India pip Australia in all-time classic Test

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    Australia and India look set to fight out a classic series, after the home team ploughed back into the fray with a rousing win in the second Test at Bangalore.

    Perhaps not since the 2005 Ashes have I seen an Australian Test match blessed with such bottomless drama.

    Alongside umpiring blunders, poor shots, missed reviews, sledging wars, dropped catches and batting collapses, we witnessed scorching spells, gritty knocks, miraculous grabs and tactical brilliance.

    As I wrote on Monday, the second day was the most intense day two of a Test I have ever watched. Yesterday, somehow, was even better.

    Not until Australia’s seventh wicket fell, with dangerous hitter Mitchell Starc dismissed, did it become crystal clear who would win the match.

    Until then it was a dipping, darting, deceiving devil of a day – you could never be sure what direction it would head next.

    India started at 4-213, with a lead of 126. In the first ten overs two shots lobbed just short of fielders, Nathan Lyon secured an LBW only to have it overturned on review, and Mitchell Starc skimmed the off stump of Ajinyka Rahane.

    Despite these near misses, by the time Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane extended the lead to 151 with six wickets still in hand, the match seemed to be slipping from the Australians’ paws.

    The second new ball arrived as Australia’s great hope. But it was wasted initially by Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who too rarely landed deliveries where they needed to – full and straight.

    With the pitch seeming to have calmed down and Pujara and Rahane well set, India were poised to bat Australia out of the match. But, being the unpredictable beast that he is, Starc then flipped the script on its noggin.

    Cranking his speed up to 152kmh, Starc snared Rahane and Karun Nair in consecutive balls, before almost completing his hat trick. This sparked Hazlewood, who then grabbed three wickets in the space of nine balls.

    India lost 6-36 and suddenly the Test was once again a 50-50 proposition, with Australia needing 188 to win. The tourists had batted with uncommon caution across their first three innings in this series. This time they emerged with a more assertive mindset.

    They weren’t playing with undue risk, rather Australia were patently trying to turn some pressure back on the Indian bowlers. By the end of the ninth over Australia were humming along at 1-42, with Renshaw gone after nicking a wonderful rearing delivery from Indian seamer Ishant Sharma, who bowled superbly once again.

    Then the first delivery of the tenth over set in motion a chain of events which saw Australia crumble. Warner tried to sweep a full delivery from Indian off spinner Ravi Ashwin, was struck on the pad and given out LBW.

    Australian batsman David Warner

    Replays showed the ball pitching about 10cm outside off stump and then straightening ever so slightly and seemingly hitting Warner outside the line of off stump. The decision looked certain to be overturned.

    But HawkEye found that a miniscule amount of the ball was in fact in line with the stumps and the ball was carrying on to shave off stump so Warner had to go. It was a tough decision for Australia, although no more so than the marginal LBW call received by Indian captain Virat Kohli the previous day.

    The difference was that Warner’s unlucky dismissal effectively cost Australia two wickets. Five overs later, Australia were in good shape at 2-67, with skipper Steve Smith and first innings topscorer Shaun Marsh both looking comfortable.

    A wonderful piece of reverse swing bowling from Indian quick Umesh Yadav, who was equally as impressive as Ishant, tricked Marsh into shouldering arms. The umpire fired Marsh LBW in what immediately appeared to be a bad decision.

    HawkEye confirmed what a shocking call it was, with the ball missing off stump by the best part of 10cm. In almost any other circumstance Marsh would have immediately reviewed the decision.

    With the immense pressure of this incredible Test weighing on him, and Warner’s burned review fresh in his memory, he instead sought the advice of Smith.

    The Aussie captain was in a poor position to provide him advice – Yadav was bowling around the wicket to the left-hander, creating an angle that made it difficult for Smith to accurately predict the path of the ball.

    So Smith shrugged and Marsh walked off. It was the moment that cost Australia the match.

