Australia v India – Third Test Day 4: Australia on track for win

‘Harry, Lord Reserve Carnegie’ – Kate Birrell


Poor old Jasprit Bumrah. The crowd had hardly taken their seats when Hanuma Vihari dropped a sitter from the bat of Labuschagne off the second ball of the day. This could prove very costly by this afternoon.


This is the fifth catch put down of the Indian champion so far in this series.


It is starting to prove very costly as the two batsmen are now starting to take charge of the depleted attack. The Australians will probably bat half way through the day and create a lead of around 400 given that India are already one batsman down (Jadeja) and possibly Pant.


Was going to applaud the recent new rule that allows an injured wicketkeeper to be replaced by a keeper if he is in your squad.  It makes common sense and came into play today.


Saini made one move slightly away as Labuschagne (73) flicks him to leg.  Substitute keeper Saha dived full length to his left to take the ball inches from the ground. A great catch and I wonder would anyone else bar a regular keeper have taken that catch?


Smith has been relatively quiet this morning but you have a feeling that he is going to launch into the bowling very soon.  It is quite warm out in the centre today.


New batsman Wade will be keen to get amongst the runs but it doesn’t happen and he nicks Sania to keeper Saha and is gone for 4.  Australia now 4/148 and the 2 quick wickets is a good effort from the Indians.


Wade’s position in the team will be the “new” discussion point for the rest of the series.


Smith does not take to the bowling and along with Green takes the home side to lunch at 4/182.


SPD does launch after lunch hooking Siraj for six followed by a four and quickly moves to 81. Green is a good foil for him pushing singles to give him the strike.


Smith does not add to his score when he is given LBW to Ashwin after yet another controversial DRS which had the batsman shaking his head all the way to the pavilion.  Australia5/208 and the lead a little over 300.  They will be keen for more runs before the declaration or all out.  Something about the magic figure of 400.


As if to make amends for his petulance yesterday Paine is on the attack from the word go. He looks a much better player when he plays this way aka Rishabh Pant.  Green has remained the sheet anchor while Paine attacks. This young man certainly has a great cricket brain for one so young.  The lead is now 340.


The two batsmen take complete charge and Green shows his strength and gear change with 2 massive sixes late in his innings.  He finishes with 84 going for yet another big hit, this time off Bumrah and the edge is taken by Saha his 4th catches of the innings.  Paine is not out 39 and Australia declare at 6/312 giving India 4 sessions to make 406 to win.


The depleted Indian attack battled manfully and really did not let Australia get away. Saini and Ashwin 2 wickets each with Bumrah and Siraj 1 apiece.


The wicket is playing a little low but true and the visitors will need some big scores at the start because there is still some doubt whether the two injured players will bat.


It is going to yet another all-out barrage on India as Cummins is on after 3 overs from Starc and I imagine they (the three fast men) will operate in short sharp bursts and then Lyon and Green will take over.


Hazlewood gets the first wicket when he has Sharma (13) but Sharma goes DRS and wins! In the same over Australia have a DRS against Gill (10) and the lose! A beautiful over from the boy from Tamworth.


Cummins is remarkable, as in the first innings he keeps beating the bat and beating the edge. In one over he beats Sharma four times and the Indian is no slouch.  Sharma just smiles and thinks how am I still here!


Paine continues to switch the bowlers around and after two overs Lyon is off for Starc.


Smith tries to get an easy wicket when Sharma is hit by Cummins and wobbles around the crease. Smith picks the ball up in slips and throws the wicket down.  Good thinking by Smith and yet another fine throw. Third Umpire – not out!


The two batsmen are having their little problems with the accuracy of the bowlers but they are still there at drinks with 46 runs on the board and the wicket still playing well.


Green is brought into the attack after 18 overs as Paine continues to keep the batsmen guessing.  I am guessing that after a few overs and getting close to stumps Cummins and Hazlewood will close the day.


Shubman Gill continues to impress and has probably been the most consistent of the batsmen since coming into the team. The 21-year-old from the Punjab is yet another class player coming out of the sub-continent. He strikes the ball beautifully and is looking for runs at every opportunity.


Hazlewood back on and Paine’s tactics are working for Gill (31) gets a little edge and Paine does the rest.  India 1/71 and that is a big wicket for the home team.  Hazlewood has had a good match both with the ball and in the field.  He certainly will remember the run-out he affected on his birthday yesterday. Pujara survives an LBW by taking a DRS and winning. A superb over from the Tamworth Tiger and Pujara is lucky to still be there.


Interesting to note that India was the last country to conform to the DRS but they certainly have welcomed it this afternoon particularly when their two senior batsmen were the recipients of “good luck”.


Rohit Sharma’s luck runs out when late in the afternoon a “sucker ball” from Cummins is hit straight down the throat of Starc at deep backward square leg.  Out for 52 and India 2/92. I might be wrong but I don’t ever recall seeing Mitchell Starc drop a catch in the outfield.


At stumps India 2/98 with Pujara 9 and Rahane 4.  Hazlewood and Cummins have the wickets.


A tense day of tight Test cricket with Australia continuing to hold the advantage over the injury-ridden Indians. A day highlighted by the coming of Australian tyro Cameron Green with a fine 84 showing that there is more than a lot-to-like about the 21- year-old from Perth.


The final day on Monday which should see Australia claim victory and lead 2 -1 in the Border=Gavaskar Series.




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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

    Thanks Bob. Another long and interesting day of viewing. The Indian catching and fielding for Adelaide and Sydney has been a major cause of their predicament, as it was a major contributing factor for their success in Melbourne. Gill and Sharma started well. The two wickets seemed to come out of the blue as they seemed quite comfortable.

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