Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG, 3rd day

Hilfenhaus, Yadav shine on bowlers' day

The Report by Daniel Brettig at the MCG

December 28, 2011

Comments: 264 | Text size: A | A

Australia 333 & 8 for 179 (Hussey 79*, Ponting 60, Yadav 4-49) lead India 282 (Tendulkar 73, Dravid 68, Sehwag 67, Hilfenhaus 5-75) by 230 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Umesh Yadav picked up early wickets once again, Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 3rd day, December 28, 2011
Umesh Yadav ripped apart Australia's top order in their second innings © Getty Images

Indifferent batting from India and an abject response by the Australian top order left the first Test tantalisingly poised after a helter skelter third day on which 15 wickets fell at the MCG.

The visitors and the hosts traded collapses on a track still offering a modicum of help to the bowlers, India slipping from 2 for 214 to 282 all out before Australia slumped to 4 for 27 thanks to Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. It was a hole plugged only partially by the staunch efforts of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, who was undefeated on 79 when the close arrived at 8 for 179, the lead standing at 230.

Rahul Dravid, bowled second ball of the morning by the recalled and renewed Ben Hilfenhaus, completed his unhappy day by shelling the sort of slips catch he would expect to claim when Hussey advanced to R Ashwin on 69. Though Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon departed thereafter, it may yet prove a crucial drop.

Hussey and Ponting were both under enormous pressure for runs coming into this match, given their poor recent returns, but younger team-mates were grateful for their calming presence in a partnership of 115 after the tumult that marked the start of the second innings. Hussey's innings was particularly strong, counter-punching from the start to build some sort of lead.

India had earlier surrendered 8 for 68 to be halted 51 runs short of Australia's 333. Hilfenhaus followed up Dravid's defeat with the wickets of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and the dogged nightwatchman Ishant Sharma, while Siddle neutralised the threat of VVS Laxman and rounded things off by disposing of Ashwin for a useful 31.

The continuing flood of wickets was attributable to smart, full bowling but also poor batting, with David Warner, Ed Cowan and Shaun Marsh all guilty of vast misjudgements. Michael Clarke was less culpable, out to a corking delivery from Ishant. Ponting's dismissal was followed by another flighty innings from keeper Brad Haddin, who must be under severe scrutiny for his spot despite claiming five catches.

Starting out with a 51-run advantage, Warner and Cowan were unable to get themselves going in the manner of the first innings. Warner looked uncomfortable, tugging at the ball rather than timing it, and it was no great surprise when he dragged Yadav onto the stumps with an angled bat. Cowan had left the ball with great skill on Boxing Day, but two balls after Warner he would die by the sheathed sword, padding up to a Yadav delivery that straightened and as such having scant cause to complain about the lbw verdict.

Marsh evaded a pair, scoring his first Test runs in Australia, only to perish in a similarly ugly manner to Warner when he snicked a full, wide delivery from Yadav onto the stumps. After an outside edge in the first innings, an inside edge in the second, it was clear Marsh lacked Test match touch after injury and one Twenty20 knock.

At three down India had the scent, and it became a pungent whiff with the fall of Clarke to a beautifully-pitched delivery from Ishant that seamed back and removed the leg bail via the inside edge. Clarke's exit was all too swift, and echoes of Cape Town hung tangibly in the air.

Hussey and Ponting responded to their predicament with firm intent and attractive strokes, pulling, cutting and driving to extend the lead and take Australia past the accursed 47. Ponting was fortunate to survive Zaheer's lbw appeal from around the wicket when he was 15, replays indicating the ball had struck him in line and would have plucked out middle. Hussey's first boundary was an edge through the slips, but thereafter he was decisive and impressive, attempting to make amends for an awfully slim run of scores since a bountiful tour of Sri Lanka in September.

Tea came and went, and the partnership assumed significant proportions against bowling that remained diligent but with the backdrop of slackening field settings. Dhoni was intent on saving runs, and Hussey and Ponting were able to knock the ball into gaps consistently with the odd boundary. Both passed half-centuries, raising generous affirmation from another healthy crowd, this time 40,556.

Ponting's period of greatest peril is starting to resemble Shane Watson's - when fit, fall somewhere between 50 and 100. Zaheer returned for a spell with the old ball and slanted across to draw a sliced drive and a catch in the gully. As he walked off, Ponting offered an unfussy wave of the bat to the MCG - who knows if he will be back to do so again.

Haddin sold his wicket dearly enough in the first innings, and did well with the gloves after an early dropped catch. But now he played another innings far too aggressive in the prevailing circumstances, essaying a handful of shots that weren't quite there before waving his bat brusquely at Zaheer and edging to second slip.

Hussey's innings might have ended soon after when he advanced and was beaten by a nicely dipping off break, but Dravid could not hold on to the edge. Siddle was unable to reprise his first innings, hanging his bat out at Yadav and being held well by Dhoni, diving in front of first slip. Lyon was granted a promotion in the batting order, perhaps to retain a right and left-handed union, but he had not scored when Ashwin's carrom ball pinned him in front of leg stump.

Dravid and Ishant had walked to the middle a little more than six hours before, their sights set on establishing a first-innings advantage. Hilfenhaus had been ineffective late on the second day, yet started things off on the third and enjoyed instant success. Dravid played the day's first delivery to mid-on, but the second slid subtly away from him to elude his defensive bat and flick off stump.

Laxman took guard on a ground where he has never enjoyed success, in marked contrast to the rest of Australia. This time he lingered 21 balls for two, before finally being undone by a Siddle delivery that shaped nicely away to catch an edge that Haddin pouched. Given the torment he has inflicted on them in the past, the Australians were understandably exultant.

Clarke only allowed three overs of Lyon's spin before recalling Hilfenhaus, and second ball the Tasmanian found the ideal line to draw Kohli's outside edge and grant Haddin another catch. Six wickets were down before the arrival of the second new ball.

Dhoni, so difficult to contain on Indian pitches, has shown vulnerability in foreign climes before, and there was a hint of the England tour about his brief stay. Now using a fresh projectile, Hilfenhaus gave India's captain a trio of straight deliveries before floating one wider, with bounce. An airy drive and a catch in the gully ensued, sinking the visitors deeper into the morning mire.

Let down by his batsmen, Ishant finally lost patience, and swished at another outswinger. Zaheer Khan was not inclined to hang around and he was soon bowled by Pattinson, having an unsightly heave at a full-length ball. Ashwin and Yadav offered a cheeky last-wicket stand of 23 before Siddle nipped out the off spinner.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 30, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

@landl47.. Perfectly put.. If u realize, Wt u said is not DRS(Decision Review system), bt the decision making itself.. Thats wt BCCI is also luking for.. They don't want review system.. Let umpires use wtever technology available and make decisions only whn they(Umpires) feel doubtful abt that. Players shouldn't challenge any of Umpire's decision.. Note dat.. the technology shud b available across all series and Continents and shud give constant results.. For dat to happen, predictive part of technology shud b get ridden of.. Use slow motion replays, which itself will eradicate 80% of wrong decisions.. Esp, howlers.. I dont mind marginal decisions going either way.. After all, its a human game.. Mistakes are expected..

Posted by atthipatti on (December 30, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

@Karthik Raja: Well said Karthik. This guy D_G's problem is his insecurity that SRT is much ahead of Dravid. Period!! I'm a big big fan of SRT, but never will I be blasphemous of him. SRT and Dravid are the ones to have given me more joyous moments and at the same time have triggered my anger many a times. But for a loyal fan, he should learn to support his team through thick n thin and respect opponents and rivals with a level head.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 6:03 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas.. Wtever u say, Dravid's drops has proved costly in recent times.. A fielder of Dravid's caliber shud not b doing this.. Goin by comment, may b its Dravid who shud shift his game to Kabaddi if he cant hold on to catches and not the viewer.. U knw, v cant expect some1 to get runs/wickets whenever he comes to bat/bowl.. Bt, in cricket its must that u take sitters whn it comes ur way, esp in test matches.. tat too, of best batsmen.. No excuse abt that.. Btw, the so called paper god has been doin gud 4 long time.. Appreciate, whn some1 is doing gud.. If not, get out of his way..

Posted by atthipatti on (December 29, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Hurray...we are going to lose this.....Thanks to the "wall" Dravid, "intelligent" Dhoni and "Special" Laxman. Aussies bowled really really well....way to go. You deserve to win.......Happy new year folks!!!!

Posted by Johnny_129 on (December 29, 2011, 3:41 GMT)

India 69/5 in the second innings! So much for acclimatisation. Of the batsmen only SRT looks like he has ever played test cricket - hope he does not get a 100 because this is a losing cause and he will be criticised for getting a 100 in a losing cause!

Posted by Johnny_129 on (December 29, 2011, 3:18 GMT)

India could have won this first test comfortably if two bits of play had gone thier way - 1. LBW decision when Ponting was on 15 (but that is India's own fault for not adopting the DRS...after all, they did win the ODI WC when DRS was in use) and 2. dropped catch from Hussey (again India's own fault). If these two plays had gone India's way then they would be chasing about 100 runs less. Sure Aus got a couple harsh calls in their first innings which was offset by LBW decision in favour of Haddin.

Posted by Ibanezfan on (December 29, 2011, 1:20 GMT)

I think all of us can agree that India need a different captain against lower order batsmen! Maybe Dhoni could leave the field and hand things over to Ashwin or Laxman, who seem to have an attacking mindset. :) The England disaster seems to have scarred Dhoni some. All the boundaries the England lower order scored are now the demons in his mind. And in trying to ensure there's no repeat of the same, he's bleeding his team to death. 37 runs to Pattinson?! If India lose this, a big part of the blame will fall on Dhoni. Like Ian Chappell said during commentary, "This is now a blue print on how to lose a test match." I hope Dravid, Sachin and Sehwag play this one cool and see it through. There's enough time and their skills are good enough. If they do, it promises to be a terrific finish to a great test match. Love the doggedness the Oz lower order showed. A lesson in tenacity for both captains.

Posted by Crictotter on (December 29, 2011, 1:15 GMT)

@ Ravi Dararii: Cant believe so much ill-mouthed criticism against Dravid. Its agreed he dropped a sitter. I guess he has been doing it more often than the earlier days. I really didnt see anyone hailing his success as a slip fielder or him reaching milestone after milestone. But here we have people blaming on the first possible outbreak of mistakes. I've seen the cricketers each of the Dravid haters support making silly mistakes as well (Kohli/Dhoni/Raina etc...). The problem is those players are all accepted with mistakes but Dravid has been an embodiment of perfection that no mistakes are tolerated from him. I can accept people asking him to make way for the younger lads but I guess comments like these are a bit too harsh...

Posted by Precioustar84 on (December 29, 2011, 0:50 GMT)

How long will the selectors let Dhoni escape?? I cannot understand why he continues to be included as he brings nothing on the table for Team India in TEST matches. He may lead by example in ODIs but test is not his forte just like for Yuvraj and Raina. Dhoni is only suitable for ODIs Abroad but all formats in subcontinents. Another note, I hope Rohit is considered for next test over Gauti. Sadly I have to admit that Team India are known for collapses so Aussies pretty much have the upper hand always. Brain says Aussie win but heart says Indian win. At least, its been a great match so far and now we shall wait and see which team will have a happy new year's start.. Cricinfo please publish

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 23:16 GMT)

Yet again an absorbing day of cricket, swinging ball and a pace of 140 plus or even 130 will make the best of batsmen struggle. Lets face australia though a young side is always a very strong side, their ability to hit back fro crises is laudable, at the same time I will not mince any words to crticize the indian batting as surely the 2nd morning was a position to build on, but not only did the make a mess of it ( looked like summer 2011 on a rewind) the utter spinelss display should raise concern with the people who manage the game in the country. Having said that the revelation has been the bowling of Umesh Yadav, ( let us hope he does not go the Ishant or Irfan way).He needs better support as at 27 for 4 any team would got the opposition out in less than the more concessions India makes how can they expect to win, to me seems more hope than reality just as we would expect Gambhir to score when the guy is wofully out of form, in hope we live.... .

Posted by landl47 on (December 28, 2011, 23:09 GMT)

@dunger.bob and bobmartin: you guys are exactly right. Anyone who REALLY rejects DRS would be saying that the umpires' decisions were correct and there is no reason to think that the DRS would have changed them. Instead, commenters say over and over again that the umpires' decisions were wrong while at the same time defending the non-use of DRS. In my view, this whole argumant should be taken away from the cricket boards and the decisions given back to the umpires. It should be the umpires, using whatever technology they think helps them, who make all decisions. The players' input ends with the appeal. That's what happens now with runouts and stumpings; if the on-field umpires think there is any doubt, they go upstairs. Why should LBW or caught decisions be any different? The ICC should show some leadership here. Even the BCCI would realize what a backlash it would face if it tried to say the umpires should not have full control over decisions.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (December 28, 2011, 22:40 GMT)

I am long-time Dravid fan and admire the class with which he has played lately especially in England while everybody had suffered. But he has dropped too many catches this past year. Lot of them have proven costly. He is definitely having a negative impact on scoreboard. Dhoni has to carve his space and rediscover his role in the test team. I would prefer him to take Sehwag route. A quickfire 30, 40 or 60 will do irrespective of what the situation demands. This batting lineup can afford another hitter at number 7, of course with some decent percentage. He will never evolve as a solid test player or score anything meaningful by blocking or defending. Lets be clear a Dravid cannot do a Dhoni in ODI and a Dhoni cannot do a Dravid in tests. So Dhoni play fearlessly and success will follow you. The talents like you and Raina should play your game (middle of the bat, hit hard and keep the ball in front of the wickets) and not get bogged down by the format of the game.

