Gabba Test, Australia v India – Day Two : Labu Who?

I love walking to a cricket ground wherever it is but I am afraid the walk to the Gabba is not one of them. Adelaide reigns supreme whilst the walk to the ‘G is not far behind.

Remnants of Brisbane’s middle 20th Century abound, with the bungalows and their open area underneath that helped cool the houses. Unfortunately paint does not seem a top priority amongst the banana benders.

The ground is located mainly in an industrial area and concrete dominates the scene. There is humour though – as I saw on the Norman Hotel; ‘Brisbane’s Worst Vegetarian Restaurant’. Must try it on the way home tonight.

Such was the heat at the cauldron yesterday that it is a wonder that more players did not succumb to it.

Australia has called in the army! There was a posse of substitutes doing fielding exercises before the day’s play began. It looks like being a hard day for the home side.

No! It won’t be. Hazelwood gets one to move slightly away from Rahane on 81 and he feathers it through to Haddin who accepts his fifth catch. India are 5/321 and Hazelwood has 3/49. The conditions seemed to be suiting the Australians and both Johnson and Hazelwood are bowling well.

Skipper Steve Smith gets into the game with a great catch off Watson’s bowling to dismiss Rohit Sharma for 32, and India now 6/328. This will give Smith great heart as day one would not have been a great first day for the new skipper.

Hazelwood was certainly looking big and strong, and the wickets of Ashwin for 35 and Dhoni for 33 were the rewards for a fine review. At 8/394, the Aussies had taken 4/83 in a fine fightback. Wonder what was said in the dressing rooms last night?

Marnus Labuschagne who?  What a great morning for the young Queensland cricketer. Born in Klerksdorp in North West province of South Africa, he took a great catch to dismiss Aaron for 4 off Nathan Lyon. India are now 9/407. “Labu” scored 83 in a match against South Australia this year but he will never forget his work as a sub for Australia today.

Lyon wraps up the innings when Yadav slogs a short one out to Rogers and is on his way for 9. India all out 408. Hazelwood, a fine debut effort of 5/68. Australia had taken 6/97 and the skipper would have been well pleased with his team’s fight back.

Warner is a must see. He started as he left off in Adelaide, and was scoring boundaries all around the ground. A miss-timed shot at 29 saw him caught by Ashwin off Yadav and the Australians are 1/47. Warner had hit six fours and faced 28 balls. The Indian trio were working up great pace although their accuracy was lacking.

Rogers and Watson were playing for their positions in the team and they responded accordingly until Watson (25) holed out to Dhawan in Ashwin’s first over taking the score to 2/105. Watson’s average dropped again but as strange as it may seem, his bowling might keep him in the team.

Rogers’ solid knock of 55 came to an end right on tea when he flicked at one from Yadav down the leg side to be smartly taken by Dhoni. Australia 3/121

I have thoroughly enjoyed the seven days of battle that I have witnessed between the two sides. Cricket at its best.

Smith and Shaun Marsh look comfortable with Smith using his dancing feet to Ashwin and Marsh ever watchful against all bowlers. This is the big chance for S.Marsh, as a good score here will consolidate his position in the team for the remainder of the summer and a ticket to ride for the Ashes.

Ashwin’s length has been excellent and the batsmen are only averaging two runs per over. The visitors have not given Australia many opportunities although Sharma’s lose balls have been dealt with severely.

The lights are on so bring on the footys! I read the Courier Mail this morning, and not one word of football. What a relief! Smith scores a few goals hitting Ashwin for two sixes and a four to break the stranglehold Ashwin has had.

Smith’s 50 comes off 68 balls and he just continues to dominate the crease. He is in superb touch. S.Marsh on the other hand, falters and soon after being dropped, tickles one to slips off Yardav and departs for 32. Australia are 4/208.

Dhoni has used his bowlers well. Ashwin tying up one end and the fast men attacking from the other. Normally known for his conservative approach, Dhoni has continued in the spirit of Kholi in the first test.

Despite having the lights on, play has been suspended as it is very gloomy overhead and the curators are covering the pitch. At the close, Smith was 65 n.o. and Mitchell Marsh will begin tomorrow on 7. Yardav has the best figures for the visitors with 3/48 and Australia are 4/221 at stumps.

An interesting days play that has probably balanced out even on the day. The Hazelwood-led Australians fought back brilliantly in the first session, and then the Indians kept at the Australians for the remainder of the day. The highlights would have to be Hazelwood’s five wickets on debut and a brilliant catch by Steve Smith, followed up by a very sound innings.

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. That description of your walk to the ground is a fine picture, Bob.
    Watching on TV cricket at the Gabba could be taking place anywhere, with the ubiquitous concrete and steel. Cricket from Myer rather than from the quirky corner shop.
    Well bowled J Hazlewood.

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