SCG Test, Australia v India – Day Two: When Citrus Met Blowers (Fashion Worlds Collide)

Left home early to look for a cheaper parking site and found one at the High School over the road from Anzac Parade.

Well satisfied that I saved $5 I walked to the ground content and looking forward to another great day of cricket.

I keep repeating it but this has been a marvellous series of attacking cricket.

Spent the pre-morning activities with the delightful Henry Blofeld and his lovely Italian wife Valeria. The ‘dear old thing’ was beautifully attired and looking forward to pink day on Thursday.

He has been a sporting media personality for well over fifty years and still retains his great love of the game. We spent the time chatting about fashion and the lack of colour and imagination amongst Australian men in their dress sense.

We agreed that most of the clothes worn by men is drab greys and browns. By the way we , Blowers, Valeria and myself were all beautifully attired in our various hues.

To take it one step further women’s so-called “power dressing” is mainly black. Puzzling.

I reminded them about John Brack’s famous painting ‘Collins Street 5 p.m.’ (1955)Men and women leaving work all dressed in black or brown, looking like it was the end of the world. Could have been yesterday in Melbourne and other capital cities!

What is wrong with our men? As we three agreed, colour is a sign of your personality and Aussie men fall far short of the crease. Time to get your act together boys.

Smith and Watson continued on their merry way after a tight start by the Indian bowlers. Virat Kohli was like a cat on a hot tin roof. He was constantly moving fielders around, sometimes two or three times an over. He was certainly not giving his bowlers a chance to settle down.

Kohli needs to settle down as the incumbent captain of India and not be so full on, or he will become an ex-captain.

It took an innocuous bumper from Shami that brought down the Watson. He pulled at only to put it down the throat of Ashwin at deep mid-wicket. As usual Watson found an easy way to get out. His 81 was a good score but the true disbelievers will say he should not have got out. 3-400.

A fine partnership of 196, a new record for Australia v India matches at the Sydney Cricket Ground, had ended and Watson had certainly played his part.

Smith, after yet another magnificent innings went shortly after. He feathered one through to Saha off Yadav for 117. Once again he had played a great captain’s knock. He just goes from strength to strength. Australia for 4-415.

Marsh and Burns, like Watson, are playing for their careers. Even though Marsh made 99 in his last innings his position is not safe. Dropped! A fourth dropped catch when he plays forward to Ashwin and the chance goes down. Burns is very tentative. Marsh is dropped again! Both players will welcome lunch. 4-420

Lunch obviously invigorated the two batsmen. Both attacked the bowling right from the start. Burns gets a couple of fours and Marsh hits Raina for a six.

The runs have started to flow and both players are playing fine shots all around the ground. There is no doubt that both are fine players and are showing it on a very benign wicket.

In the first sixty minutes after lunch they add 64 runs and at the drinks break Australia 4-486. Although many of the Indians are millionaires they are playing like paupers. Perhaps money is not everything when it comes to cricket.

Australia keeps going and Marsh is the first to go. Saha juggled a tickle from Shami and Marsh departs for a fine 73. Australia 5-530.

Meanwhile Joe Burns was showing his ability and reached his first test 50 of 94 balls with nine fours.

Haddin shows his intentions by clubbing his first ball for six.

Burns – playing for the team – hits out and is dismissed for 58. Australia 6-546.

Harris fresh from his man-of-the-match in Melbourne cuts and slashes like d’Aartagnan to progress to 25 of just nine balls. When he holes out in the deep to Ashwin off the bowling of Shami, Australia declares. Australia 7/572, with Haddin nine, not-out.

In what was a nightmare for India, Mohammad Shami finished with 5-112. Sounds great, but he took the last three with the players going the tonk.

The day’s attendance is posted at 25,353 – much smaller than any day at Melbourne.

Starc opens for the Aussies and has Vijay caught behind by Haddin. Australia 1-0. Starc doesn’t earn many friends by mouthing off at Vijay as he departs to scene. The umpire calls him a “naughty boy’ at the end of the wicket maiden. Vijay though, had spent 630 minutes on the ground for nothing.

Rahul and Sharma are an unlikely pair given their previous form this series. They settle down well and Rohit Sharma – who has two double centuries in One Day Internationals showed his form in the short game with two massive sixes off Lyon.

With four overs to go the Indians passed their fifty. Both players are showing their real Indian form and despite missing a few times played some lovely shots.

So India survive the day in style with the score on 1-71; Lokesh Rahul on 31 and Rohit Sharma 40, and both looking pretty comfortable.

As proven by the Australian batsmen the pitch is benign. Despite playing and missing a few times the two Indians will go into the third day’s play full of confidence, while Mitchell Starc (1-17) will be keen to continue where he left off when play resumes.

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. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Bob picturing you with , Blowers is indeed a colorful site ! . Watson to me failed yet again mentally . Shami is only dangerous as a bowler when batsman are upping the ante before a declaration . A bitterly disapointing road as a so called pitch .

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