Posted by Baysider on (December 28, 2011, 22:32 GMT)

Yet again Michael Clarke fails to contribute when a captain's innings is needed. This was always Clarke's shortcoming and being promoted to captain has not changed it. His last decent score (151) was made on a track where South Africa bludgeoned 2 for 236 in the 4th innings. Clarke has never performed when times are tough.

Posted by rahulkmc on (December 28, 2011, 22:30 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs : WIth DRS you would perhaps be reeling at 45 all out or something in second innings.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

India will win by a margin of about 5 wickets. Good luck. A Pakistani fan.

Posted by Claydo78 on (December 28, 2011, 21:50 GMT)

let that be a lesson to all you ponting and hussey bashes out there, they are far from done. if it wasnt for ponting and hussey australia would be looking at another record low score and a cruching defeat. get of they back and start supporting these two champion cricketers! currrently no one is scoring lots of runs in sheild cricket and khawja has has plenty of chances to impress but has failed. stop trying to push these gems out of the game and let the runs flow!

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 21:45 GMT)

BTW - Wasn't Hilfenhaus an unpopular choice before the game started? Is he the new Siddle whereby he goes from the chopping block to an integral part of the team?

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 21:43 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas on (December 28 2011, 20:48 PM GMT) - Agree with you re Dravid. He has been your Mr consistent with the bat this year where so many others have failed. Sure the drop may prove to be costly but if their lower middle order had done a better job with the bat then the dropped catch would hardly be an issue. @Ravi Darira - Fickle to the max. Happy new year DG

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 21:43 GMT)

Mayan Mansilu on (December 28 2011, 19:22 PM GMT) - That's about as kneejerk a reaction as you get. Gambhir and Laxman have hardly turned it on with the bat and then who keeps wicket and captains the side.@TequillaGuy on (December 28 2011, 20:10 PM GMT) - Dhoni's captaincy can't be blamed for the batsmen's failure and the lack of world class bowlers in England. Also he won the world cup which was the shrine to MANY Indian fans who comment on these boards.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 21:42 GMT)

@bobmartin on (December 28 2011, 18:54 PM GMT) - I echo your comms totally.Happy new year

Posted by haq33 on (December 28, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

Two things: (1) I predict that India will not win this match as their supposed big batting guns, especially Sehwag, usually FAIL when their team actually needs them the most. They are fair weather "heroes" only and in the 4th innings against Aus have NO chance. (2) Aus should have played Khawaja if only because he has shown how to calmly accumulate 25-35 runs in most of his recent innings, which is at least a start nearly every time, not to mention going on to top score in the final innings of that amazing win in SA. It seems to have been forgotten that he was the backbone of that innings in difficult SA conditions in a FOURTH innings. If he was Indian, based on those recent showings under pressure, India would definitely have picked him because that is what they need now. Aus selectors don't really know what they are doing and seem to try to rely on more flashy-smashy players when they actually desperately need steady accumulators. Give UK or others like him a good run.

Posted by AnkurTyagi on (December 28, 2011, 21:22 GMT)

What is MORE important in test cricket-- BLOCKING the balls OR MIDDLING / FINDING gaps in the field. There is a difference between surviving and scoring. I understand, If Ishant blocks almost every ball and use defensive approach to save his wicket or to save test match but Dravid like player who is technically so sound and capable of finding gaps plays almost 200 balls and scores only 68 runs. Everybody knows a value of wicket in TEST cricket but the way Zaheer Khan got out yesterday was pathetic. He could have given strike to Ashwin who was batting on 22* - I really don't understand the kind of approach sometimes Indian players uses in a test match.---Did anybody notice Ponting/Hussey scored @ of almost 3.5 an over when they were 27/4.

Posted by mautan on (December 28, 2011, 21:22 GMT)

Does anybody know why Phil Jaques is not playing for Australia???? He avgs 48 in tests...two of his three innnings were 76 and 108...he is 32 years old, has a first class avg of 49. He was all class and long term solution. Why these Warners and Hughes in steadof Katich and Jaques??? Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be if you add Jaques and Katich to the current side???????

Posted by BlueyCollar on (December 28, 2011, 21:17 GMT)

The difference between these 2 sides is the value that Australia's tail put on their wickets. My prediction is that India will be chasing over 300 to win it , look like they are cruising at certain stages and then losing quick wickets on tjhe first session of the final day to hand the Aussies a memorable victory setting up another classic test in Sydney.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 28, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

If Hussey gets his century which he rightfully deserves, it will be really difficult for mighty IND to win this match. Hypothetically, if IND win this match it will be effort of RSD and MSD. I dont see anyone else in IND will be going for kill. It is kind of shifting the paradigm, but I always believed that IND bowlers always performed well, but they have been always blamed for the failure of their batting counterparts. Here is a chance for IND batsmen to live up to their reputation for once in a life time. Mr. Yadav, you are a real beauty, a fine bowler could be in the league of Akram and McGrath. Well Good luck to AUS and IND both.

Posted by Precioustar84 on (December 28, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

How long will the selectors let Dhoni escape?? I cannot understand why he continues to be included as he brings nothing on the table for Team India in TEST matches. He may lead by example in ODIs but test is not his forte just like for Yuvraj and Raina. Dhoni is only suitable for ODIs Abroad but all formats in subcontinents. Another note, I hope Rohit is considered for next test over Gauti. I don't think this match is even at all; sadly I have to admit that Team India are known for collapses so Aussies still pretty much have the upper hand in the match with 230 on board. Brain says Aussie win but heart says Indian win. At least, its been a great match so far and now we shall wait and see which team will have a happy new year's start.. Cricinfo please publish

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 28, 2011, 20:48 GMT)

@Ravi Darira, stop spreading lies. Dravid never dropped KP. The ball hardly carried to him. When umpires consulted upstairs, they ruled it in favour of KP. Wow so, Dravid has the luxury of playing with Sehwag, Sachin and VVS but no any other way at all??? But cricket pundits seem to say diametrically opposite to what you say. A middle ground - a symbiosis. Sounds unfamiliar? They also say Dravid is an invaluable test match player. 2011 must have been a bitter pill for you to swallow. It's never too late. Take off your hate glasses. You can appreciate Dravid. Dropped catch?? No problem. We have a certain paper god in our team who will take us through to a win. Isn't it? Well, if you don't want to see dropped catches, better watch some other sport. How about Kabaddi? @Jerseyite, Sehwag a brilliant fielder? comments. Even Sehwag would want to find your address to come and thank you personally. Yes, Dravid should have taken it. But that's cricket. Dropped catches are inevitable.

Posted by er.Vaibhav on (December 28, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

@everyone how easy it is for all of us to discard dhoni as a captain by posting comments sitting in front of our pc and forget all that he has done for indian cricket......with the same team none of the previous captain has been able to take india to the heights of success that he helped us to achieve.come on guys don't act like a basketball on a dish..forget about oz fans they can say whatever they want but indiansl should respect what this guy has done for our last i m not a big dhoni fan but all this doen't seem to be fair at all

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (December 28, 2011, 20:29 GMT)

To all my Indian friends hoping for an Indian Win, I would like to quote Vince McMahon of WWE - "NO CHANCE IN HELL!!..... THAT'S WHAT YOU GOT!!" ;) Only a Christmas Miracle (with Santa Claus himself batting!) can result in India winning this Test Match! ...... I don't plan on getting up early for this match and I suggest to all the Indians that you do the same! :P

Posted by TequillaGuy on (December 28, 2011, 20:10 GMT)

To all those who are questioning Dhoni's tactics, I totally agree with you. His absolutely atrocious captaincy has cost us enough in recent past. Prime examples are SA, WI and England series. Even when India won the series against Aus at home, it was in-spite of his captaincy rather than because of it. I am so sick of watching him make such basic tactical errors and setting up defensive fields at the slightest hint of a partnership. The worst part is when the opposition is down 5-6 wickets, he spreads the field to save boundaries from tailenders. In the SA match, when Kallis came to bat, he did the same and completely stopped attacking him. If we loose this match, it would be because of his poor captaincy.My problem with him is that he is tactically poor and not a great thinker of the game. He relies more on random moves and brilliance of bowlers.Yesterday, it was Zaheer's brilliance that got us Ponting's wicket, otherwise the way field was spread, 100 was there for the taking!

Posted by akasharyan on (December 28, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

Australian tail is a nightmare for India (considering that Pattinson has a fair skill with the bat along with the fact that the big man is still hanging around!) and in a similar way, Indian intro is a nightmare for Australia (considering that it's Sehwag in here and when Sehwag is on could be all over in under 60 overs!). Now, whoever escapes his nightmare will eventually be smiling at the end of the day. Any prediction won't help, at least for now, as it's gonna be thrill and contemptuousness in the match from now on....

Mark my words ---------------- "It's India or Australia; it's Sehwag or Hussey!"

Posted by Jerseyite on (December 28, 2011, 19:48 GMT)

Dravid is the worst fielder ever! If I play 150 test matches and always field at slips, even I would have the highest number of catches. I don't know why Sehwag, who is a brilliant fielder, cannot field at slips and Dravid made to loiter somewhere in the outfield. To even mention Dravid and Mark Waugh in the same breath is a joke.

Also, I think (I know some of you may think this is a joke) very seriously, R Ashwin needs to be groomed as the next Test Captain of India. Also, it is time Dhoni starts to think if he is indeed serious about his future as a test cricketer, because his performances do not reflect that.

Cricinfo, please post this for the first time ever and make my day.

Posted by netcricketfan4ever on (December 28, 2011, 19:42 GMT)

I think the Aussies already have enough on the board and Indians are notorious to let the tail wag, so that's another thing to be concerned about. As for the chase, I predict a batting collapse. My predictions are Sehwag will fail, so will SRT and Laxman. In my opinion, Dhoni does not belong to the Test level and he is most likely to fail as well. Won't be surprised if India is wrapped up below 150. Hope to be wrong though.

Posted by abu316 on (December 28, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

(contd..) a right handed batsman and its hitting only a part of leg stump it used to be given not out and that too was considere a fair decision..whereas now a decision is considered fair or not based on what would have happened if DRS was it's really stupid to cry over cowan s out and ponting s not out because in ponting s case it was only marginally in line with t stumps(according to ball tracker) but it was 50 50 any day for a naked eye or even with a slow mo replay..same is the case with cowan soon as he padded up the umpires traditionally tend to give t decision in t bowler s favour if its touch n go because he has very emphatically been deprived of a genuine chance of hitting the stumps! Just a point to add:NONE OF THE ABOVE REASONS IS CAUSING BCCI TO REJECT DRS ,ITS ONLY BECAUSE OF T MONEY INVOLVED..AS MANY FANS OUTSIDE INDIA THINK ITS NT BECAUSE SACHIN OR MOST INDIAN PLAYERS ARE AGAINST IT..BCCI ARE NOT TAT CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR PLAYERS!

Posted by charlie2921972 on (December 28, 2011, 19:37 GMT)

I too agree with Jack_India it is Australia has an upper hand and chances are more of its winning this test match reaons--Gambhir out of form, Sehwag poor record in fourth innings, Dravid after seeing his later part of first innings i doubt he will deliver the goods, Tendulkar almost to certain extent same record as Sehwag in fourth innings, Laxman per records Melbourne seems to be not a happy hunting ground, Kohli too raw, Dhoni forget any expectaton, lately his test records speaks that he cannot be relied upon, if these batsmen cannot deliver the goods then what can one expect of the bowlers.

Posted by Lonely_Walker on (December 28, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

We can rely only on TENDULKER <<DRAVID<<<LAXMAN....Rest ol are BONUS ...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 19:26 GMT)

if india get the 2 wickets early and if sehwag fires then it can be a easy win .with that batting line up anybody would back india .the so called veterans should think abt it

Posted by abu316 on (December 28, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

As for the match,Heart says india but head says for DRS issue,i was firmly in support of it even after the MENDIS series where indians found it diff to use,but I thought using only the ball tracker and that too without the predictive element was the correct way to go.i am an engineer and I've read about hot spot technology and trust me it's a whole load of crap! The reason I feel we shouldnt uae t predictive path is not because I don't trust the ball tracker but because the whole point of using DRS is to eliminate the howlers and not to give the batsmen out even if it's brushing t leg stump! Now if u see umpiring ten years back they never used to give a batsman out if they are well forward even if there was 80 percent chance of ball going on to hit t stumps and nobody thought of that as a bad suddenly with tDRS coming in such a decision is termed a howler! Similarly if a ball is turning in from outside off for an off spinner bowling to (contd..)

