Gabba Test, Australia v India – Day Four: Indians Not Tough Enough in the End

The day begins early with heading to the beach to catch up with the KBR crew (Krazy Beach Runners – a group started after Adelaide Uni FC FGA side (Fosters Green Arseholes) lost a grand final in 2008). The group continues to grow with a set distance run at Seacliff Beach and then upstairs and finishing with a sprint. Times are recorded by Wes Le Grand and fastidiously maintained and updated.

I did attend on a mission to sell 2014 Footy Almanac’s.  So with six more books sold and some paper work done, it’s off to Brighton Oval for today’s Adelaide Turf Div. 1 game for the mighty Pembroke Kings.

We’re listening to ABC radio, when we learn Dhawan has retired hurt over night after being struck batting in the practice nets. Could this just be the opening the Aussies crave?

In comes Mitch Johnson and just like Superman, goes ker-bang and blasts the Test match wide open, removing danger man Kohli for 1, Rahane for 10 and R Sharma for a Sporting Globe.

India have (stupidly) sledged Johnson (continuously) during his match-changing innings of 88 the previous day. How in the hell could they have not learnt via the world cricket grapevine that he is a player you play silent ball with: do not say a word when he bats, as it fires him up and he thrives on it. Silent ball was introduced by Steve Waugh when playing against Brian Lara after learning the hard way that sledging was exactly what Lara wanted (thank you Mr President Michael Wilson for the info).

When Hazlewood removes Dhoni for a duck with a dubious LBW decision, Australia are steam-rolling to victory. This is the sort of decision I detest with the tracking device saying the ball is going on to hit the stumps. Garbage! When a batter is that far forward the ball only has to be my moving a small distance to be a huge chance not to hit the stumps – benefit of the doubt to the batsman. Kerry O’Keefe hit the nail on the head when he said the person operating DRS was really a drugged out Uni student: :hey man, yeah… that’s out”.

Ashwin then gets a howler, being given out caught-behind. This is the sort of decision which the third umpire should be used for, to immediately reverse a mistake (and mind you, wouldn’t he have been flat out in these two Test matches from the performances of the two blind mice! It’s been that bad I thought Razor Ray was umpiring!).

Dhawan finally re-appears, but the horse has well and truly bolted. India proceed to complain about the practice wickets. But, hey, why don’t you have a look at the deck and if you consider it worn and could pose a problem there’s a simple solution: don’t bat!

Pujara is removed by the very impressive debutant Hazlewood for 43. Lyon chimes in with the dismissal of Dhawan for a well compiled 81 (when he was out on the ground – toughen up, princess).

India have collapsed to be all out for 224.

Australia are in pursuit of 128 for victory. Warner is struck a nasty blow on the thumb to a ball which bounces and he probably should have played back to. He is hampered significantly for the rest of his short innings.

The Knackery’s favourite cricketer comes in and departs shortly afterwards for a quack. Peter Flynn makes a very valid point that Watson and Haddin were on the SCG when Hughes was hit and you must wonder what damage has been done phsychologically to their ability to play the short ball. Surely though, Watson’s had enough chances. Has he got a compromising photos of a selector? Haddin – batting-wise, may have been understandably affected and the reflexes may be going (just a fraction), but his spot is far from secure.

Rogers makes a well compiled 50 to shore up his spot for a while longer (a not-out would have helped), but he did a lot to bring it home. Smith makes virtually his first mistake of a impressive debut Test as skipper getting run out. S.Marsh does nothing to silence his doubters and Mitch Marsh hits the winning runs in a four-wicket result which, in the end, flattered India.

The tail of the Aussies was the huge difference between the two sides. In a fantastic win, I thought the other winner was the pitch. That Australia could come back from India being 4-311 at stumps on day one, for there to still be enough pace and bounce for the bowling side to take nine wickets on day four (and not rely on the toss and declarations) to set up a result, is a win in my book for curator, Kevin Mitchell and his ground staff.

In the main game of the day Pembroke have come back from the dead to defeat Brighton with the ice man Brad Portlock taking two wickets in the final over to win by four runs. We belt out our victory song after the game – ironically to Richmond’s ‘Oh we’re from Tigerland…’ tune – and after our first win for the season, clinching the holy grail of ninth spot (don’t the Tigers relate to that) and staying up is a realistic aim!

