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Australia nudge ahead in Bangladesh

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

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

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    Australia suffered another middle-order collapse but still managed to earn a valuable 72-run lead on the third day of the second Test in Bangladesh.

    At 2-250, with David Warner and Peter Handscomb cruising, Australia were in a position to bat Bangladesh out of the Test before a calamitous run-out brought the home side back into the contest.

    By day’s end Australia had creeped their way to 9-377, with their lead looking increasingly valuable as the pitch become more and more difficult for batting.

    The Chittagong surface was a road for the first two days, but by the final session yesterday the Bangladesh spinners were earning very sharp turn and some deliveries were shooting through low out of the rough.

    It looks like the kind of deck on which Australia will be thankful to have three frontline spinners. That’s not to suggest sole paceman Pat Cummins won’t have a role to play as Bangladesh quick Mustafizur Rahman was able to have a generous impact, taking 3-84.

    Rahman took the first wicket of the Aussie innings, having opener Matt Renshaw caught down the legside, and followed up with the dismissals of David Warner for 123 and wicketkeeper Matt Wade for eight.

    That continues an awful series for Wade, who has made just 17 runs from three knocks, and kept very poorly in the first Test. If the Tasmanian does not make a meaningful score in the second innings here it is hard to see how he will retain his place for the first Ashes Test, with Peter Nevill and Alex Carey in line to take his spot.

    Matthew Wade keeping

    (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

    The other Ashes position most obviously up for grabs is at number six and this Test is essentially a shootout between Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright.

    Cartwright started his knock with supreme confidence, playing perhaps the three best shots of the day – a beautifully timed on-drive, a thumping cover drive, and then a huge six lofted out of the rough over long on. It became, however, an innings of style over substance as Cartwright fell for 18 needlessly trying to defend a skidding off-break from Mehedi Hasan which pitched two foot outside off stump.

    Maxwell, meanwhile, looked completely out of sorts in his first half hour at the crease, struggling to get off strike.

    As his frustration built he played four loose strokes, any of which could have led to his demise. Twice he tried to heave the spinners down the ground – the first shot flew just wide of mid-on for four, the second lobbed not far from the fielder at mid-off. Both shots were badly mishit.

    Rather than reining himself in, Maxwell aimed a pair of optimistic back foot slashes at good deliveries slanted across him by Mustafizur. One was dropped at gully, an easy catch, while the other flew to the boundary between gully and the slip cordon, taking Maxwell to 16 from 39 balls.

    To Maxwell’s credit, he changed tack and began to play with circumspection as he scrapped his way to 38 from 98 balls before being caught behind off a well-flighted delivery by Mehedi. When Cummins (4) and Agar (22) went not long after, Australia had lost 6-78. This was a replay of their second innings at Dhaka, when Australia subsided from 2-158 to be all out for 244.

    Their misfiring middle order will be sternly tested once more in the second innings as Australia try to chase down a total to draw the series. Considering the constant threat posed by Bangladesh’s spinners in the final session yesterday, it looks as though batting last on this surface will be a very difficult task.

    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 (88)

    • September 7th 2017 @ 5:57am
      rossco said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      Wade Tasmanian?

      • Columnist

        September 7th 2017 @ 6:02am
        Ronan O'Connell said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

        Wade was born in Tasmania and plays for Tasmania.

        • September 7th 2017 @ 8:37am
          Crispy said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          Plays for Victoria?

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 8:40am
            Rellum said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            Not any more.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 12:51pm
              Ads said | September 7th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              and his cousin is Jeremy Howe who plays for Collingwood, also from Tasmania!

        • September 7th 2017 @ 8:43am
          John George said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

          Ronan: is Wade done now do you think?

          Nevill or Carey to play 1st Ashes test

          Warner was superb, a big summer coming up for him

          • September 7th 2017 @ 9:37am
            Perry Bridge said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

            One thing to keep mindful of in judging the keepers is in the oppressive conditions (humidity) over there – see the impact that Handscomb had batting after fielding in close under the lid for much of the Bangas innings. Extrapolate that out further for Wade – keeping under the helmet for so much of the time with the spinners in operation.

            This is where all the chatter about Handscomb keeping is so misguided – were he to keep – then he ain’t batting top 5 at very least.

            re Wade – across India and to here – he’s made 8, 37 and 57 when Aust bat first. When Aust bat 2nd, he’s made 40, 5 and 8 after having kept for an innings before hand.
            When Aust bat third, he’s made 20, 9*, 25*
            And when Aust batting 4th, he’s made 0 and 4.