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

india will win easily if they chased 250+ in a flat track in india, since the match playing aussie, i expect australi to win by 80 runs, btw how about leaving dhoni out from playing XI

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 18:56 GMT)

Anything under 300 is pretty chaseable. I don't know why people make such a fuss about 4th innings.

Posted by bobmartin on (December 28, 2011, 18:54 GMT)

Don't you just love the hypocrisy of India supporters who follow their heroes aversion to the DRS.. Then when an incorrect umpiring decision goes against their team complain bitterly. And where do they get their evidence from... the TV replays.. So TV replays are OK evidence for spectators to base their opinions on ...but the DRS in the hands of trained officials isn't. Where's the logic. ?

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 28, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

India can't handle the pressure and will crumble as usual.If you can't get the runs against this attack then what would you do against a good attack.Tendulkar is you are as good as your acolytes think you are then get some runs when the pressure is on for a change

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 28, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

This test match is fascinatingly poised yet again! Part of me thinks that the Aussies probably have enough runs already but if the hype about Dravid, Tendulkar, VVS, Dhoni, Sehwag and Kohli has any validity it could be Indias to win? Somehow I doubt it and the ageing trio (ST, RD & VVS) will have to deliver this time around. Two of them have already shown their pedigree but with the slogging chancer Sehwag likely to fail, it'll be a chance for the Indians to prove their critics wrong? Could be an all time classic match but I'm expecting the Aussies to win. If Mr Cricket can put up another 50 or so runs with the tail we could see an even easier Aussie victory..... C'mon India prove me wrong! It'll be great for the game.......

Posted by WC2011Champs on (December 28, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

Unconventional but it is going to work. Play Virat one down and rest of the batting order stays. He will provide useful runs at the top helping calm the nerves. He played well in practice match a few days ago. Dhoni must be honest about his test career - score 50 every third fourth innings or stop playing.

Posted by SabirParvaiz on (December 28, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

Time to bring back Usman Khawaja in the side. It was very surprising to see him dropped after his career defining innings of 60 odd vs South Africa in his century partnership with Ponting which won the test for Australia chasing 300. He is good enough for Ponting to give up in #3 spot and groom him under his wings and a long term prospect for Australia. His exclusion from the Boxing Day Test is unreal. Hope to see him back in the team for the Sydney test.

Posted by Jatin_Narotam on (December 28, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

India should wrap up the last 2 wickets quickly and then indian batters should appy themselves and win the match. Building patnerships will be key!!!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 28, 2011, 18:20 GMT)

On second thoughts, I think Australia is slightly but surely ahead of India and if they can add another 20 to 30 runs, I think we will lose it. It's such a shame. I think Dhoni let them off big time yet again with his hallmark 'spread the field when the opposition is under pressure' tactics.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

Hi all, after reading all the comments here from the past few days, I understood that almost everyone is expecting the selection, batting, bowling & overall match to be as they like instead of enjoying how it is. People were commenting on ponting, hilfenhaus, Hussey selection in the team and once they started performing, crying about youngsters coming into team not performing. No matter how many matches we see on television or live, we certainly will not have at least 25% of the knowledge selectors and players have. It is very easy to point out mistakes but hard to make a decision. Coming to UDRS people supporting UDRS will say at least mistakes can be reduced and people who r against it will say why to use it when it is not even 70% accurate and showing the slow motion replays to on-field or third umpire will yield better results than what hotspot and hawkeye suggest. Chill guys ENJOY THE SPORT and follow whom u like instead of commenting on whom others like and comparing them.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

@LillianThomson on (December 28 2011, 09:44 AM GMT) - I'm in favour of DRS , but regardless of whether you're for or against DRS , I think it should either be used worldwide or failing that the home team has the decision on whether or not it gets used. There are parts of the DRS which are not 100% but my opinion is that it helps the decision making and as each team is only allowed 2 unsuccessful challenges per inns it means they generally have to use them wisely. Also it means that a team has a right to challenge an umpires decision without bringing the game into disrepute by excessive appealing from fielding side or batsmen showing they are unhappy with a decision.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

@landl47 on (December 28 2011, 14:01 PM GMT) - Thought you would know better by now than to waste time typing in response to RandyOz. Still I suppose he has a point when you look at how devastating Doherty and Beer were against us in the last Ashes series. Happy new year

Posted by JG2704 on (December 28, 2011, 17:55 GMT)

I'd slightly give the edge to Australia at this point in time. I'd say 250 could be a tricky chase for India even though on paper they bat deep. If India can skittle the last 2 very early then I'd go for them to just about get there. Pattinson remained not out in the 1st inns so he needs to show the same and Hussey needs to convert into a 100. I think I want Aus to win because as an England fan it means the longer we stay at number 1 will depend on how Aus do when we inevitably get thumped by Pak and SL due to the fact that we can't play in SC conditions - as we keep getting told.

Posted by AnkurTyagi on (December 28, 2011, 17:53 GMT)

It's a request to all my fellow Indian cricket fans - Please Don't bring past stats/records in here to prove Indian Batsmen are GREAT..!! - Before this Test match everybody was talking about the greatness of the TRIOS & sehvag and amount of runs, their overseas batting averages..Blahh..Blaahhh.. When is the last time India scored 350+? We Lost 7 wickets for 68 runs!!!! - And those wickets include our "WALL" and painting of LAXMAN/DHONI on that wall.

Posted by bplusa on (December 28, 2011, 17:47 GMT)

Its going to be a nail biter. With presence of Mike Hussey at the crease one can assume addition of 30-50 runs to the total. If that happens tomorrw then India's Batsmen 'll be tested in the 4th innings.Any how best of luck to both the teams.

Posted by YoBro on (December 28, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

I am afraid, Dravid's drop of yet another sitter off Hussey in the slips might prove quite costly. India needs to groom somebody else for the slip position. I think Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli would be good choices for that wicket taking position. Dravid's reflexes have slowed down quite a lot and his dropped catches have already cost us some Tests.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 28, 2011, 17:42 GMT)

@lmatseung . so what do you want?????? indian bowlers bowling yorkers like waqar younis & malinga ?

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 28, 2011, 17:39 GMT)


Posted by cric009 on (December 28, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

There are higher odds that this gr8 indian batting wil crumble under pressure against Aussie seamers in 2nd innings chase, and washing away all the hard work of our bowlers. Cmon big guns.. especially fab 3.. show why u are realli fabulous so that u can start retiring gracefully, not when they stop selecting u!!

Posted by Nampally on (December 28, 2011, 17:31 GMT)

Poor Indian batting failed to take advantage of a great start. Kohli, Dhoni & Laxman's dismissals were shocking to watch. In an earlier cricinfo comments I had suggested both Kohli & Sharma to play because VVS is out of form. I am sure Rohit would have done lot better than VVS. Dhoni with his flawed batting technique will find it hard to adjust & produce runs on Aussie tracks. So it will be a good decision to play Rohit Sharma in place of out of form Laxman in Sydney. Ashwin was the only good batsman for India on Day 3 & saved a humiliating collapse.Yadev, as expected was the star bowler. India failed to finish the job when the Aussies were right up against wall. It was unfortunate that Pontings' Plumb LBW was disallowed which may turn out to be the turning point of the match. This is the second LBW denied of ZAK. India needs to finish off the last 2 batsmen quickly to restrict the required runs to<250- Then entire Indian batting needs to shows up incl: Gambhir, Kohli, VVS & Dhoni!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 17:24 GMT)

People blaming dhoni's batting, and technique - what about dravid, he played and missed 50 times in the first innings, got bowled off a no-ball. Finally today he got bowled off a straight ball - the so call wall with the best technique.

Dhoni made one mistake and he was dismissed, also he bats at 7 where theres always pressure to score quick runs with the tail enders, he does not have the luxury of batting with tendulkar and sehwag or laxman who make lives easy for the person they bat with...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

Dravid has dropped more than 8 catches in this season, some of them very crucial to the outcome of the games (and series) - he dropped chanderpaul twice in west indies and he scored a century to save the match, he dropped pietersen and he score 200, and now he has dropped hussey - do not know how much he will score. It was good that Dhoni dived in front of him to catch siddle or he might have dropped that one as well.

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 28, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

This match/series will hasten or it should anyway- retirement of our non-performing captain Dhoni and creaky terminators Dravid & Laxman from Tests Dhoni is simply not test standard in fact sometimes he gives away an impression that he himself doesnt believe to be one hence throws it like a tailender..No matter his age,Sachin is batting like a dream consistently evolving as a batsman as Taylor put it yesterday..The famed middle order's home performance was a cover up after all..The haunted English tour looms again..Bring on Rohit & drop the clueless&hopeless Kohli,he is a terrific ODI bat like Yuvi let him be so..As for the chase,Sehwag & Sachin the only hope the rest should atleast chip in with 70 runs which I doubt...

Posted by TRAM on (December 28, 2011, 17:14 GMT)

VVS would fail like this when his batting was needed. Then he will play a slow "expose-the-tail-ender" game in the 2nd innings. Thats it. He will be a great hero.

Posted by Aragorn_11 on (December 28, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

I have no idea why Australia are playing 2 T20 specialist (Shaun Marsh and David Warner)'s like watching the Pakistani batting line up of 2010 bunch of hitters pretending to be test players....Khwaja should've played, poor lad.

Posted by Aragorn_11 on (December 28, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

I knew I should've put a bet on India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan all beating Austrailia, SA and England....I'm still sticking by my guns....Subcontinent teams will beat the best of the rest teams

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

Ashwin should be promoted ahead of kohli and dhoni frm nxt innings. That would give him more partners to work around with. The fact tht Ishant was sent as night-watchman and not ashwin proves tht ashwin has established himself as a batsman. Indian tail is getting longer and longer. We put our hopes on openers, then on Dravid, sachin, laxman and then directly on ashwin/bhajji and Ishant. What has happened to our no. 6 and no. 7??

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:55 GMT)

What happens this morning will setup the test. If Hussey gets his 100, australia will have gained huge momentum, and likely run away with the match. If India knock over the last 2 remaining wickets for under 20 runs, the advantage will be with india. Australia will want a overcast day, and india will want a sunny day. Good game so far, though i am sick of the BCCI's attitude to the DRS

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:54 GMT)

The lead is already a challenging one given the pitch, TI's batting form and Australia's pace form.. I wouldn't like to see it get anywhere close to 260-270 then it's definitely advantage Australia (big time) although if Wiru gets going and Gauti can support him it could still be possible, TI's openers must stay there for at least 20-25 overs if TI to get close to the total. If at all, TI lose an early wicket I'd like to see Laxman coming in one down..

Posted by luck002 on (December 28, 2011, 16:50 GMT)

First of all,India should restrict the lead to below 300.Hussey has shepherded many a tail expertly,so i expect them to score much more tomorrow.As per India's chase,the opening partnership will be very crucial.Sehwag has to stay for first 20 overs minimum.Sachin looked in tremendous form,Rahul will stand like a wall and most importantly another 2nd innings miracle from VVS LAXMAN.I don't expect others to play a major hand.AUS are very slightly ahead,but if the famed batting line up of IND stands up then it will become very easy.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:46 GMT)

@sagar deoskar - agree in morning aus bowled terrifically ashwin contribution was handy and now people will realise how imp that 73 of sachin was i felt it yesterday and it remains same today that innings and sachin will make the difference . Now Indian bowling really it was indian umesh comes and bowls hard and fast got 4 deserving wickets ishant 152 kn/hr by an Indian he has been terrific deserved more wickets just was unlucky zaheer khan what do u say about him can anyone in world cricket use the old ball so well wheter the pitch is doing something or not whether batsman are set or not not forgetting new ball skills what a awesome comeback now reduce target to less than 250 get those 2 wickets as fast as possible attack early dont wait for things to happen and then viru and gauti have an imp duty if they do win is ours for certain if not dravid tendulkar dravid have tasks cut out best of luck india end 2011 on high to have a glorious start to 2012

Posted by kaushal_raut on (December 28, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

Auatralia hold edge after end of todays play.I think target will be between 250-260.This will be very difficult considering fact that India has only 4 recognised batsmen(Sehwag,Dravid,Tendulkar,Laxman) in aussie conditions.Others all are tailenders(may be not in subcontinent condition).So these four have to play special innings tomorrow to ensure a INDIA win.Today's Indian collaps was somewhat expected considering long Indian tail starting from Kohli(in Ausssie condition,in subcontinent it starts after Ashwin).In next test Rohit should be included.BTW absence of DRS is hurting india more than aussie(Ponting's plumb lbw off Zaheer).There should have DRS. God please give BCCI some common sense.And today Ponting and hussey shown the importance of 'experience'.