(I did sell an Almanac to one of the umpires in Brenton Whittlesea as well!)

Australia – 505 (Smith 133, Johnson 88, Rogers 55, Starc 52) and 6/130 (Rogers 55. Ishant Sharma 3-38) def India – 408 (Vijay 144, Rahane 81. Hazlewood 5-68) and 224 (Dhawan 81. Johnson 4-61).

Man of the Match: Steve Smith

Australia lead the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Series 2-nil (not Bob Neil).






  1. Simon Hedger says

    The team is almost split right down the middle those that are great form and those who are terrible form.

  2. Good report Mal. Ashwin certainly got a howler, and the Indians have got the worst of the umpiring this series. But Dhoni was plumb, and it was the worst shot imaginable from a leader and class batsman. He was 2 foot outside off stump trying to clip a straight one through square leg. Deserved exactly what he got. Made Watto’s shot look intelligent, and that’s saying something.
    DRS for stumping and run outs where objective data adds something. The rest is subjective interpretation of subjective data, and interferes with the rhythm and spirit of sport. Umpires make mistakes, as do players and the rest of us.
    Great work on the Almanac sales front. Has Tom Martin sent you the raffle ticket money yet?

  3. Agree re Watson, on thin ice, and Shaun Marsh never ceases to disappoint. Why do they keep picking him?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Guys Simon good point , Wes your obligation to the KBR is admired
    PB Dhoni terrible shot but a long way forward and both myself and Ad Uni FC well in front re , Tom Martin ( and he is to clever for me re sledging wise )

  5. Rulebook,

    I reckon Watto plays in character the whole time.

    I think the howlers had some impact but I reckon other factors were more important. The catch off Steve Smith early – I think it would have made the score 3/63 – was significant.

    I agree with your Kevin Mitchell comments especially if you’ve kept an eye on the weather up there over the past fortnight.

  6. Good one Rulebook – have to agree with all that you said and glad that at least one Pembroke team had a win!

  7. I think your spot on about watto that seems the only way he could keep getting a game, not worthy of being a test bat!!!
    Was nice to get a trundle and better to come away with a win after top order(me) let us down!
    Carn Kings

  8. In general I am a DRS advocate, but agree that in cases where the ball has still to travel a large distance to hit the stumps that no computer simulation is going to be perfect. In the case of Dhoni it was almost like the umpire was offended by the audacity of the shot.
    Thought Chappelli’s column this morning was an interesting response to Smith’s debut as captain – I wonder how long he can cover for other under-performing members of the top 7. With captaincy not so much an issue, no Clarke as a batsman is probably more of a problem for Australia right at the moment, considering there is no obvious replacement for M Marsh in Melbourne and huge pressure on S Marsh, The aggregates for this series will already be interesting reading.
    And lastly – your prediction last test that the Aussie tail batting strength (despite top order shakiness) would prove decisive appears to have already been proven true.

  9. Lisa Edwards says

    I’m sure the Hughes situation has affected Watson, but should he have picked in the first place? I say no.
    Thanks the wrap up Book.

  10. Indian players are over paid, under performed, spoilt brats, who have extra large egos, and are not as good as they think they are. They are not the power in world cricket like their players and fans think. India is the 6th best test playing nation, “soon to be 7th”, with the highest ranked Indian batsman being Pujara at 17th, with Kohli at 19th and Vijay at 20th. The Indian bowling apart from Inshant Sharma is very average. India can never win away from India. The Indian players are grossly over rated, lack substance, have an extremely fragile mentality, and are always looking for excuses for their poor performances. In this test series Australia have had nearly as many poor decisions as the Indians in both test matches, but you don’t hear Australia complaining. All you hear is whining and excuses from Indian players, for the persistent failure to win test matches.

  11. Lovely work again Malcolm. If the Indians’ allegation about not being permitted access to the practice decks because they were being saved for subsequent matches is correct then they have a valid complaint. Why, though, would you raise it, via the media, mid-collapse, or at all? This could only ever be seen as sour grapes. Short-sighted; unless they are actually courting controversy, for some reason that’s beyond this reader’s comprehension.