    That’s not to suggest that poor umpiring was to blame for Australia’s loss. The tourists were beaten by a quality team who, until last week in Pune, had not lost a Test at home since 2012.

    Australia may have controlled the first one-and-half Tests of this series, but now they face the enormous challenge of reeling in an Indian side which has built up momentum.

    Here’s hoping Australia can retain their fierce determination and push this series all the way to the last day of the fourth Test. What a treat that would be for cricket fans.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (349)

    • Roar Guru

      March 8th 2017 @ 7:59am
      DingoGray said | March 8th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      No mention of Mitch Marsh inability to score runs again? No excuses either this innings.

      For someone who’s suppose to be a better batsmen in Sub Continent conditions, he’s been hopeless.
      If Australia had of picked 6 batsmen they probably would of won this test match.

      This series is going to be so close, Australia doesn’t need to handicap itself at the selection table.
      Ditch Mitch, and you never know we may just pull off the absolute miracle.

      • March 8th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Roarfan said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        You are spot on, if only the selectors could see it. Smith obviously did not want to bowl him in this test and his batting is not good enough. If he is the best allrounder we have then an extra batsman would be better. In Mitch’s defence he was not given a chance with his bowling. While Wade made a few runs I don’t think he his our best keeper. Kwaja has to be given a chance. We don’t have any issues with our bowlers and I would like to see Smith have a few overs. I thought he would have had a few in this test

      • March 8th 2017 @ 10:22am
        rock said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Yep, he needs to go. If the wickets continue to be the same we don’t need another bowling option. Strengthen it with a better batsmen.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 10:35am
          Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          That’s the thing. We expected roads and feared India scoring 600+.

          Marsh’s bowling is of no use on these wickets. Do the logical thing. Khawaja to 3 and SMarsh to 6. Back to the summer top 5 that did so well, and SMarsh at 6.

          • Roar Guru

            March 8th 2017 @ 10:57am
            The Bush said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            Is he really going to be of much use on the “usual” Indian wickets either? Surely when you’re playing two spinners you have the ability to get through more than enough overs. If you really need to give all the bowlers a break, then Smith or Warner can roll the arm over. If it’s going to be a bat off on roads, a few overs from Smith or Warner, whether they get smacked or not, isn’t going to change anything.

            In Australian conditions, where you play three quicks and also can expect to get some bounce at least, then a medium pace all rounder isn’t the worst idea, so you can rotate your quicks. On the sub continent playing multiple spinners, I just can’t see the need.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 11:55am
              Ron said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

              Get Mitch marsh out and get Khawaja in to strengthen the batting, for crying out loud why is Mitch marsh there

              • March 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm
                Stephen said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

                Bring khawaja in

              • Columnist

                March 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | March 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                Mitch Marsh has been herculean with the ball in this series, conceding just 1.2 runs per over, surely he can’t be dropped?!!

          • March 8th 2017 @ 1:16pm
            jammel said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            I agree jameswm. indeed, that’s the top six i would have always gone with for this tour………

          • March 8th 2017 @ 1:27pm
            BurgyGreen said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            Agree with your assessment but I feel that Maxwell is a more valuable batsman in these conditions. Straight swap for Mitch for mine.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 2:41pm
              Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

              I could live with that.

      • Roar Pro

        March 8th 2017 @ 11:24am
        Josh Barton said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        Mitchell Marsh is statistically the worst number 6 batsman in the entirety of test cricket history for any team, with a minimum number of games applied. And he is getting worse. His batting average at number 6 is nearly 5 runs lower than the next worst.

        Says it all doesn’t it.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 11:56am
          Ron said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

          Khawaja comes in at 3, smith at 4 and Shaun marsh at 6, done

          • March 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm
            Amith said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            Khawaja comes in at 3, mitch to be dropped

            • March 8th 2017 @ 1:18pm
              jammel said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              yep Khawaja in (@ #3) for MMarsh. Handscomb to #6 for me and SMarsh to #5.