Posted by cric009 on (December 28, 2011, 16:37 GMT)

I strongly believe, india need to start looking outside Fab three now. How can promising youngsters like Rohit, Pujara etc will ever get such exposure until these oldies retire? Of course they wont, until selection guys realise this sooner! Sachin got his chance at age of 16. Now because of them occupying the place for so many years, new guys wil get their chance at much later age!! Dravid, Laxman and then Sachin shud retire one by one..even if we mkight feel vacuum for some time.. Selecting youngsters wil only give them real experience and prepare us for future india team...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

based on past matches given that 15 wickets fell on day three it would not surprise me to see no more than 4 fall on day four, I can see Oz out for 200 setting 250 odd and India 2/120 or so. Will be listening here in the USA to an absorbing day

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 28, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

Well today again Ponting & Hussey proved that they both are World Class Players. If tomorrow Australia scores between 250-275runs then I am sure India is going to lose this test because pitch is fully supporting fast bowlers and if a team has Hilfenhaus, Siddle & Pattinson I think other side will be sure in trouble!!! At the End it is an interesting test match from both sides. Let us see what will happen tomorrow!!!

Posted by Beertjie on (December 28, 2011, 16:16 GMT)

I guess we're both pessimists, @Okakaboka, but only 300 would comfort me, too. But this would only paper over the cracks of the Aussie batting weaknesses. There's nothing much wrong with the wicket (except it being a bit slower than expected coming on to the bat), so where is all the bravado from the Indian fans now? Like you, @dms1972 why are they afraid of getting 250 when they were predicting twice that in the first innings: "I'd just like to know what happened to the Indian predictions of 500+ first innings score?" Well, at least @atuljain1969 has it spot on: if the Indian batters can't get anything below 300 they're the most over-hyped lot.

Posted by Rajeev1996 on (December 28, 2011, 16:06 GMT)

Both sides are not at their best, this match will be a thriller.

Dhoni must improve with the bat . Why did he defend against Ponting and Hussey? Sure they are out of form but they are veterans, they will not get easily frustrated. Plus Dravid's drop must have seriously affected the teams morale. Why is he still at slip? The man is 38, I doubt he would still have good reflexes. Tendulkar may still be quick, but he is a cricketing genius.

Clarke, too, does not seem to be at his best.Having 3 slips for Dravid and Teendulkar and 1 for Ashwin? Is he really trying to win.Plus,his match with the bat was not very memorable

Posted by InsaneBolt on (December 28, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

Folks, this series does not have DRS. So why try to enact a DRS existent scenario? Keep it simple - if the umpire calls you out, you go. If not stay on to take guard next delivery. Having said that, poor quality of umpiring can mar the quality of the game & relationship. We dont have to look beyong Sydney 2007.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 16:01 GMT)

Too many devils need to be exorcised in the Indian camp. Sehwag's recklessness. Gambhir's obsession to poke at almost every ball. Dhoni's lack of test class batting caliber. Tentativeness of VVS. Kohli's lack of experience in foreign pitches. That leaves only Sachin, Dravid, and amazingly a 'tail-ender' Ashwin to score the required runs in the 4th innings. Hope, I am proved wrong. Ashwin may have to play the usual 4th innings role of VVS, in case VVS fails once again. Far too many issues to give me comfort. BUT... if Sehwag & Gambhir who have been opening together for ages in all class of cricket and on all sort of pitches give a good start, the whole approach and attitude of the rest to follow will change and India will have a chance to successfully chase a sub-300 score, to win the match. If it is a 300 + chase, Oz wins! Of course, I am too eager and ready to eat the humble pie, if proved wrong about a successful chase of 300 or above! At the moment, it is only a case of dreaming!

Posted by Jack_India on (December 28, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

How is this an even match? The story of Day 3 is India scored 68/7 and Australia 179/8. A big deficit for India and have to bat 4th inning. Australia have the upper hand, big time. Why does the media create virtual hope for India? Our biggest hope, Dravid, managed a fifty after getting multiple lives. We know we are in water up to the neck so why pretend.

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 28, 2011, 15:51 GMT)

All the Indian fans we are playing with only six batsmen and ashwin , dhoni is the worst test player everrrrrr man why doesn't he just leave test, his average 15 in tests in aus and twenty something overall in overseas tests

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

Wonder y ppl have forgotten Australia just made 233 runs in 4th innings in Hobart test minefield pitch against NZ...vats wrong wid Melbourne pitch its not behaving as its Hobart pitch.still better than that pitch...atleast India should be able to get 233..not sure about more than 233...

Posted by Romenevans on (December 28, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

GO GO GO GO India! Rip 'em apart!

Posted by harash7 on (December 28, 2011, 15:38 GMT)

This will again be the same story.... Indians will collapse chasing anything whether 120 against Zimbabwe or 300 against Australia. They just can't play good cricket outside India. Its so pathetic that all these great names of Dravid, Tendulkar, Lakshman cant win a series in Australia.

Posted by hunksurat on (December 28, 2011, 15:32 GMT)

Really impressive performance from Indian bowling attack led by ZaK. But once again its the batting department which had let us down. Viru these days likes to talk more (Comfortable chasing under 300) than actually perform. Sachin and Dravid are doing there best to perform (barring that Sachin as burden of scoring a 100). Laxman has not found form for a long time. Rest of the India team (Gambhir, Dhoni, Virat) needs to spend some more time in first class cricket like harbhajan singh. Ashwin can make 31, Ishant can hang around for 70 balls and these people cannot even attempt to stay on the wicket. This match was totally in favor of India yesterday. Today it has completely turned in to Australia's favor. Anyway because lack of application from Indian batsmen and partly poor performance from Aussies this match has become interesting. Aussies will surely win but at least India's bowling department fired. (silver lining)

Posted by Mukundan on (December 28, 2011, 15:27 GMT)

We are in for a superb last day of this test match. From India perspective, they will have confidence to chase anything under 265, knowing they struggle to cross 300 in foreign conds even if they are 299/1. Sehwag has a few fab performance in second innings, but we all know what a session of cricket from him could do. Gambhir doesnt look like the batsman who won the ICC Test player award in 09. But he is a gutsy batsman & always puts a price tag on his wicket. Dravid looks to have lost his concentration after the hamstring injury on Day 2, but he is a great fighter & he will fight. SRT is the key as per me. He was at his fluent best in first innings. So Indians can hope for something from him. VVS is a special second innings players but stats would say he is poor at MCG. Well he is capable of rewriting stats. Kohli is a terrific future for India and he should not succumb to pressure. MS in white clothing is always 50-50. I would bet on India to win by 5 wkts. Happy New Year to all.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 28, 2011, 15:25 GMT)

Absolutely fantastic day's of cricket - from Hilfenhaus and Siddle; to Yadav and Zaheer; to Hussey and Ponting. Match is very very delicately poised. Can't pick a winner here. But I think after bowling out India cheaply (for another under 300 score overseas), it was Australia's game to lose. Absolute topclass Indian bowling and some poor Aussie batting pulled the match firmly in India's favour. And then, the two oldies put up one of the best counterattacking rearguards we ever get to see. Can't ask for more. I hope Hussey goes on to score a century and India wins from there. 230+ is still a pretty healthy lead. We need all our batsmen at the top of their concentration to pull this off. I want them to do it, as I don't want them to continue to be slow starters abroad. Who says only bowlers win you matches and batsmen can only draw you matches? Pretty antiquated role assignments!

Posted by sandeep1978 on (December 28, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

It would be interesting to know how many runs dravid's dropped catches have cost us this year.In total. On a different topic,can the umpires go to the 3rd umpire in case they r unsure if the batsman has nicked a delivery? I am not talking abt the Hot spot,only the video replays.Is it possible? If they can ask abt a catch having carried and abt overstepping, surely they can ask this? I would really appreciate it if someone can answer this.

Posted by zico123 on (December 28, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

India should wrap up the last 2 wickets quickly and then indian batters should appy themselves and win the match, indian batters should leave as many balls outside offstump as possible and cut down on cover drive early in the innings with slips waiting

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 15:23 GMT)

Many seem to say that Sehwag should play his stuff for 30 mins and India will win. On the contrary, I would say that Sehwag should show patience for 30 mins, and after getting the measure of the pitch and the bowlers-- AFTER THAT, launch his style!

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 28, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

This is advantage Australia. The batting looks very brittle. After seeing the way we shaped in the first innings, except Tendulkar no one was convincing in the crease. Australian bowling is right on target and if they start targetting the rib cage more, then wickets will fall easily. Maybe age is catching up with Dravid and Laxman and they are not looking great against pace of youngsters. I have enormous respect for Dravid and Laxman, but then no one can win over age.

Posted by bobmartin on (December 28, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

@spiritwithin.. Apart from the record books, averages mean nothing. What really matters is how many they score in the final innings when the result depends on it. Any of the batsmen you mention could have scored any number of runs, but every inningsl starts on nought.

Posted by TRAM on (December 28, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

Sorry, Dravid & VVS please retire. I cant take your fielding any more. Whatever runs you guys score once in 4-6 innings, you over-compensate by your consistent dropped catches and poor running between wkts. I will accept a "non-allrounder" in the team ONLY IF he is a good fielder. The SUM OF THE 3 SKILLS (batting / bowling / fielding) should be the criteria in evaluating the players. IMO, Gambhir has the lowest skill in that regard. He is neither a match winner by his batting nor a good fielder or bowler.

Posted by jango_moh on (December 28, 2011, 15:12 GMT)

@lillian thompson.. agree with you on most of the stuff u said, except Tendulkar looked really good and untroubled until he got a beauty from Siddle.... and i would still say that Ind and SA are equally good, and ENG maybe slightly ahead as a team at this juncture, but only slightly...

Posted by a1234s on (December 28, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

India has any hope only if Sachin Dravid and Laxman click.

Gambhir and Dhoni are hopelessly out of depth on foreign soils. Kohli is just a newcomer, so it is understandable, he is a bit nervy.

Posted by meursault on (December 28, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

@sumanc1979 - No, if the ball is shown to be missing the stumps (as it was in the Cowan case), even an out decision will be overturned. I would have thought you'd have looked up the DRS rules and reconsidered the incident in the cricinfo commentary before criticising. Not really experts on the rules or the DRS around here, are we?

In any case, I was simply surprised by the umpire operating in the absence of DRS having no doubt about whether it was hitting off yet, for example, enough doubt about the Ashwin one earlier or the subsequent one later. By refusing DRS, you're relying on the on-field umpiring to be of a high quality. So far this test, it has been very poor. That was the main point I was trying to make by pointing out the number of errors so far. I watch a lot of cricket and it's been a while since I've seen this many errors affecting a test match and that bothers me.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 14:46 GMT)

The Indian pace trio is going great guns. They did well in first innings and outplayed it betterly in second inn. May Yadav's speed with accuracy keep serving India for a long time. Indian pace attack never looked so solid before. Ishant is highly disciplined while Zak being the master of reverse. Surely India will win Melbourne test, if Aussies don't post anything more than 300. Top & middle order need to contribute reasonably. On last 2 days, it'll be definitely batsmen's job to fetch this seemingly easiest glory (of recent past) in down under. Only hurdle wiil be Pattinson who seems more threatning than Ben or Siddle. Inside edges, as sehwag pointed out were due to early playing and ball pausing before hitting bat; if avoided can surely benefit indian batsmen. All the best team India.

Posted by kalyanbk on (December 28, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

Dhoni's batting is not test class. He will need to step up in the second innings. Dravid Is dropping as many as he takes. Maybe Sachin at slip for spinners as he can stay low.

Posted by manav599 on (December 28, 2011, 14:29 GMT)

Same story every day. Australia have good session 1, then somehow manage to give India the edge as day progreses.Aussie batting collapses hardly surprise nowadays. GOOD BOWLING of course from India. On target,nice pace by all 3 seamers. Ishant deserved more wickets. Still batting was much worse. I always feel being Bowled is a technical error. Played on is just even worse. What did they do in batting camp? I remember 1st thing coach told me was "NO GAP B/W BAT & PAD" You got to cover your stumps, good ball missing the bat, lbw is fine-atleast there is chance. Special regard to Ponting, seems in decent form. He just needs a good pitch and 100 might be on the way. As for Hussey, never doubted him, only consistent batsman for Australia these days, though so was "SIMON KATICH".Feel for him,NEED HIM. CA so badly wants young guys,they need to realise dont have to send Under-21 team! You NEED Experience. For young team-HADDOUT & WADEIN CRACKER OF A DAY AWAITS IF ONLY AUSSIE BOWLERS RISE.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

i just hope isshaaaant does not keep bowling short short and short and gambhir does not try to hit each and every ball between the 1st and the 2nd sleep

Posted by atuljain1969 on (December 28, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

If India's world class batsmen can't score a target in range of 250-300 , then we should forever stop referring them to world class. After all whats the use of these statistics, if they cannot score so many runs.