  12. Yep, Rulebook. Could not believe it when the Indians targeted Johnson in the first test. Pretty much rookie sports psychology, regardless of the sport, that if a mercurial opponent is not going that well you play them quickly and quietly. Instead they poked the bear and looked it in the eye as they were poking it. Not surprisingly, they got mauled.

  13. troy hancox says

    Great write up Malcolm, as usual.
    I bet you really LOVED to sing the best by far football tune in the land!

    You will hear it more often than not 2015 .

  14. *first innings

  15. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Shep the love affair the selectors have for Watson and S Marsh is bemusing to say the least ( well run in the morning go kbr )
    JTH Watto , Watto ! wasn’t the S Smith dropped catch in the 2nd inn ?
    Todd G thanks mate go the Kings ( least your game finished early , shame you weren’t at the Kensi your name came up in members draw )
    Brad P well done yest , Mr Ice man the Brighton spectators were a tad quiet as you took the last 2 wickets .
    Lisa from , China thank you enjoy your weather postings and again get on the end of the que at the Knackery re Watson and it is a long one !
    Luke a fair bit of truth in your comment
    Daddsy re the practice wickets that there has never been a complaint from any other side is damning against , India strange behaviour and as I said just don’t use them if you have any concerns
    Model spot on re the , Dhoni decision poor shot , poor umpiring , the aussie batting line up has distinct weakness but the ability to bat deep and the tail wag will continue to be vital . I actually think , Starc is technically correct enough that if he really worked at his batting he could develop in to a batting all rounder .
    Dave Indias tactics re Johnson were as dumb as any I have ever witnessed definitely a candidate for most idiotic behaviour ever .
    Troy Richmond song easily the best , you are not footy dumb and no the tigers just like the crows are a significant step behind the top teams ( Brightons batting was interesting to say the least towards the end of the game bad enough to wonder whether, Troy Chaplin the football equivalent of , Watto was playing )

  16. Enjoyable as always Book.

  17. Another great article Malcolm. The ball to Warner’s thumb could have been a lot worse than it ended up.

  18. Well played R Book.
    Watto – it’s a mystery. This is a logic-free zone, as far as i can see.
    S Marsh – another mystery. Out twice in the second dig (after being dropped and then caught in the first).
    C Rogers – keeps doing enough.
    DRS – I’m not convinced that it’s any good at all. As PB says, there’s still a subjective aspect to many appeals. This can never be removed by DRS. Mistakes will happen. That’s life. On a rant now – this is a life lesson that seems to be slipping by the wayside. The roaring of disapproval when any mistake is made is inappropriate. Kids learn from this, too. Howabout everyone ACCEPTS the umpire’s decision, regardless of error?. Isn’t that what the umpire is for? What a great life example that would be: that we accept the decision, that we control the controllables, and act in a resilient way to the uncontrollables.

  19. John Stevenson says

    Healthy way to begin the day Malcolm to get mind,body,spirit in order.
    Enjoyed your analysis of what turned out to be the final day of the Gabba Test
    & your local cricket. Quite amazing how the Test ended,…abruptly.
    Sterling performances from many including Murali Vijay,Mitch Johnstone &
    Steve Smith. Let’s hope the Boxing Day Test goes longer, else I may be persuaded
    to think that the IPL has tainted Indian Test Cricket, or is it the rupee.
    Perhaps HH The Daily Lama has the answer. Namaste.

  20. Why are they persisting with Shaun Marsh!? He is 30 years old, his first class record is average. If he hasn’t got his game right and consistency by now.. surely he never will.. Same goes for shane watson. At 2 nil up in the series now is a perfect chance to give new guys a go.
    As for india, shikhar dhawan needs to harden up.
    Surely they will use drs now.. I have no problem them being given out with dodgy decisions. Stop being spoilt brats and just use it!

  21. Good wrap Book.
    If only the umpires expressed a little more doubt from time to time (like they are supposed to) I would have had something to listen to yesterday rather than my wife’s only Christmas carols CD.

  22. Nice read Mal. Agree that many are thinking it is time some hard calls were made around Watson. Keep feeling Haddin needs more time after what has happened but with two wins he can rewarded with another game. The side also needs some experience at all levels in side I would expect Haddin is doing that. At the moment I only see two batsman ( Warner and Smith ) capable of big scores and they seem to cover for the rest who at best makes starts but don’t go on.