            So – when we bat first, he’s down for 156 at 39. When we bat 2nd, he’s down for 57 at 11.4.

            It’s a tough gig keeping wicket over there. The surface and the environment.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 11:49am
              George said | September 7th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

              All the more reason to choose a keeper based on, um, wicket-keeping ability.

              Ronan’s been down on Nevill since he missed a stumping during the series when the whole side was dominated by Sri Lanka. But he’s experienced, and bats and keeps better than Wade.

              Carey could be the future. Though at various times this was said about Paine and Ludeman and Whiteman.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 5:08pm
                Ross said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                Gilly said that handscombe should take over as keeper and I think this would be so good as it allows us to bring in another batsman or all rounder to the side

      • September 7th 2017 @ 8:40am
        jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        Went to Vic to get a game because Tim Paine was in front of him.

        • Roar Guru

          September 7th 2017 @ 8:59am
          Edward L'Orange said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          Still will be too, looks like he will play as a batsman only.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 9:21am
            jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

            Wade? Ply as a batsman for Tassie but keep for the National team?

            • Roar Guru

              September 7th 2017 @ 9:34am
              Edward L'Orange said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

              Indeed. What a bizarre situation we’d find ourselves in.

              The coach, Adam Griffith, has said it’s up for grabs, but alluded that Paine will still be playing. Of the two, Wade is the better batsman and Paine the better ‘keeper, so it makes sense, in some strange way.

              • Roar Guru

                September 7th 2017 @ 9:52am
                Rellum said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

                I just can’t see Howard or Boof letting that happen. Unless Wade is marked never to return.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 12:28pm
                George said | September 7th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                Perhaps Griffith doesn’t rate having a specialist sledger as highly as Lehmann and Smith do,

          • Roar Rookie

            September 7th 2017 @ 9:56am
            Lancey5times said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            You would imagine that he will start the season with the gloves as he is the Australian keeper until he is not picked. If he doesn’t get a gig in Brisbane the Tassie selectors would feel no pressure to pick him to keep.

            He could be a pretty handy acquisition for Tassie as a batsman

            • September 7th 2017 @ 1:20pm
              jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

              If he could score runs.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 7th 2017 @ 1:37pm
                Lancey5times said | September 7th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                Given Tassie’s form last season he won’t have to do much to stand out

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 10:37am
            Ryan H said | September 7th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            Not likely I don’t reckon; Paine was struggling to get a spot last season when they preferred Jake Doran, and McDermott has come on in leaps and bounds with the bat. If Wade is the national keeper he has to keep for his state, surely, regardless of how average he is.

            • Roar Guru

              September 7th 2017 @ 10:47am
              Rellum said | September 7th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

              I am pretty sure it was a decision from up on high for Doran to get the gloves last season. Wade will wear them, Paine taking them when/if Wade is away for the National team.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 10:58am
              BurgyGreen said | September 7th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

              I’d be surprised if Doran is in the starting XI, his run with the gloves is over for quite a while now I’d say. He struggled badly last season.

              They’ll give Wade the gloves and let McDermott keep developing his batting (a real talent that kid). Tassie will feel way too much pressure from CA and Wade himself (who may well be playing for his Test place in the first few Shield rounds) to give anyone else the gloves.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 7:21am
      Ouch said | September 7th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      Good fight back from Bangladesh. Disappointed to see yet another collapse. A keeper who can contribute a bit more with the bat would be a big help.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 8:25am
        sittingbison said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        …Or contributed a bit more with the gloves 😉

        • September 7th 2017 @ 8:42am
          jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

          Yeah it’s funny. Wade’s keeping has improved, but his batting has been poor. Shouldn’t keeping be the main test? The thing is though – whilst his keeping has improved, there are better glovemen in Australia. And they couldn’t do any worse with the bat.

          So I reckon if he doesn’t score well in the 2nd innings, he could be gone. Smith has acknowledged he needs more runs, and Handscomb did some back up keeping work before the test.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 8:50am
            Basil said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            He’s not the best gloveman of the available keepers nor the best batsman of them either. Hard to justify his spot really.
            Looking forward to see how the 3 Aussie spinners bowl next innings. First, it’ll be great if SOK and Lyon could nudge this lead beyond 100.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 9:24am
              jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              Yeah they can certainly both bat a bit, but it’ll be tough. I was hoping for 450. I guess if the pitch turns poor, it’s better too be ahead.