Fans and media should then stop propagating them like GOD. Before the tour everybody said India's bowling is their weak area but i disagree entirely, if one refers to last three series against WI- twice and England, it is these supposed world class batsmen who have failed to score enough runs to score victories. Time and again they failed raised the team total beyond 300.

Only the bowlers have performed credibly during this period, even though there were injuries to them and many a times top bowlers were not playing. Even in this test, Batsmen failed to score more then 300 when they had every opportunity to perform well and bowlers have performed again even though nobody gave them a chance.

Posted by upper_cut on (December 28, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

Drs..Drs....Drs.....we all are following it and bearing it. Hussey,cowan,ponting,ashwin, all are vicitim or got the advantage, but I would like to mention cowan LBW decision 2nd inns. he was leaving the ball , and no shot offered is clear LBW candidate even if ball not hitting the stumps convenetionally, even the greg discussed that in commentry, he might get away with DRS as it was not hitting the stumps.

but it was clear out as no shot was was just a neutral view waiting for the comments.............

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

its difficult to score in 4th inning overseas..... but... dont worry india have alethal weapon namely......VIRU....let him play for 30 mins and see the result....all the best india....

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 28, 2011, 14:14 GMT)

THIS GAME is swnging - any team could win it, but advantage is with Australia due to a better bowling unit. For INDIA to win it is dependent on Gambhir/Shewag and the start they give India (chasing say 250). In the first innings Gambhir did not look comfortable how I hope Dhoni had chosen Rohit. Also Dhonis no show with bat means Indiais a batsman short. Only luck and good batting can save India now.

Posted by ThirdRenegade on (December 28, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

India may have had it great on D3 but the way they lost their way in Session 1 after losing 7 wickets for 68 runs can cost them badly. Plus Dravid dropping Hussey was like handling butter & giving the match back to the opposition. Test Matches can't be won by dropping your guard like this, it requires an inspirational & outstanding success where you outperform yourself. In this test, the only ones doing the unthinkable are Umesh Yadav & Ravinchandran Ashwin for whom the writing was on the wall anyway. Virat Kohli hasn't enhanced his chances, Rohit Sharma looks likely to replace him. I still think India are clearly a pacer short, Vinay Kumar/Abhimanyu Mithun won't do much

Posted by bobmartin on (December 28, 2011, 14:03 GMT)

You can talk all you like about the why's and wherefores of what might have happened had DRS been in use in this series. The fact that some have gone for and against each side is surely reason enough to at least admit that the DRS gets it right more often than not. And that is it's raison d'etre.. And to talk about things evening themselves out is absolute nonsense... They might do so numerically, but that's as far as it goes. A NOT OUT decision that should have been given OUT is a wrong decision just as an OUT decision which should be NOT OUT is wrong and every schoolboy knows, two wrongs never make a right.

Posted by njr1330 on (December 28, 2011, 14:02 GMT)

Re: Tomorrow...anyone who has ever captained a cricket team will tell you, there is a world of difference between getting 250 and HAVING to get 250 !!

Posted by landl47 on (December 28, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

A fascinating match- who will make the most mistakes? India looked to have given it away in the morning by handing Hilf his very first 5 wicket haul in his 18 tests. Then Aus slumped to 4-27, courtesy of 3 played on (2 of them, Warner and Marsh, from way wide of the wicket) and a no-stroke from Cowan. Ponting and Hussey led a revival (how desperate is Aus's plight when the only 2 batsmen to make double figures are 37 and 36 respectively?), then another collapse and finally Dravid putting down Hussey to give Aus hope for the morning. India favorites at the moment; if the Aus tail could make another 25 it would be even, another 50 would give Aus the advantage. @RandyOz: Swann got 15 wickets @39, not bad in Aus. If you want ineffective, Aus's 4 spinners got 5 wickets between them and averaged 133. Doherty had the best average @102. You'd better hope Lyon bowls like Swann and not like them.

Posted by dsig3 on (December 28, 2011, 14:00 GMT)

The batting workshop worked perfectly for us. The toporder has successfully mastered guiding balls a foot outside offstump safely into their own stumps. Excellent work Mickey.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

to win test matches you need to win the sessions,day 1 first session went to india,2nd went to aus,3rd again went to india,day 2 1 session was 50 - 50,2nd and 3rd again went to india,day 3 1 session belonged to oz and 2nd to india,3rd session was again 50 - 50 i guess. india has plaundered the efforts it did over two days in one single session.every team has bad sessions but this single session could cost india the match.currently its in the balance.hope we win.

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 28, 2011, 13:40 GMT)

@hhillbumper,dude indian batsman like laxman,dravid,sachin,sehwag has good records in aus,its not for nothing that these blokes averages 50+ in aus,infact sachin & dravid also averages 50+ in england too...just in case ppl r calling indian batsman flat track bully lemme remind u that indian batting did'nt collapsed like aus in recent times,in eng where indian batting was said to struggle so much still posted around 250 regularly against a far superior english outfit,in the ongoing test match also sehwag,dravid,sachin scored half century,its pity though that other batsman did'nt carried india through...

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 28, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

This is one the best test match that I have seen in recent times. Well balance as competition in games should be. Both teams have really worked hard and the outcome could go either way.

Posted by cricketcrazy555 on (December 28, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

Poor batting display by Indian batsman, sending Ishant as night watchman not helped at all. Australia is on top of this match.

Posted by satanswish on (December 28, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

If target goes above 250 & Sehwag's quick wicket, match is gone from India's grasp for sure.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 13:20 GMT)

i dont think sehwags style would work on dis wicket,.....i expect sehwag to leave early tomorrow....gambhir's only problem is poking a delivery outside off stump.....expectations are from gambhir sachin and vvs

Posted by Hussain_KSA on (December 28, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

Happy to see the indians bowling! Yadav done wonderful! and now with the addition of Yadav! Zaheer bowling becaome meaningful! otherwise he was alone to do everything! now he has wonderful support! I am with indian team to take this test atleast by 5 or 6 wickets!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

Problems for India were there for all to see in England, the selectors had every opportunity to put things right but preferred to paper over the cracks in the matches against the West Indies. Laxman is looking like a spent force, Dravid, slowing reflexes mean he is dropping to many important catches in the slips. Ghambir is totally out of form, Dhoni is not an international standard test batsman, Dhoni is a reactive and defensive captain, you never know what you get with Shewag, Tendulkar is obsessed with his hundred hundred, Kholi is an unknown quantity at this leve. There arel too many thing wrong with this Indian outfit to suggest that they are going to win this series. The only cloud with a silver lining is that the Aussies are a poor team too.

Posted by Deepak_Toronto on (December 28, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

india will have to change the batting order: 1. VIRU 2.TENDU 3. DRAVID 4.LAXMAN 5.GAMBHIR 6. DHONI 7.KOHLI - NEXT MATCH BRING IN R.SHARMA 8. ASWIN 9. ISHANT 10.ZAHIR 11.YADAV This batting order will help india.Kohli can not play in foreign pitches.Gambhir is out of is better to send tendulkar to open with sewag so that dravid and laxman can play in thier favorite spots.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (December 28, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

@meursault - going by your own logic "Cowan's 2nd innings lbw where one can't be sure that was hitting off" - as per the DRS rules, if the the replay does not provide conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire's decision then the original decision stays. What are you complaining about?

Posted by danny_anthony on (December 28, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

It's a spirited show by Indian bowlers. The onus is on batsmen now to deliver. They should bat with guts. An hour of Sehwag mayhem can seal the match for India. They have a great chance to win this test match.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 28, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta : Nobody says that lack of DRS benefits India. Why would anyone say that. What we are all saying is that we can't understand why you reject it so out of hand.

I don't know about anyone else but I find it more than slightly bizarre that most of the arguments you non-believers put up against the drs are based on evidence supplied by the drs. Eg, drs evidence clearly shows Ponting did this or someone else did that. You seem to be embracing the evidence wholeheartedly in order to build up a case to reject it. Hardly logical but what we've come to expect over the last few years.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

why do we say the best slip catcher mistakenly dropped a catch .Dravid has now dropped approximately 6-8 catches this season.who the hell says dat its just once in long time but never the less good luck to india for tommorrow

Posted by Hindian on (December 28, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

@KMV...thank God you are not the captain of Indian Team.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

wonder what those who say india benefitted from DRS not there should read this section of cricinfo commentary: ponting wasd plumb lbw on 15 and he went on to score 45 more crucial runs...

"17.1 Khan to Ponting, no run, big appeal for lbw, as Zaheer hits Ponting on the pad from round the stumps, comes in with the angle as Ponting lunges forward, looked to have struck him outside the line of off, nope, ball tracker shows it hit him in line and would have taken middle, there you go"..wonder what they have to say now..;point is without drs,things even out considering both 1st and 2nd innings..e.g.hussey was wrongly given out in 1st innings and in 2nd innings ponting was reprieved on 15 and not given out...

Posted by baksh1982 on (December 28, 2011, 12:43 GMT)

Can some one please tell me how many catches has Rahul Dravid dropped in tests this year?

Posted by er.Vaibhav on (December 28, 2011, 12:39 GMT)

@hhillbumper you are critsizing the team which has just been displaced from no. 1 position and is 7 points away from regaining that spot..and now look where your team stands 2 spots below at no. 4 and 15 points behind from india....and you are reminding us where indian team is standing in rankings....and as far as winning and loosing is concerned australia has lost both last test and odi series in india 2-0 and 1-0 resp...while india won 1 of the test match and whole odi series comprehensively on their last tour to australia..

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

i would be very happy if India can win this test. however, 80% chance Australia is going to win this test. As india will get target 250+. As most of the Indian Batsman is out of the form except sachin and rahul. india will be all out in under 200 in second innings

Posted by allblue on (December 28, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

One point about this game is that so far there have been seven scores of fifty plus, and six of them have come from players aged between 34 and 38. If India do chase down the total tomorrow, you fancy it would be one of their senior batsman to see them home. This must be a worry to the two sets of selectors because over the next couple of years that generation will be gone, and so far the generation behind are struggling to consistently make an impact. After two decades of rising batting averages are we now in a period where they fall? Looking at SA's up and down batting performances this season, it seems that England is the only side currently able to consistently score 400+, which is a big part of the reason for their No.1 ranking.

Posted by Mukundan on (December 28, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

@BarmyIan: I second what you said... Test cricket is true cricket... T20 is just fun for the spectators. Any player can shine on his day in T20. But thats not possible in Test match. If ICC want to do something, they should take Dravid's suggestion of restricting ODIs to ICC events and promote more test cricket. Do you think Kieron Pollard can be successful in Test match... I dont think so... IPL and events lik ee Big Bash have swolled the careers of few talented test cricketers... A game (T20) in which Dravid and Laxman are second only to Robiin Uthappa and Venugopla Rao cannot be called cricket. Long live Test cricket!!! I am waiting for 05:00 IST tomorrow... cracker of a match in progress.

Posted by Mukundan on (December 28, 2011, 12:25 GMT)

We are in for a superb last day of this test match. From India perspective, they will have confidence to chase anything under 265, knowing they struggle to cross 300 in foreign conds even if they are 299/1. Sehwag has a few fab performance in second innings, but we all know what a session of cricket from him could do. Gambhir doesnt look like the batsman who won the ICC Test player award in 09. But he is a gutsy batsman & always puts a price tag on his wicket. Dravid looks to have lost his concentration after the hamstring injury on Day 2, but he is a great fighter & he will fight. SRT is the key as per me. He was at his fluent best in first innings. So Indians can hope for something from him. VVS is a special second innings players but stats would say he is poor at MCG. Well he is capable of rewriting stats. Kohli is a terrific future for India and he should not succumb to pressure. MS in white clothing is always a mistry. I would bet on India to win by 5 wkts. Happy New Year to all.

Posted by AidanFX on (December 28, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

Oh by the way I laughed - when Hussey got a plumb LBW turned down - and Ponting as well (although Ponting's was technically out - I thought it was understandable the ump thought it was striking outside the off-stump) ... Ashwin should have been sent to the pravillion too. But yes I had no sense of guilt Ponting and Hussey got away with one - that's what you get for no DRS India - take it or leave it. I suspect the umps naturally have chosen to be ultra-conservative with LBWs with no DRS - I feel sorry for them.

