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India v Australia Test

February 23 2017 at 12:29 PM

Dave Morton  (Login DaveMorton)

 
I got up early(ish) to watch this, and how enjoyable day 1 has been. Absolute raging turner of a pitch, more like the ones England met in Bangladesh than the fairly flat ones of the India series, but India didn't bowl too well on it.

I think this was down to the superior footwork of the Aussie batsmen, compared with ours. Bowlers were under pressure all the time, even though Oz, like England, have lots of left-handed batsmen.

Big Yorkshire presence in the game. Yorkshire-born Renshaw, Mitchell Starc and Pujara, plus Kettleborough.

Most importantly, Peter Handscomb, who looks quite a tall lad, with an upright stance. I thought he played the spinners brilliantly, despite having to start his innings when they were in full flow. Perhaps an lbw candidate against seamers, nipping it around in April?

But he does look a thoughtful and well organised player. Not unlike Pujara, in fact.

 
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Guest
(Login dpressed)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 23 2017, 4:55 PM 

I only saw the last 3 hours but can't agree with you. But for an excellent 10th wicket partnership including Mitch Starc Aus would have been bowled out for about 200. We'll see how important this stand has been when India bat

 
 
marsker
(Login marskeman)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 23 2017, 8:26 PM 

All the commentators thought that 250 was par and starcs late hitting got them there.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 24 2017, 10:58 AM 

In that case India well below par and short of runs. Kohli out second ball probably helps.

Handscomb may not suit some as a keeper but looks like he can catch flies in the slips

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 24 2017, 11:45 AM 

Once again Handscomb batted quite beautifully. Only 19 runs, but worth many a fifty, if not more. I continue to be amazed at Smith's improvement.

India's problems with the bat accentuated the excellence of the Aussies' batting. And those on this forum who liked to criticise Cook's captaincy can be thankful we didn't have Kohli in that role. Cook may have lacked imagination and boldness, occasionally, but at least he stayed calm under pressure.

If you want to see a real wicket-keeper, Saha is probably the best around.

 
 
Pyrahtechnics
(Login Pyrahtechnics)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 24 2017, 1:21 PM 

While Peter Handscomb might be technically fluid with the bat, I don't see how lasting 34 balls on any sort of wicket is worth at least 50 runs.

One players credentials on the up is no other than Yorkshire's finest Matt Renshaw, who appears to be taking to test cricket like Joe Root did in his infancy. Maybe Moxon and Gale have their eye on him as a potential Overseas player for the future.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 24 2017, 2:29 PM 

I'll try to explain. On a pitch like that there's always going to be a ball with your name on it. When it comes, there's nothing you can do about it. The trick is to have a plan that allows you to score, and not to get out, to the more ordinary balls in between.

So shot selection is the key. The commentators, especially Manjrekhar, continually stressed that the straight-drive was a more dangerous shot than the reverse-sweep. All the Aussie top order appeared to have a method. Smith, for example, played and missed against Jadeja so often that he was laughing at him. He knew that as long as he played straight and defended his wicket, the ball that turned would easily beat the outside edge.

Renshaw and Handscomb were just as good, though Handscomb got the deadly ball and Renshaw, who was ill and had probably had enough, eventually fell to the above mentioned straight drive. Mitch Marsh had a different method, and his worked too.

I think there was a lot of Lehmann in the way they played. No modern player can have experience of a pitch like that, not even at club level in Australia, where I watched O'Keefe bowl without success one Saturday afternoon, at Manly Oval.

Equally, the Indian spinners did not really know how to bowl on it. Ashwin and Jadeja are brilliant bowlers on a flat pitch which gives them just a little help. I would have loved to see Jim Laker on it, or Wardle and Appleyard. Underwood, too, or the young Panesar, who learnt to bowl on something about halfway-similar at Northampton.

You wouldn't want every Test to be played on a pitch like this, but once in a while is great, because it challenges players outside their comfort zone. This is exactly what T20 has (rightly) been praised for doing - and wouldn't a T20 game be fun on a surface like this one? But not for those who think cricket is only entertaining when the ball is being slogged out of the stadium.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 24 2017, 5:17 PM 

Like 👍🏻

 
 
Pyrahtechnics
(Login Pyrahtechnics)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 25 2017, 10:24 PM 

Well it seems Steve Smith has had the last laugh as he scores a match clinching century for Austtalia. Nothing wrong with batsmen playing and missing shots, luring bowlers into a false sense of security and bowl forthcoming deliveries into the batsmans slot.

Steve Smith might have taken an unorthodox approach to batting, but his quick hands and feet helped him stay at the crease to throw the Indian spinners off. In comparison, a fair number of Indian wickets fell to batsmen not moving their feet and being forced into playing strokes.

