiffel shoots another one out. He has had a good match the former very underrated Australian quick.  Have always thought top level cricketers would make good umpires and Reiffel does not get many complaints.

 

Interesting family the Reiffels as dad Ron played with Richmond and was the  key person behind the football club’s historical archives and grand father Lou played with both Melbourne and South Melbourne.

 

Australia 6/99 and in dire straits.

 

For the first time in a while Cummins has put his head down and shown that he can bat. He and Green look composed as they try to see out the day.  Green is certainly solid in defence and must show his attacking shots to give the confidence to play at this level. He is showing good mettle when Bumrah bounces him in one over.

 

The Indians giving a bit back to the Australians for what they did in the morning session.

 

The two Australians, to their credit, are fighting hard and not doing anything silly as they attempt to hold out until stumps.

 

My word Australian supporters are a cynical lot. The locals hit the front by 1 run and the crowd go wild. Such has been India’s dominance for the majority of the game that anything to cheer the locals is a plus.

 

At stumps Australia are 6/133, two runs in front with Green (17) and Cummins (15) still at the wicket.

 

Australia won the first session in style as they came back hard to thwart any big lead by the Indians but the visitors took the points on the day when they took the six key Australian wickets.

 

Day 4 should see the end of the match unless these two at the wicket can carry on with their sensible play.

 

 

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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.

Comments

  1. Top class bowling and captaincy by both sides today.
    The Indians have certainly worked Smith out with his exaggerated walking across the stumps. Will be a real test of character and technique to see if he can come back in the next two tests.
    Without him producing the Aussies are like the Kangas without Carey.
    The barren flat roads of Shield and T20 have flattered a lot of batsmen. Not many have the grounding to adapt quickly to Test pitches and attacks.
    Looking at Wade and Green duck into medium pace “bouncers” makes me wince at the thought of them facing Roberts, Holding and Marshall. You’d need an ambulance following them round like it was Flemington.
    Shaun Marsh looks a safe pair of hands to me and Mitch is better than Green at this stage. You only keep playing Green if you think it will hasten his development.
    Did you ask Luke if either of his boys could open the batting?

  2. PB – they usually pick the team for Sydney during this TEST but I wonder if they will do it this time. Remember when they dropped John Benaud and he made a century in the second innings. I mentioned S.Marsh today and it is wonder you did not hear the cries from your lounge. Lets face it who else.? Burns and Head should go but there is no one playing the long game. Green looks certain to stay and Bulldog Wade continues to defy logic. Would not surprise if there where no changes.
    The two Test pitches have been fantastic and as you rightly say and have sent the batsmen back to the kindergarten with their shot making.
    Thanks again PB for your humble words

  3. After viewing these 2 tests I’m sorry to say all Australia’s batsmen have a big question mark next to their name. Of the overall 6 days play, India have convincingly won 5. Had India held their catches in the first test, Australia could well be now looking at a 2-0 deficit. Much has been said about Australia’s fearsome 4 bowlers, but, it would appear India’s bowlers are their equal, if not better. Australia’s selectors have a big job in front of them for the remaining tests. Well played India.

  4. FISHO – you raise some good points there!
    Just who are Australia going to pick seeing that the only ones available are just keeping the pine warm and the others are all playing beach cricket.

    Cricket Australia need to take a hard look at the game and Test cricket in particular. Just how important is it in their psyche?
    India certainly have a fine bowling attack and I personally rate them above Oz. There variety is exceptional.
    IN: Harris, Swepson OUT: Burns, Head

  5. CB, now that you’ve mentioned it, I can’t think of a better fast bowler as fielder than Cummins. Not an Aussie one, in any case.

    Same old dilemma we’ve had for years now – the test team needs changes but there’s been no red ball cricket played for a month.

    I wouldn’t agree that India’s attack is better than ours, but they’re close. And they bat better as a group.

    Sun’s out. No chance of rain. Let’s pray for a miracle.

    Cheers

  6. John, ring up SCOMO and ask for one of his miracles – it’s the only chance Australia has.

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    CB- great to catch up before play on day 3. Gavin was stoked with the line about his hints on cricket.

    Can’t argue with Cummins as best fast bowling fielder. The umpire in this game (Reiffel) was pretty handy too, in gully and in the outfield.

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