Posted by Crazy_Pk on (December 28, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

Aussis only need to score 40 to 50 more runs to bring indian in big pressure . I would suggest hussy should take more strike tomorrow and should play as a one day or t20 and try to score more & more. If he goes for defensive, he will get out. For indians my predictions is that they will score max 180-210 and laxman will be top scorer. It's 200 % sure that India will lose this test match...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:17 GMT)

If India keeps the lead under 250 then they are the favorites, If lead is b/w 250 and 300, its even, but if lead goes above 300 the Australia would certainly be the favorites.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

@johanthojosoesphs - no india will have been batting by now if that was the case hawk eye was seen in wc how perfect it is and hot spot ind -eng series very perfect doesnt show clear edges by cowan siddle and gambhir but what cowan does goes and make big noise about it aus just can make excuses

well on the other hand what a great test match i was just shocked when i woke just before luch and saw ind trail by 80 runs with wicket in hand but ashwin batted well to reduce defict to 50 and well was that pace attack indian cant belive it add pk and aaron who are injured to this list for reserves this pace attack can rattle anyone ashwin is performing his role to perfection now its down to batsman india in all probabilty will chase close to 250 a less it is good for india i still feel we(india ) have advantage this pitch is a pitch which is not tough to bat on its not easy also though it was suprsing dravid laxman kholi dhoni all went but ishant hang on viru and gauti will be key

Posted by kenishah on (December 28, 2011, 12:13 GMT)

i am very disapointed in india. i thot dey would tak the lead but dey didnt. india didnt get a very gud opening stand n dravid was struggling, tendulkar played well , but after vvs let us down, kohli luked gud for a while but then he was out n cos india was goin 2 collapse dhoni couldnt play his natural game. dats india's batting order. india's bowling attack has don very well on this tour soo far but the batting is really not clicking yet. lets hope things r better for india in ther 2nd innings

Posted by ajayb92 on (December 28, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

The fact that india have rarely scored over 300 in an innings away from home in the last 2 years makes this chase really interesting. If sehwag gets india off to a flyer, india win...otherwise Australia would have to fancy their chances

Posted by InsaneBolt on (December 28, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

3 days of enticing cricket. Seen a few friends write about 2 inept teams making a match out of it. Well not sure if we are all watching the same match. Test cricket is all about preying on batsman's mind. It's a bowler's game really that has tourned sour over the last decade or so. Welcome back the test cricket we all grew up seeing.MCG Day 4, trust the defiant Aussie tail to wag. India could possibly be chasing in the range of 280-290. Not beyond the realms of impossibility. The team that soaks the pressure best should win. Theoritically, India with its combined experience should trump, but how easily theory has been busted. Will be up at 5am tom !!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

A question which everyone is asking... Why is star cricket with such a depleted commentary panel? Please bring back, the face of espnstar, Harsha Bhogle. even the likes of sunny gavaskar, allan wilkins and mark nichlolas are missed. The pre match and other shows dont quite have the same feeling without them PLS BRING THEM FROM WHEREVER THEY ARE.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 28, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

5 things we learned or were reminded on day three:1)India have found a little gem in Umesh Yadav. Now we can slog him in meaningless 7 match ODI series and destroy him.2)A fit Zaheer, whatever may be the hairdo, is among the top three opening bowlers in the game. 3)Michael Hussey is still far and above the most skilled batsman in the Aussie top order, whether the tabloids agree or not (Ed Cowan a close second).4) Katich may still play a part in this series,whether Clarke agrees or not.5) Test cricket is fine and doesn't need any tinkering like floodlight tests and pink balls. Just pitches like the one at the G will be enough to keep the game alive for years to come. Hope Sydney and Adelaide don't spoil it with sleeping beauties to facilitate "THAT CENTURY".

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 11:57 GMT)

It's good that Aussies will be able to give a challenging total of around 250 for Indians to chase. This will allow Sachin to score his 100th 100 at historic MCG in a famous win - India's first win in a first test match of test series down under.

Posted by BarmyIan on (December 28, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

Another Test match thats exciting, close and fun to watch. Showing why its by FAR the best format of the game.

Posted by BarmyIan on (December 28, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

RandOz - Dont forget that Swann had taken 150 Test wickets before the 2 bad series he had against Australia and Sri Lanka (and we won both!), he then came good against India.

Posted by kkkannan007 on (December 28, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

now past is past . no point in discussing abt recurring indian collapse in overseas , 2maro india should wrap aussies within 1st 5 overs ......and bat carefully , all hopes are in SRT, viru , jammy and vvs !still cant digest that worlds most trusted batting line up cant score a 300 in overseas

Posted by meursault on (December 28, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

@ Jose: The fact is, Jose, that there have only been about 10 difficult decisions to be made all test match (7 out of 28 of the dismissals so far have been bowled) and there have already been at least 5 mistakes: Hussey's 1st innings dismissal, Cowan's first innings dismissal, Haddin's not out lbw 1st innings, Ashwin's not out plumb lbw early in his important innings, Cowan's 2nd innings lbw where one can't be sure that was hitting off and, if you're right (I didn't see it), Ponting's not out lbw to Zaheer 2nd innings.

That's an enormous number of errors for three days. If that many catches had been dropped, we'd say that would probably be decisive for the game, why are we ignoring these mistakes which by the same logic will probably be equally decisive? We deserve better now that the replays make such errors so obvious. Clearly a third umpire with the benefit of replays etc would not have made that many mistakes in 3 days.

Posted by sheetal101 on (December 28, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

well,felt really good for outcome of todays day,awesome match going on,will get up tommorow at 5.30 am in this cold winter to watch the live action...only one sentence-------target for india will be 290 to 325 runs,,,,& INDIA is going to win this match,sehwag,gambhir,dravid,sach,lax all gonna shine......cheers

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 28, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

Guess that proves what people have said for years.indian batsmen are only happy onflat tracks.if Tendulkar is any good he will lead his team to guess is Indian will lose once more and we will have to listen to the excuses.Guess you just aren't good enough to kill teams off when you have them down.Thats why you aren't number 1

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 11:12 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 11:11 GMT)

What a twist and turn? I believe the match is now poised very much in India's favor. It is up to Dhoni & Co. to take full advantage thereof and make the killing. Good luck and good wishes to Team India!!! As Ashwin's performance with bat has been improving from match to match, he deserves to be promoted up in the batting line-up.

Posted by KMVs on (December 28, 2011, 11:11 GMT)

if it goes above 250, India should not send top batsmen to open. first 10-15 overs being crucial, let Ashwin and Dhoni open and stay there for few overs.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 11:08 GMT)

What Kavindeven said in his comments,he is right bcz now a days dhoni is not in attacking,he is little bit conservative in nature.tmrw is the special test for the indian batsman.If veeru and gauti gave a good opening start then India in upperhand otherwise laxman played a vital role to save this test match.bcz he is a 4th innings pspecialist.At last i wish that India won this match.Regarding dravids catch misses, man it happens in cricket do not worry,u guys all knows that he is a specialist in slip area so pls do not comments on his catch drop......

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 28, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

Dravid gravitas mate, impartially what do you think of dhoni as a batsman in tests India or abroad, I am asking cause your opinion is without emotion God he is the worlds best odi player, but I hope he retires from test

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 28, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

Finally Lillian Thomas you have something positive about India lol Well I guess u know why we went on and on about Zaheer in England and mate you are talking about two multiple world cup winners here

Posted by trust_27 on (December 28, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

Good thing about the bowling is that both teams have bowlers who have the capability of hitting 145+ at regular interval and if really Ishant really gets back to his original form then Australia needs to be worried because the next couple of test matches will be in the fast paced tracks and facing Ishant and Umesh will be difficult, provided they maintain and consistent line and length at that speed. For India to win this test they need to bowl Australia in another 20 runs or so and start chasing at the earliest atleast by lunch time. So that the Batsman have enough number of overs to get those runs. Sehwag need to do well in the 2nd innings better than what he did in the first for India to win the game from here on.

Posted by hm007 on (December 28, 2011, 11:01 GMT)

Dravid....what have you done? ........ agrrrrrrrr!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 11:01 GMT)

Today was the weirdest day in cricket between Australia and India. 15 wickets fallen for only 247 in total. Australia had hilfy, siddle and patto ripping through the remaining 7 wickets then u had Yadav also going through some of the top order batsman. i think the pitch has turned from a good batting pitch to now a fast bowlers heaven pitch

Posted by Romenevans on (December 28, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

If India lose this match from here, Then culprit will be Dhoni only. Poor captaincy and poor bating by Dhoni has been a real worry for us. Dhoni has to score runs else he don't deserve his place in the eleven. Dhoni unnecessarily spread the field after 27/4 and always like to gift momentum back to his opponents,. His defensive approach is'nt going to work in Test cricket. ENough said, and really impressed by our bowling performance. We lost in England because of our batting and they blamed the bowlers as always. Here it won't work, find a new excuse Dhoni, if you'll lose it.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 28, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

An excellent day of cricket. Very sensible batting by Hussey and good bowling by Hilfy, Zak and Umesh. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Posted by jkaussie on (December 28, 2011, 10:51 GMT)

This is an awesome test match! No team has been able to wrest the advantage for any great length of time and heroic acts from players on both sides have attributed to that. Kudos to the track too, just enough to make the batsmen work hard and give the bowlers some rewards. @Lillianthomson - LOL! @Canyfloss - nobody complained about any of the decisions on either side; players were questioned about DRS and gave their opinions. The media on the other hand were the ones who went on about it.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:49 GMT)

Ponting in the second innings and Siddle in first innings were plumb LBWs that cost India about 70 runs. Lack of DRS is hurting India more than Australia.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:48 GMT)

I thought India would have made 300+ runs, but once Hussey and company take the lead to over 280 or thereabouts, India may lose this test match. Who say Australia keep Ponting and Hussey, put your hands up? My hand is up.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

The only way India can win this match is one of its frontline batsmen has to score a century. If India looses this match they have to bring Rohit sharma for the next match. For their failure in first innings one of Kohli/Ghambir/Laxman should post a decent score in second innings. With Australian bowling so effective I can see three batsmen out of Ghambhir/Shewag/Tendular/Dravid /Dhoni getting out cheaply. The only way Indian can win this series is to win this match convincingly. If Indians loose this match the Aussies will win this series comfortably. Dravid and Tendulkar should post a good score to enable a win.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

I think India is the favourite to win this test match, but shud bat with intent. The MCG track has behaved traditionally. It will be easy to bat for first 2 days and 3rd day batting will be extremely difficult. Then the pitch eases on day 4, 5 and will aid stroke making. If u look back the last 3 tests india played here, we can notice. 1999-2000 Aus batted for first 2 days and scored 405. On third day india collapsed for 238. Aus batted on 4th day with ease and india failed in 5th day In 2003, India unfortunately collapsed on first day for 360, like aus did in this test. Aus batted on 2nd and 3rd day. But scored most runs on 2nd day. India should have done the same yesterday by scoring 50 more runs. 2008 was exception. India collapsed on 2nd day itself. Now india shud remove the remaining wickets for less than 10 runs and play out the new ball. After that its a cake walk

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

(1) Uneven bounce on the pitch (2) Indian batsmen tendency to play early shots, (30 Bowlers of both teams are consistent in getting nicks and edges. I'm sorry to say that indian chances of winning this test is very slim unless batsmen concentrate hard and play very hard tough

Hope fortune turns towards India. Wish you all the best

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

India on top against Australia

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 28, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Poor performance from middle order after great show from God of the cricket SACHIN yesterday. Yadav the talk of the match rattled Aus' top order one after another with ease. Zaheer bowled superbly swinging the ball in and out... Ponting at 15 was lucky to avoid lbw off Zaheer. Now stop fussing abt India's advantage of Hussey's out in 1st innings.. Its leveled with Pontings not out. The much hyped Cowan went out soon, I suggest him to skip post match interviews or talking about joining dots and concentrate on this batting. Hope he is in 2nd test. Best chance for India. I am pretty confident India wins this match leading the series 1-0.. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by Satmat1 on (December 28, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

India will fall short & lose by ten runs. Sachin will be left high & dry on 99*, injuring himself out of the tour in the process!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 28, 2011, 10:32 GMT)


Posted by Nigels on (December 28, 2011, 10:32 GMT)

This is India,s game to lose, surely they cant lose from this position now...with Sehwag and Sachin...really

Posted by GRAMMY_SACHIN on (December 28, 2011, 10:31 GMT)

At the beginning of this series, all talks were on how IND could take 20 wickets in AUS. For me, the bowling was never an issue (a mediocre one always but definitely effective units if you see in the last 4 or 5 tours to Aus - starting from Kapil, Srinath to Kumble, Bhajji & Zak, Ishant, Umesh now) as they were always delivering 80% of the time. Only the batting used to be in-consistent many times, with definite exceptions like Sydney 1986, 92, 04, 08 & Adelaide 03, 07. Whenever, the batsmen contributed to big totals / good scores, IND always remained competitive and the same will happen this time as well. The onus is on the FAB 4 (VS, SRT, VVS, RD need not be in that order !!) to decide which way the series will take shape.