              I am concerned that the selectors will now go Maxwell at six. that might improve things marginally – but not enough….

      • March 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        John Erichsen said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        India strengthen their batting at 6 by adding a guy with a test 300. Our dimwitted selectors acknowledge that Marsh is not a batting all-rounder but then pick him and cripple our middle order by batting him at six. If he plays and he shouldnt, then he bats at 9 just below the far more impressive Starc.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm
          Albo said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          Yep ! It is ridiculous trying to win a series in India batting a batsmen short ! The other Marsh is also hit & miss, but saved his tour this Test with a toughed out 60 and the unlucky non review in the 2nd innings ( probably thanks to Warner’s wasted review earlier !).

          • March 9th 2017 @ 9:08am
            Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            That Test 300 bloke? That worked. Went first ball. Compelling argument.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 1:29pm
          BurgyGreen said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

          It’s hilarious and also infuriating that they justified Mitch Marsh’s selection at the start of the tour by saying he was a bowling allrounder, and then proceeded to bat him at 6 as a batting allrounder who has bowled five overs over the two Tests so far.

          • Roar Pro

            March 8th 2017 @ 1:38pm
            Josh Barton said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

            They literally don’t know what he is good at, yet desperately want him in the team.

            I don’t know what he has to do to not be selected.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 1:44pm
              BurgyGreen said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

              The worst part is that they’re obsessed with a seam-bowling allrounder but only brought one on tour, so every time there is even a hint that the pitch might be flat Mitch is guaranteed a game.

      • March 8th 2017 @ 8:33pm
        Rock said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        Well Marsh sent home ‘injured’, what a crock!!

        Sounds like CA trying to use a get out of jail free card for both the selectors and Marsh himself.

        And they’ll be sending a like for like as a replacement, yeah another mediocre all rounder – exactly what the squad needs!!

        • March 8th 2017 @ 9:31pm
          John Erichsen said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

          Is Moises Henriques already on his way? His medium pacers will be of bugger all use there so I imagine he is a big chance, given our selectors.

    • Columnist

      March 8th 2017 @ 8:01am
      Geoff Parkes said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Thanks Ronan, excellent coverage of a great match. Let’s hope there is plenty more to come!

      You’ve also struck the right chord about the LBW for Shaun Marsh. All the internet headlines were about an Australian DRS howler by not referring. Which totally lets the umpire off the hook for making a poor decision in the first place.

      • Roar Guru

        March 8th 2017 @ 8:38am
        Red Kev said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        The DRS was implemented precisely for the umpiring howler – umpires are humans and make mistakes. The fact that sides choose to use DRS for other purposes is their own fault.

        On a more objective note, zero sympathy for anyone who shoulders arms and plays with the pads (you’ve got a bat) and doesn’t know where his stumps are (if Marsh knew where he was standing in relation to off he’d’ve reviewed, he clearly didn’t).

        • March 8th 2017 @ 9:29am
          Don Freo said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          That’s why he shouldered arms. He knew. The leave outside off has been his strength.

          Smith said afterwards that he told Marsh to “Go.” He said he meant for Sean to “Go ” for a review. Marsh thought he meant go off the ground.

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:16am
            Roarfan said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

            That is a poor excuse, Could’nt he have called him back when he saw him walking off, Smith needs to communicate better

            • Roar Guru

              March 8th 2017 @ 2:08pm
              Ryan H said | March 8th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

              Maybe, but given there’s only 10 secs available to review it’s hard to walk off, turn around and then ask for a review

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:20am
            Pope Paul VII said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

            Sandgroping at straws Don. Shauny has to take responsibility for not playing a shot. His error.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm
              John Erichsen said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

              Not playing a shot at a ball missing the stumps by 10cm is a good leave. The way Shaun Marsh played this delivery was never a problem. The bad umpiring decision and the our mistake to not review should be the only issues spoken about here. No objective person could condemn a batsman for not offering a shot to a ball missing by that far.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                Pope Paul VII said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Of course it was a bad decision and they should have reviewed it but It’s the only way for a lefty to get out lbw in that manner, with a rfm angling it in. No probs if he actually left it but he padded up. Umps hate that sort of thing. He took on the lbw law and lost.