Peter Handscombes keeping might be a lot to be desired, but seems quick and agile when fielding close. This could prove useful whenever Adil Rashid is into the attack.



 
 
Seadog73
(Login Seadog73)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 10:40 AM 

What a brilliant knock from Smith, given the context of the match. It's nice to see India taken down a peg, even if it is by the Aussies. I'll still be amazed if India don't win the series.

 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 10:43 AM 

Amazing game cricket.

After easily beating England on proper pitches I can only surmise India didn't feel quite so confident about beating the Aussies on a level playing field.

Backfired spectacularly.

I didn't see much of the game but I thought Kohli was quite thoughtful and gracious in defeat.


 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 12:39 PM 

Smith's innings was amazing, wasn't it? I was fortunate to be in Cape Town when another Aussie captain played a great innings. Michael Clarke was battered by Steyn and Morkel, but came through it, and his team won.

The contrast is what makes Test cricket great, the physical courage in that case, the skill and mental strength that Smith showed.

I didn't watch the post-match interviews, but it's no surprise that Kholi came across well. Cricket has some great role models, and the IPL has turned rivals into friends, an unintended but welcome spin-off.

I will set my alarm for 4am on Friday, I think it is. England play Windies on Friday, definitely. Meanwhile, it's England rugby this afternoon. Tough life.

 
 

Guest
(Login dpressed)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 4:01 PM 

If you set your alarm for 4am you'll be sitting around for a long time DM. The Windies vs England ODI starts at 1.30pm GMT

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 6:39 PM 

I was thinking of the India v Oz 2nd Test, dpressed. I can catch up with my sleep during the 50-over game.

Actually, I've just checked, the Test starts on the following day, 4 am GMT, Saturday. I'm not expecting a similar pitch. "Hoist by their own petard," is the slightly puzzling old term for the events in what used to be called Poona.

 
 

Guest
(Login dpressed)

Re: India v Australia Test

February 26 2017, 6:44 PM 

Ah I understand. I did check 4am on Friday, just in case.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

March 4 2017, 1:37 PM 

The sheer ineptitude of England's bowling kept the 50-over game relatively interesting to the end, but I was up in time to watch the final two sessions of another wonderful day of Test cricket, Saturday morning.

Another "interesting" pitch, at Bengaluru, not so much turn as Pune, but more inconsistent bounce. So far, Australia have again dominated. Now they're making excuses for the poor Indians; the little darlings are tired. No doubt the IPL will cure that...

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: India v Australia Test

March 5 2017, 12:31 PM 

Am I the only person watching this match?

I got up at 4 am today (Sunday) and watched the morning session; back to bed for 3 hours; then up at 9 o'clock to watch play after tea. So I saw 4 hours of the 6.

Fantastic cricket. India bowled really well today, and this pitch is a killer. It's actually a poor pitch, in that the bounce is excessively uneven. You would (or should) get 24 points deducted in the CC, because it's unfair, though better than a boring flat track, any day.

Brilliant batting by Rahul yesterday, and by Renshaw (again!) and S Marsh today, though every batsman needed luck, and most who survived for any time got hit. Awful for the wicket-keeper and slips, too, not knowing where to stand, with sometimes three shooters and one lifter in an over!

Unlike Pune, the batsmen didn't have the option of throwing the bat, not really, with so many low balls, but once again the Aussies have shown their street smarts, an appreciation of what's possible and what isn't, especially by young Renshaw - compare Duckett!

The English umpires have been so brilliant that even the ultra-biased Indian commentators have noticed. As you will have gathered, I am hugely into this game, and I'll be up early again Monday. There could yet be a twist in this tale, given India's batting resources.

 
 
Guest
(Login KennyShovel)

Re: India v Australia Test

March 5 2017, 1:24 PM 

Enthralling game of cricket.

Kohli is a fantastic match-winning batsman but between not offering a shot on his last couple of dismissals and India's woeful use of DRS appeals his judgement has been poor in the series - I hope his spatial awareness is more acute when parallel parking.

Renshaw looks a real find. Allan Border might be disappointed the lad didn't want to sh@t himself live on TV but he's impressed me.

 
 
Seadog73
(Login Seadog73)

Re: India v Australia Test

March 6 2017, 11:04 AM 

Great game developing here, crucial partnership between Pujara and Rahane. Australia will get very nervous if/when the lead reaches 200.

 
 
Anglian Exile
(Login AnglianExile)

Re: India v Australia Test

March 6 2017, 12:09 PM 

I watched some play this morning and will be setting my alarm tomorrow for the start. Fascinatingly poised.

 
 
 
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