Posted by Pritt32 on (December 28, 2011, 10:26 GMT)

The match is evenly poised. 15 wickets falling on the day tells that this pitch is difficult to bat on, but still not an excuse for India's dramatic collapse from 214 for3 to 282 all out. India fought back by leaving the Aussies reeling on 179 for 8. I feel the partnership between veterans Ponting and Hussey rescued the team. Hussey is a dangerous customer and India need to finish the job quickly, as an extra 20 runs will make a difference. India threw away an opportunity by dropping catches and not batting well. I hope they quickly learn from their mistakes and bat sensibly in the second innings to claim victory. Dravid, Sehwag and Saschin remain the key to India as I feel few of the batmen such as Laxman, Gambhir, Kholi and Dhoni are struggling against quality Aussie pace bowling and urgently need net practise. Good luck to India.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:25 GMT)

India will win it Easily......God is in our Side..If u now what mean..:)

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 28, 2011, 10:24 GMT)

@cyniket,since u r questioning how realistic indian fans r after they lost in England??dude may i know how realistic u r after u lost ur home series against England or when u lost to NZ or blanked in india last year by 2-0???

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

"Catches win matches is a well known slogan" Indias bowlers did a fantastic job today after conceeding 51 runs lead, however the feilding was still a worry for india team. Hussey catch was crucial and going to prove expensive at the end.Hope our openers should fire tomorrow. if India get 50 or 70 runs start team india is going to rock tomorrow. LETS WAIT AND SEE!!!

Posted by GRAMMY_SACHIN on (December 28, 2011, 10:21 GMT)

India have no business to win this test match after such a poor batting display on Day 2, and literally nullifying the efforts of Sehwag, Sachin & Rahul. A first innings deficit of 51 after being at 214 for 3 is inexplicable. I do agree AUS bowlers bowled well but we should have batted atleast 45 overs today if not till Tea. Real waste of chance. The advantage gained over 2 full days were meekly surrendered in todays 1st session. It will be extremely difficult for Ind to chase a score above 175 but the lead is already 230+. Advantage AUS with 80% chance of going 1-0 up and thanks to Umesh, Zak & Ishant for the slight 20% chance for India. Only a miracle (Sehwag, Sachin & VVS) can save India in this test.

Posted by GRAMMY_SACHIN on (December 28, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

What a cracker of a day's play, only possible with Ind & this Aus team (in transition). Had this been with earlier AUS teams, they would not have allowed India to claw a back a bit, though the chances are very minimal even now. Great work by bowlers overall.

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 28, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs,as things stands now both the teams got benefit from not using the DRS,ponting scored a crucial 45 run extra when he's plumb at the score of 15,before that Haddin forged a crucial partnership of 50+ with Siddle after he also got benefit when he's lbw,so my advice is give credit to both the team and dont give excuses,its been a good day of cricket but such one sided views ruins everything

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (December 28, 2011, 10:15 GMT)

okakaboka, I'm not sure how you can be so critical of Ponting, 4 scores of 60 or over in his last 6 innings is a pretty good effort by any standard, particularly given three of the four have been made while his team mates have crumbled around him. The one thing I do agree with is that he should be batting at 6 but Clarke, who had been at 4, moved himself down the order when he had a few failures which was rather selfish given the normal progression of younger batsmen is up the order.

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 28, 2011, 10:12 GMT)

Poor performance from middle order after great show from God of the cricket SACHIN yesterday. Yadav the talk of the match rattled Aus' top order one after another with ease. Zaheer bowled superbly swinging the ball in and out... Ponting at 15 was lucky to avoid lbw off Zaheer. Now stop fussing abt India's advantage of Hussey's out in 1st innings.. Its leveled with Pontings not out. The much hyped Cowan went out soon, I suggest him to skip post match interviews or talking about joining dots and concentrate on this batting. Hope he is in 2nd test. Best chance for India. I am pretty confident India wins this match leading the series 1-0.. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:12 GMT)

As much as I hate to say this, it's an Aussie win for me, no matter what the target India will not chase because the pitch is not slow and low!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 10:11 GMT)

All eyes on Tendulkar then. I think India will be chasing a target of around 250 in the 4th innings and I expect either Tendulkar or Dravid to score a 100 and win the match for India. Hopefully Sachin will do it. What a way it will be to score your 100th 100 at Boxing Day to win the match in 4th innings. And Btw Ponting was plumb LBW and this aussie top order of warner, cowan, marsh and clark is almost equal to Bangladesh's 8,9,10 and 11. Australia has a bowling attack but their batting is hardly better than that of Bermuda or Canada.

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 28, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

match even at the moment but i will say aus slightly ahead bcoz 230 in 4th innings is never easy and indian batsman has to get those runs,the way bowler has performed in this match from both sides i reckon its aus match to lose,my take-aus winning by atleast 40runs...must say its a great advertisement of test cricket,some very good competitive matches recently,test cricket is breathing fire when most critics said that its dying....

Posted by rishab.cricfever on (December 28, 2011, 10:09 GMT)

too much has been made about 15 wickets falling in a day but I think mediocre batting from both the sides was primarily responsible more than the pitch..even Ishant managed to stay for longer duration than laxman+kohli+dhoni while Kangaroos were busy dragging ball to their stumps...i guess with a bit more application from middle order and a good start by Sehwag, India should get through..the pitch is very much playable..

Posted by moBlue on (December 28, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

sachin wants to win this one badly! that much was obvious from the positive way in which he played in the first inning, what with getting to 50 in 55 balls. he played the cover drive on the up off the front foot as well, which is how you know he is feeling very confident and assertive [as opposed to that crazy 241* in sydney in 2003 when he refused to cover drive for a boundary because he had gotten caught in the slips driving to cover on an outswinger off brad williams!] i say this because - with the likey target of 250 to 275 runs to win - IND will need one guy to be the anchor and to make it happen. lax would normally be able to but the MCG has not been good to him. dravid is struggling... which leaves tendulkar to do the job. i also want him to score a big 50 and get all the indian naysayers off his back for good when it comes to their claim that he never won a crucial test match for IND, a claim i consider ludicrous, but still...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

As it old u IND need to survive MCG test::the continous ailing of IST TEST DEFEATS OVERSEAS!!OUR BATSMEN let us down the bowlers did well rookie yadav to ZAK ,had laxman,kohli,dhoni scored 30 each IND would have been 50 ahead now this match is fair and square conceded by IND ,only if LAXMAN can bles them in 4th INNINGS but how many times wil he do tat,seeing his poor record at MCG,,looks unlikely,no one has chased 200 in past 50 yrs in MCG so GOD bless IND,we have to blame ourselves and given them a nose head in the series,Lets hope our batsmen can do well at SCG,good byt to BAD YEAR for IND in tests..

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

why there is no speedometer in star cricket telecast???

Posted by pitch_curator on (December 28, 2011, 9:56 GMT)

How aptly Cricinfo titled the start of the match "A match between two flawed teams"... But it was rivetting stuff though. Everything will depend on how many more the tail can piece together and how well the Indian openers start. If Australia is restricted to below 250 and India get into over 20 with maximum of 2 wickets falling then it will be a cracker of a match. At the moment 55-45 in favor of Aussies.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

@jonathanjosephs: during the first innings,haddin was given not out..gambhir's edge was not spotted by the hot spot...

Posted by akasharyan on (December 28, 2011, 9:50 GMT)

What is really great about this match is that it's changing sides constantly! I admit that India couldn't give away the advantage they had in a better way whereas at the same time the Aussies couldn't give away it too in a better way. That keeps things slightly in Indian favor considering that India has got a bunch of match winners (especially while chasing) despite the vulnerable batting conditions. Ponting and Hussey showed that they're not mere hanging around but are the only one's who have (till now) helped the Aussies to be in the match somewhere. Things will depend on the tail of the Aussie 2nd innings and the openers of the Indian 2nd innings. Though you can't predict anything in cricket but still it'd be imperative for India to get Hussey as early as possible and for Australia the person changes to Sehwag! And about DRS, it shouldn't be there as if so, we can play in the true spirit of the game and the foremost factor determining that is the role of luck in a batsman's innings!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT)

This test reminds me of our victory in 2003/04 when Aus was bundled out for 195 in 2nd innings destroyed by Ajit Agarkar's 6/something. Our saviors tomorrow will be bowlers in the first 30 mins of the day and then the chase rests on our famous 5! I think the bigger threat in last innings is from Lyon! Dont be surprised if the Aussie ekip turns his arm too...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:46 GMT)

Will be extremely difficult for India to break the tradition of losing the Boxing day Test match. The batsmen fail just when they need to stay put. The bowling has come as a breath of fresh air. Giving the Aussies a dose of their own.I will be pleasantly surprised if Aussies are bowled out in the first 20 minutes or less tomorrow. The danger then is that the Aussie bowlers get to use the morning conditions to their advantage again. DRAVID, SACHIN, LAXMAN, SEHWAG & GAMBHIR....THIS TEST IS NOW OPEN TO YOU. SHOW US THE STUFF THAT WE DREAM OF.

Posted by on (December 28, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

India should bowl out Aus quiclky within 20-35 runs. Even if they set a 275 target also, INDIANs can chase considering the experience they have. I dont think they will again collaspe like they did today. Can we expect Sachin's 100th 100 in 4th innings which results in great victory...we hope so

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 28, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

Ponting's no-DRS reprieve is just as bad as the Cowan or Hussey First Innings dismissals. The problem is not whether India is favoured or not, because of course it will eventually balance out. The problem is that several errors in this game would have been corrected with DRS and the decisions would have been more accurate. Yet because India didn't learn how to use it properly when they played Sri Lanka two years ago they are afraid to try it again. It's really sad: we had it here in Australia 3 weeks ago when my team (NZ) toured, and we were all happy with it. Yet here we have a beautiful match distorted by errors at several key moments. With DRS Australia would have scored around 400 and led by 120, but they would also have been 30-5 in their second innings. If anything, the absence of DRS risks costing India a victory that would have been theirs.

Posted by ste13 on (December 28, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

It's all about psychology. India has capacity to chase close to 300. However, Dravid and Laxman did not look convincing in the 1st innings. Much depends on how fast they will get the last 2 wickets. Now it's 60/40 in Aus favour.

Posted by HarshaIn on (December 28, 2011, 9:43 GMT)

The pitch is not behaving as MCG is known for. As far how the pitch has played these 3 days, if Indians keep their heads, I guess even a target of 350 is achievable. A lot depends on Mr.Cricket how bigger the target would look like and Sehwag to make the same target look minute.

Posted by sankar8000 on (December 28, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

Key batsmen are Sehwag and Sachin....Hope for the Best....

Posted by AidanFX on (December 28, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

India have long had a reputation for only having medium fast bowlers - not express - but Yadav has been sharp - but if anything Ishant has been the quickest. It makes me wonder I heard Boycott say "Ishant will never be an express bowler - he doesn't have the natural gift" - Well he seems quick to me. Pattinson is a gem - Similar sought to Brett Lee; but I love the fact his foot is usually always along way from the popping crease (contra Brett Lee); the guy is only going to get better.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

india will be chasing d target in excess of 250...... gambhir will struggle on d bouncy tracks of australia coz he has d habit of chasing the deliveries outside off stump... SRT's half century in frst innings means that he will be failing in the 2nd inning... expecting anything 4m dhoni will be stupidity so this leaves only sehwag, laxman , dravid and inexperienced kohli to win it for india.... given the team is australia nd itz second innings high bet on laxman is dere........ chances are low but still i hope india can win

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

"The more things change, the more they stay the same". ANOTHER inept batting performancde by Australia's batsmen.

Posted by hris on (December 28, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

@ all those talking of Ponting lbw. What about Cowan lbw. sure he didnt attempt a shot but it was missing the stumps. and also Pattinson had ashwin dead in front when he was on 8.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (December 28, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

I am enjoying watching this match. I predict that India will run through the Aus tail quickly. Then knock off the required runs, albeit with some hiccups along the way. There are always heartstopping hiccups when our batters chase scores.

Posted by Jaijo on (December 28, 2011, 9:33 GMT)

Only hope to avoid defeat is rain Gods!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 28, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs : I guess the only beneficiary of NO DRS today is Australia with Punter getting a let off for a plumb LBW.. So whatever Aussies got is a bonus.. Hmm.. Interesting 4th innings left now.. Aussies of late are poor closers of the game.. India yet to get off the overseas pounding it took in England.. If it is off their mind and start playing the brand of cricket they played prior to that series, they should make it without a big fuss.. Else, another collapse on cards.. I still wonder what the pitch is.. Everyone said MCG is best batting on 2/3rd day but scorecard says else.. Pitch report said track flat and under bright sunshine, perfect for batting.. But both teams have struggled to bat but great with ball.. What Aussies ll lack is the spinner.. Lyon was feasted in first innings.. Will the 4th day pitch change it?

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 28, 2011, 9:28 GMT)

Dravid must now score the difference between 69 and whatever Hussey he ends up with.His butter fingers are costing India big time these days so he might as well take the blame on his shoulders and atone for the outrageous drop! And as most referred to here,Dhoni's captaincy and batting in tests have been absolutely unacceptable and unpardonable given the situations at those moments..27/4 and the field spreads out,8th wicket falls and immediately the field falls back..what the hell is wrong with this guy I just cant understand..

Posted by m_kamb on (December 28, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta,so what australia want UDRS.