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:34am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:34am | ! Report

                That’s the umpires fault, not Marsh’s. I’m sure you’ll celebrate the stat as a failure, though.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 1:22pm
              Rob said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

              Steve Smith’s error on not reviewing Marsh LBW. Smith had the audacity to want someone to give him the Ok to review his dismissal after being in the ankle on the crease.
              Don, Go means go. Not lets review, lets have a look, I’m not sure thats plum. Where do come up with this rubbish?

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:35am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:35am | ! Report

                From Steve Smith’s mouth.

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:34am
            Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            If Smith was telling Marsh to review, why didn’t he just make the sign himself? Does the striker have to do it?

            • March 8th 2017 @ 1:23pm
              Rob said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              Smith doesn’t want to waste a review that he could use. IMO

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:36am
            George said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Or maybe he meant “go show your little brother which end of the bat to hold – for some reason Boof wants him to bat higher than number ten”.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm
              Albo said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

              They don’t give him a bowl and he can’t bat ! Am I missing something here with this selection ?

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:56am
            qwetzen said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

            Did Smith *really* say that? Or did he say, you know, ‘Mah Ki’?

          • Roar Guru

            March 8th 2017 @ 11:40am
            Red Kev said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

            Watching the replay it honestly looks to me that Shaun Marsh was a rabbit in the headlights panicking.
            He wanted to shoulder arms, saw the ball coming in more than he thought, panicked and thrust his pads at the ball to ensure he wasn’t bowled (because he wasn’t sure where his stumps were).
            He was exactly as bamboozled as Khawaja and Kohli shouldering arms to the spinners who knocked their stumps back.
            It was a poor umpiring decision, but you can’t make excuses for Marsh in that situation, he clearly had no clue what was happening that ball.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 11:57am
              Ron said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              I won’t be as harsh on Shaun though he failed when we needed him most but It’s Mitch who needs to make way wirj Khawaja cominf in, Khawaja should always be there

              • March 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm
                Amith said | March 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

                We didn’t want to change a winning combination, but even if we were missing Mitch completely in the first game, we still have won. He was a spectator among the team, and the only time the team actually needed him to contribute, he failed. Not to mention he failed even when they didn’t need him. He has purpose in the one day game as a good utility player who can bat and ball a bit, but he’s not a test caliber player. Common sense should ensure khawaja comes in, lets just do this

              • March 8th 2017 @ 6:11pm
                Swanny said | March 8th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

                Where is the talk abt our best batsmen Warner and smith failing under pressure in a 4 th innings chase . Flat track bullies

        • March 8th 2017 @ 10:00am
          Bfc said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          Concur in regards to the use of DRS…
          Kohli’s LBW was not a ‘howler’…S.Marsh’s was…

      • Columnist

        March 8th 2017 @ 10:45am
        Ronan O'Connell said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

        Cheers Geoff it was an incredible Test match to cover.

        And people criticising Shaun Marsh for his dismissal are way off the mark – he was the victim of a truly woeful umpiring decision.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 1:35pm
          BurgyGreen said | March 8th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

          The two people to blame in my opinion are Nigel Llong for an awful, sub-international standard decision and, to a lesser extent, Smith for his indecision and lackluster communication out in the middle.

          Shaun Marsh did nothing wrong. He thought that the captain told him to go so he did.

          • Columnist

            March 8th 2017 @ 4:46pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | March 8th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

            Yeah the mixup with Smith telling SMarsh to “go” was quite bizarre.