  23. Book, re: the raffle money, cheque’s in the mail. Could take a few weeks from the West. Give me a bell in February if it hasn’t arrived. On second thoughts, don’t.

    Richmond’ club song is indeed the best in sport. Appropriated most magnificently by the mighty Mötley Blues –

    We’re from the south parklands
    The Mötley Blues, we’re from the south parklands
    Des Vaughton Oval – dodging hobos in the dark
    Needles in the park
    We’re free to roam, but feel at home
    Here in this southern park

    ‘Cos with the Mötley Blues, a celebration
    Is a Mötley Blues, intoxication
    So bring the Disco Buffalo, with Super Cat in tow
    Come on boys we love to win so let the music flow
    Cos we’re the Motley Blues
    We’ll never give up till the final ball is bowled
    And though we’re all getting old, we’re still pure gold
    And don’t forget the ‘cricket bitches’!
    Cos we’re the Mötley Blues.

  24. Kevin Richards says

    fantastic summary , Malcolm informative with humor well played . Glad your , Pembroke side won
    and agreed re the tigers fantastic song , very average side

  25. Martin Rumsby says

    Australia is likely to have this test series won by the time we usher in 2015. India’s winning record at the MCG is poor having lost the last five encounters there and not tasting victory at that venue since 1981. Maybe the Indians need to shift the hostility away from Mitch Johnson and focus more on trying to unsettle new captain Steve Smith who had a dream debut at the Gabba.

  26. Wattos gotta go – we all agree on that one!
    DRS – I will have to refer to the third umpire on that one
    Sean Marsh – ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH – same old same old
    good to have a new name thrown into the mix today but I just hope Burns gets the next two tests.
    MS Dhoni earns more than Clive P and Gina R together – as if he gives a rats tossbag how they perform day in day out – Kholi seemed to be more fired up and intent on winning when he was at the helm.
    So you were playing for Pembroke Book?? What was your contribution on this momentous day??
    Well done on selling more Almanacs – great stocking fillers.

  27. 4 day test match does not equal a good wicket. Boof Lehmann just said the Adelaide wicket was the best he has seen. Time to admit in the words of Chocko Williams

    U were wrong

  28. RB as 2014 reaches its zenith and I commence the very serious task of choosing which wine to drink on Christmas Day (this normally takes me a few hours of contemplation and weather watching) I watched some and listened to some of this Test’s closing hours. It went to script. Indians crumble under sustained pressure and blame a practice wicket for their demise, and a few outstanding contributions mask deficiencies in Australia’s team. It was a. Wry solid win. Enjoyable even.
    I,for one, am loving the absence of DRS. Cricket in particular, and sport in general, thrive on uncertainty and absurdity.
    Thanks for the report.

  29. Great write up. The cricket has been fantastic and I for one am enjoying it especially after watching our deplorable performance against Pakistan. How those muppets can complain about Australian pitches is beyond me.

    I remember playing and defeating Pembroke, in fact I enjoyed playing all the snobs who went to private schools!

  30. Totally agree , The DRS has cost India big time but its ironic they wont use it. Marsh and Watson so many chances, Marsh in particular

  31. Great piece as always Rulebook! Strength to strength, mate!

  32. Luke Reynolds says

    Great summary Rulebook, enjoyable, humourous read. The Indian sledging of Johnson just baffling. How stupid are they?
    Fantastic to see the Kings have a good win!

  33. Well written review of play, good stuff

  34. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks folks greatly appreciated , Watson and S Marsh bemusing to say the least while I agree human error is a huge part of sport , I still think , DRS has a role to eliminate the howler at the very least . Dhwanan not in the side to win the war
    . Bizz totally agree . TM love your song , have fun today , look forward to your , boxing day wrap . DL not playing just coaching mate and scoring . Martin sledging not a Indian strength they are better at just worrying about there own game .
    Raj the gabba was a good cricket wicket for both batting and bowling .
    Fab , Norwood high re me coaching , Pembroke now go the Kings ! thanks mate
    Go China ! Thank you to so many of you buying a copy of the almanac , bought the ton up re books sold time to get the head down and keep going !

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