              We need to bowl really tightly. We need SOK at his best. Maybe he’ll be better for the 1st innings bowl.

              Cummins bowled really well in the first innings without reward too. He might get a bit of luck this time.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 8:52am
            John George said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

            James who is your prediction to keep in the 1st Test in Brisvegas?

            • September 7th 2017 @ 1:21pm
              jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

              For what it’s worth (not a lot) – too much water to flow under the bridge to make a prediction now. It’s too up in the air.

              It depends whether Wade scores runs in the 2nd innings, what happens in the early Shield rounds etc. And I don’t know how much the selectors love Wade.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 5:10pm
                Ross said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                HAndscombe to be keeper for Brisbane test

    • September 7th 2017 @ 8:42am
      John George said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      So are we thinking that Wade is now playing his farewell test based on his terrible batting (and even more terrible wasted review) ?

      Cartwright in for the Brisbane test

      Maxwell given his marching orders back to Shield

      AUS needed a bigger lead than this

      A draw is on the cards

      Bangladesh win series and AUS slump to 6th in the world

      Flow on effects = Ashes loss due to much much superior batting lineup from England

      • September 7th 2017 @ 8:51am
        Basil said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        You really are quite depressing.

        • September 7th 2017 @ 9:18am
          John George said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Basil that adds little to the forum

          Please state your XI for the Brisbane test

          I am keen to hear your wisdom and insights

        • September 7th 2017 @ 9:25am
          jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          And inaccurate.

          In the dictionary the definition for pessimist says – “see John George”.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 11:00am
        Ouch said | September 7th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Rankings mean diddly squat in cricket i reckon. As for an Ashes loss, that is far from a given. Apart from Broad, there bowlers have never shown much out here. The poms have won 4 tests in Australia this century. Australia have won 15

    • September 7th 2017 @ 8:50am
      peter chrisp said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Ronan have to agree any lead is a good lead, although it’s difficult to judge just around the corner there is a short tour of India with 20/20’s i am not quite sure & with The Ashes in a few weeks time do we keep the same side? Or i guess make a couple of changes no doubt we will have Starc returning to the side &Kuwaja not quite sure if that’s the correct spelling will he get another chance or could this be the end of his Test career?

      • September 7th 2017 @ 9:24am
        John George said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Crispy, I think the quick india tour is a joke

        We were just in India!!! Why are we going back and do India ever play away from home??

        This is not ideal Ashes warm up
        Neither the domestic one day cup…..seriously Cricket Australia do you want to lose the Ashes

        Warner and co will come in swinging like madmen after the one day cup

      • September 7th 2017 @ 9:26am
        jameswm said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        We hope Khawaja will come back in for Australia. And hopefully Starc and Hazelwood are good to go.

        • September 7th 2017 @ 5:11pm
          Ross said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

          Khawaja will be among the best batsman in the Ashes and I can see handscombe keeping and both maxwell and Hilton can then play

    • Roar Guru

      September 7th 2017 @ 9:15am
      Wayne said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Waste of both reviews. Looked like “im the last batsman, I must review “

      • September 7th 2017 @ 9:47am
        Perry Bridge said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

        They didn’t review the LBW on Wade in the first test – when with 2 in the bank – and he basically was the last batsman – they just simply had to.

        So – in this case – they review it – and people are critical.

        Just can’t win.

        • Roar Guru

          September 7th 2017 @ 10:36am
          Wayne said | September 7th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

          Watching it, there was no doubt he was plumb LBW for Wade,
          Cummins/Agar are capable of swinging for fences, why should they have no reviews available to waste one on that!

          Maxwell was weird, surely he knew he got bat on it?

          • September 7th 2017 @ 2:12pm
            Matthew H said | September 7th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

            Agree, Wade was plumb as, as a batsman you normally think you are not out, but if he thought for a nanosecond that it wasn’t plumb then he is really really out of form, and how could Maxwell approve the review? Maxwell was another completely rubbish review as well, smashed that ball onto his pad, keeper took it several inches above the deck… just selfish.
            In fact this Aussie team really seems to be a selfish lot aside from the youngsters. Not in it to win test matches and series that is for sure.

    • Roar Guru

      September 7th 2017 @ 9:20am
      Giri Subramanian said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      I feel that Australia missed a great chance of batting BD out of the game but again any lead is good on this wicket. If Australia can bowl out BD under 200, they can close out the game tomorrow, weather permitting off course.

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