            And if you look at the replay Smith was in an awful position to judge whether it would have been hitting the stumps, he would have been guessing from there.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 6:42pm
              Go the Wannabe's said | March 8th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report


              I put it you, with all due respect, if you use your pads instead of your bat anywhere near your stumps on that pitch then you are flirting with danger.

              Marsh paid the penalty, that’s all.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 8:26pm
                Jacko said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

                It was still a very bad decision. Thats life and it happens to all other countries as well but it was still a bad decision

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:45am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:45am | ! Report

                Padding up has always been a valid way of playing a moving ball. The straight ones get hit.

                A batsman leaves a ball because he knows it is not hitting the stumps. A reason he might not use the bat is because the length is wrong and the movement might get an edge. He uses the pad to protect against any late movement knowing he won’t get caught off the pad.

                Marsh judges line well. He was right again.

                The blanket condemnation, “He deserves it because he didn’t use his bat…that’s what a bat is for!” brigade declare that they have never understood the art of batting.

              • March 9th 2017 @ 9:57am
                Pope Paul VII said | March 9th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                Yeah Shauny’s all about the art.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 9:36pm
              John Erichsen said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

              I couldn’t agree more. I know padding up looks ordinary but that is immaterial. That delivery wasn’t even heading to the same postcode as the stumps. I am not a Shaun Marsh fan but he did nothing wrong and his runs in the subcontinent, including this series, justify his selection.

            • March 9th 2017 @ 3:04pm
              Dave said | March 9th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

              Hear hear, and I agree with Don Freo’s comment below.

    • March 8th 2017 @ 8:05am
      David a Pom said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      Wonderful cricket by India, after a case of complacency in the 1st test. Australia won’t be able to come back from this, psychologically. They’re not England, after all, who won in 2012 after losing the 1st test. Still, this shapes as a test of Australia’s character.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 8th 2017 @ 8:23am
        Tana Mir said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Clearly Australia are not England. England lost 4 nil.

      • March 8th 2017 @ 8:23am
        Pope Paul VII said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Ha look who’s back from the land of hope and glory. You hope Dave,

      • March 8th 2017 @ 9:31am
        Don Freo said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Professional sportsmen don’t let a close loss damage their psyche…unless it is an English thing.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 8:29pm
          Jacko said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

          A Wallaby thing?

          • March 9th 2017 @ 1:46am
            Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:46am | ! Report

            I don’t get rugby. Who knows what they do?

      • March 8th 2017 @ 10:36am
        Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        David – I don’t recall seeing you on these boards when Australia won the 1st test, or indeed when Australia were on top earlier in the 2nd test.

      • March 9th 2017 @ 10:19am
        JimmyB said | March 9th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        Give it a rest David.

    • March 8th 2017 @ 8:18am
      Rob JM said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      Australia failed to press home its advantage when we had the opportunity. India didn’t give an inch for three days strait.
      While a touch of luck our way would have resulted in a win I think the fair lady was pretty balanced over the course of the test. Australias bowling apart from Lyons flukey 1st innings performance was terrible. We didn’t deserve to win on that alone.

    • March 8th 2017 @ 8:20am
      jamesb said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      I’m still proud of Australia’s efforts, even though they got beaten. They are performing better then I expected. But its always tricky batting second in India, and even more tricky where you have a number 6 batsman averaging 21 after 21 tests.

      Australia is not out of this series yet. Just need a bit of luck and make the right selections.

      • March 8th 2017 @ 8:33am
        Rob JM said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Australia looks the stronger team at the moment, we only just lost despite playing well below our best for two days, while India must be exhausted after playing 3 days strait at 110%. Both teams have the chance to upgrade with Shami and Non M Marsh.

        • March 8th 2017 @ 8:46am
          Zozza said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          “Australia looks the stronger team at the moment” LOL

          • March 8th 2017 @ 9:03am
            Rob JM said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

            India has collapsed 4 times in 4 innings, Australia has collapsed once. Starc has bowled 90% rubbish, what happens if he bowls 90% good balls.

            • Columnist

              March 8th 2017 @ 9:07am
              Glenn Mitchell said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

              Kohli has scored just 40 runs in four innings. That is a significant plus for IND. Not sure he will continue this form slump.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 9:33am
                Don Freo said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

                Yeah, Glenn…but we have Mitch and Matty.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 10:34am
                Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

                You can’t assume he will suddenly come good. We’ve bowled well to him and he is under increasing pressure. Maybe he’s trying to distract us away from his poor performances this tour.

                If I was Smith and someone asked me for a response tot he cheating allegations by Kohli, I’d say “If I was Virat, I’d be concentrating more on scoring runs”. Heap the pressure back on him.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 4:01pm
                spruce moose said | March 8th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                On that logic, we can’t assume Hazlewood to bowl as well as he’s bowling.

                That’s why we revert to stats. Stats suggest Kohli is a threat that can take a game away from Australia very quickly

            • March 8th 2017 @ 9:39am
              Pedro the Maroon said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

              Err we collapsed in the first innings losing 4 for bugger all.
              We collapsed in the second innings losing 10-110.
              That’s 2 collapses, not 1.

              • March 8th 2017 @ 10:39am
                George said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                And in the first innings of the series.

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:50am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:50am | ! Report

                That first innings was not a collapse. That was just a few wickets falling. No problem there. Repeat that innings and its 2-0. Bring on your version of a collapse.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 9:50am
              Christo the Daddyo said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

              When has Starc ever bowled 90% good balls?

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:52am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:52am | ! Report

                What? You’re criticizing Starc now? Who do you think is going to take that opinion on board?

            • March 8th 2017 @ 11:15am
              qwetzen said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

              In a *very* low scoring series Starc has the distinction of being the only frontline Oz bowler whose career average has gotten worse. But on the bright side, yesterday he managed to regularly get some good inswing with the new ball, something that’s been missing for a few Tests now. Even so, he’s been a major disappointment so far.

              • Columnist

                March 8th 2017 @ 4:48pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | March 8th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                Starc had an ordinary Test, even considering his second new ball burst yesterday. He really sprayed it around in this match.

              • March 9th 2017 @ 1:53am
                Don Freo said | March 9th 2017 @ 1:53am | ! Report

                So…drop him? Really guys!!

          • March 8th 2017 @ 10:37am
            Jameswm said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            Australia has played better overall so far. Pretty hard to dispute that one Zozza. We won the 1st test by miles and had a tight loss in the 2nd.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 8:33pm
              Jacko said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

              Jameswm it would have taken you 19 batsmen to score the total so not sure it was that close somehow

          • March 8th 2017 @ 9:39pm
            John Erichsen said | March 8th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

            What’s so funny? The statement is 100% accurate. Australia does look stronger at the moment. Mitch Marsh in injured and flying home. See! Much stronger than we looked a day ago.

            • March 8th 2017 @ 10:55pm
              Big Daddy said | March 8th 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

              What for.
              Ability transplant.

      • March 8th 2017 @ 11:59am
        GD66 said | March 8th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        If only each Aust batsman had scored four more runs in each dig…that was a tough game ! Gripping tv viewing.

        And Mitch Marsh’s bowling figures for the first two tests are dnb/dnb / 2 overs 0/2 / 3 overs 0/4.

        (Scratches chin while grimacing)….

        • March 8th 2017 @ 8:34pm
          Jacko said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

          Thats a very good point. It just goes to show the waste we see when batsmen go the slog when bowlers come in to bat. Just eek out 4 more runs each….

    • March 8th 2017 @ 8:22am
      Harry said | March 8th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Brave effort by this Australian team that were so close to pulling off a massive achievement of retining the Border Gavaskar trophy in India. If only a few more runs in the first innings – needed a lead of at least 150 as it was always going to be very difficult batting last chasing anything more than 150. Will need to win tosses and some big scores from batsmen.

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