Posted by Bogelking on (December 28, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

The third day of the boxing day test stands equally poised. It has been a delight for the cricket fan, and moreover a retort for those who clamor that test cricket is in its death bed. But whatever it is, an electrifying finish is in the offing. As some of the friends have said that, the dropped chance of Hussey by Dravid will be a hard matter to ponder. Because Hussey is the one who utilizes the chances that is provided to him. Anyways, there will be some good fight from the Indians tomorrow. The first session is going to be crucial. We have to wrap up the Aussies batting, and start carefully. Hope that the batsmen will show more intent this time. Come on India Chakde!

Posted by er.Vaibhav on (December 28, 2011, 9:23 GMT)

can't believe some of the Oz fans are still critisizing punter even though he rescued aus in both innings when none of your uselesss young guns are performing.. go have a look at clarke...i m a indian fan but still gonna say ponting is doing a great job... anyways i wish india doesn't repeat their mistakes tomorrow like dropping sittters,being over defensive and gifting their wickets for no reason and go on to win the match..all da best india

Posted by AidanFX on (December 28, 2011, 9:23 GMT)

Okakaboka - Agree with you about Haddin - His form is poor - he is glovework on a good day is average but proving to be a liability. However I think your assessment of Warner is grossly premature.

Posted by sudeepmuralee on (December 28, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

India must not allow Aussie to gain a lead more than 250, then it will be really turf to chase it down.... Being said that a target of 250 will also be a difficult one if Sehwag Departs early , considering our middle orders are slow starters (Laksman , Kohli, Dhoni) . it will all depend on how sehwag goes at the top and sachin innings also will be crucial esply when his 100th hundred is looming around.....

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

A good game of test cricket hopefully INDIA can pull of their first test win at MCG in 30 years tommorow....

Posted by anupamraj114 on (December 28, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

@cyniket i want u to be realistic buddy abt australia chances after what england nd newzealand did to them....india played better than many other teams in aus even when aus was a dominating force....india is going to win this series by 2-1 scoreline if not more....

Posted by Lindien on (December 28, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

@ Utpal What about "poor effort by Aus Batsmen" and "some really good bowlings by Aus bowlers"?

Posted by gothetaniwha on (December 28, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

Aussie have enough runs already , I expect India to be rolled for under 150 tommorow .

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 28, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

5 things we learned or re-learned from day three: 1) India have unearthed a little gem in Umesh Yadav. Now it is for us to manage his workload and see that his career doesn't slump the way Ishant's did after his initial success. 2) Hussey is still the best technically (along with Ed Cowan) of the present lot of Aussie batsmen. 3) Katich may still have a role to play before the series is over. 4) Test cricket needs no tinkering like day night mathces, pink balls etc. Just prepare pitches which gives a fair chance for bowlers, like this one at the MCG, and the ratings will go through the roof. This test match is the single biggest reason for the decreased turnout at Anna Hazare's Mumbai fast.5) A fit Zaheer is among the top 3 fast bowlers in the world.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (December 28, 2011, 9:08 GMT)

India bowled beautifully? Two of the first 4 wickets were inside edges from balls a million miles away from the off stump. One was an LBW that wasn't there. Only Clarke got out to a good delivery.

Posted by dms1972 on (December 28, 2011, 9:08 GMT)

I'd just like to know what happened to the Indian predictions of 500+ first innings score?

Posted by bhrangi on (December 28, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

OMG !!!! 250 is going to be tough target for INDIA:-(

Posted by PiyushD on (December 28, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

Looks difficult for India, May be Hussey and Ponting saved it for Australia.But, we never know.Looks like another match finishing in 4 days.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (December 28, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

This game seem to be proving that India and Australia are of a very similar standard. With South Africa unable to finish off Australia or India and now repeating that against an enfeebled Sri Lanka England look to be pulling further and further away from everybody else. That has less to do with their own virtues but is more due to the manifest weaknesses of the chasing pack. SA are mentally fragile, SL can't bowl a hoop down a hill, neither can India and they are once again living up to their historic reputation as poor tourists while Australia are a collapse waiting to happen without the bowlers to retrieve games for them. NZ, WI, Zim and Bangladesh remain minnows and Pakistan are the wild cards. It makes for some excitingly unpredictable Test cricket but standards seem to have dropped, hopefully that's just a typically jaundiced post-Christmas view.

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

With the tail for Ind starting from Dhoni,I think Australia start favorites if anything over 250 in 4th inns.They should perhaps thank Ind middle order for another spectacular collapse.And what the heck is Dravid doing standing in first slip,he has dropped enough sitters over the past few series to be politely replaced by Kohli..Dhoni with his ridiculously negative captaincy and his atrocious batting might have cost India a great chance to beat the 1st test jinx.All hopes on Sehwag&Sachin to rescue the chase..

Posted by Romenevans on (December 28, 2011, 8:55 GMT)

27/4 Dhoni spread the field again...Bam! Pointing and Hussy easy runs. Im tired of watching Dhoni doing it again and again. First in South Africa 3rd test 2nd inning. Then Trent Bridge Test and now today again. This guy seems to like giving away momentum built by our bowlers, and then people say our bowling is impotent. What a joke. Dhoni is so outrageously defensive. On the other hand delighted by our bowling performance. It was great to watch Ishant bowl 150/Kph and yadav breathing fire with his raw pace.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 28, 2011, 8:55 GMT)

The few overs Lyon bowled against India reminded me of Swann earlier this year. Totally ineffective! The good thing is Lyon is a decade younger!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:54 GMT)

My prediction for tomorrows scorecard.. Sehwag: 30 to 40, Gambhir: 20 to 30, Dravid: 0 to 10, Sachin: 10 to 20, Laxman: 40 to 50, Dhoni: 10 to 20, Kohli: 0 to 10.. not sure what happens next..

Posted by Romenevans on (December 28, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

Wooooooooooow! Umesh Yadav was breathing fire. Superb spell from Yadav and Zak is back too. Now it tomorrow India will have to wrap up the tail as quickly as possible and restrict them under 250 and then chase it with carefully. It will be difficult, but if they'll do it, then it will be a great achievement.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

Match hangs in balance. A poor effort by Indian Batsmen is followed by some really good bowling performance by India's Pacers, particularily Umesh Yadav. The lead stands at 230. If India Can finish the things tomorrow, giving not more than 20-30 runs and produce a good opening partnership with Sehwag/Gambhir then the match could well be India's.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

To those who complain that lack of UDRS benefits India, look at Ponting. He would have been out plump LBW to Zak at 15. He scored 60. A free bonus of 45 runs -- almost as much as the entire first innings lead, which is the collective result of the efforts of 11 batsmen! Effectively, it doubled the lead! This is just one example, of many. So, it is evens stevens, over five days! Personally, I prefer the use of UDRS, despite many flaws, the latest, which I pointed out earlier, being the no-show of Hot Spot in Siddle's dismissal in the 1st innings. But prefer its automatic and prompt use by the third umpire under the supervision of the match referee. Incidentally, that will also justify the match fee for the third umpire and match referee -- some exercise for them, while they are comfortably cocooned in the box!

Posted by mohit71 on (December 28, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

great cricket match is going on, that's what cricket is all even balance between the ball and the bat, this kind of match is the proof of charm of cricket and specially test cricket..good efforts by the seam bowlers of both the side...good to see ben hilfanhous getting his rhythm right and right on the target, complete use of his swing ball and awesome display by young man umesh yadav in inda's the end nice display of batting by mike short waiting for 4th day of play.......:))

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

yes the match is balanced, but i don't think its india's day bocz they could have added more runs to their 214/3 1st innings before a collapse for 282.... and could have get australia all out by the end of the day when australia is at 27/4 at a stage in the second innings... India have not put enough pressure to get the wickets and let Aussies reach 179/8.... again indian team have should their weakness of being unable to put consistent pressure on the opponent... anyway the match is still on and the one who play better cricket is going to win the match... all the best India

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:42 GMT)


Posted by shahsal on (December 28, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

Dravid should not have dropped hussey,very dissappointed with the effort.I remember a game wen hussey was dropped and he went to score a century and eventually aussies won that game.It was against pakistan.

Posted by linukuruvilla123 on (December 28, 2011, 8:40 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:36 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas: Why does Dravid seem to have butter all over his fingers?

Posted by saint80 on (December 28, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

what a fantastic day of test match cricket, where both teams failed to hold on to the advantage but Oz have their noses slightly in front. Dropping hussy could prove costly here for India, as I think anything over 250 would be very difficult on this wicket in 4th innings but you have to factor in Sehwag as well.

I think Oz media and players are crying foul over DRS, otherwise Ponting would have been back in the pavilion on the score of 15, so both teams had decision going against them. But only Oz players complaining about it, I think they should focus more on their batting which is letting them down at the moment.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 28, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

Well, gotta say I'm loving this. I think, realistically India have a slight edge at this stage, given their batting line-up. The reason I say advantage India is that they have bowled well 2 innings in a row. Our guys did a great job in the first dig, so all that remains to be seen is if they can repeat the dose.

I reckon they can, by the skin of their teeth. Another 50 or so runs would be nice, but I think it is already a tantalising target. Much depends on whether the can knock the head off the Indian line-up before they get going. I'm assuming that if Sewag bats for two hours or more India will win. The first job is to deflect the Kamikaze pilot then you can start working on the rest of a the batting.

It's a big job for both teams tomorrow. So many if's and buts it's just guesswork to pick a winner from here. Ps. Hats off to the Melbournian's. Who said test cricket is dead. Pushing 170,000 in 3 days. Victorians, they're a breed apart.

Posted by Nigels on (December 28, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

being a neutral, i forsee Australia losing this test..why.? because of inexperience and the belief of living in the past..they should worked hard, especially the Top Order, they need to graft and work hard

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 28, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

Game looks evenly poised. Anything over 250 is going to be steep on this wicket where the bowlers are effective.INDIA will have to attack tomorrow. I still feel India are a bowler short to win games though Australian 2nd innings is almost over.Australian pace bowlers always look like they can take that needed wicket.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (December 28, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

I am seriously disappointed with Dhoni's tactics. We had the command, i mean Aus were 27-4 at one stage and the new batsmen Hussey was surely under tremendous pressure bcoz of his own couple of past performances. But Dhoni allowed him to easily settle down with his defensive outfield, and both Hussey and Ponting capitalised on this by taking easy singles. He did the same thing in West-Indies earlier and also in SA, where the legend Kallis batted the entire last day and took away the chance of a series victory there. Furthermore, Dhoni shouldn't be counted as a test batsmen, especially overseas. We may think that the match is in our hand after reducing Aus to 179-8 but they already have a lead of around 230. Anything above 250-260 will be difficult to chase here. Other things- happy for Siddle that he got 3 wickets, poor guy bowled his heart out yesterday,hopefully Ishant will get a couple more tommrw,good to see Hussey and Ponting score this will definitely bring back their confidence.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

Dravid,Laxman,Kohli,Ashwin , Sachin were dismissed to beautiful deliveries; But not dhoni and zaheer ,He played an ugly shot and caught ; Dhoni's record in Australia and England were poor where the ball is swinging;

Posted by veerakannadiga on (December 28, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

Australia should win from here as they already 230 ahead and scoring 170+ in the 4th innings on this track is a difficult task.(let alone 230+). Again it boils down to the opening pair of Sehwag & Gambhir to provide a good opening stand if India has any chance of winning this test. Advantage Australia.

Posted by prashkannam on (December 28, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

either ways i hope indians show an improved performance....from the batsmen...the famed indian trio pls buck up.....last chance 2 win a series in aus....oldies buck up...can excuse virat kohli...but i wonder why they keep on poking @ deliveried outside offstump....eitherways it will be ripper of a test 50-50 chnce 2 ind and aus!!

Posted by prashkannam on (December 28, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

either ways i hope indians show an improved performance....from the batsmen...the famed indian trio pls buck up.....last chance 2 win a series in aus....oldies buck up...can excuse virat kohli...but i wonder why they keep on poking @ deliveried outside offstump....eitherways it will be ripper of a test 50-50 chnce 2 ind and aus!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

I'll go with Ian's opinion.Aus need to get Sachin and Sehwag cheaply if they want to have any chance of winning.But there are a lot of positives out for Australia,they shouldnt feel disappointed if they lose

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

Astonishing test match.. :) if only dravid had taken that catch India would have been in commanding position..

Posted by cyniket on (December 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

there is no greater disparity than that between the indian fans estimation of their team and the reality. India could just go home now, where they are happy and can play lots of odi cricket. never won here in australia and not going to anytime soon. you'd think that they'd be more realistic after what england did to them.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

If IND could score 282 in spite of their middle order crumbling down, then they can surely get to those target probable 260+ runs with their middle order now getting the opportunity to win it for IND, day 4/5 or not.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

Off course someone in indian batting lineup has to match with ponting and hussey and there are many candidates for that even other than Fab4. For aussies 250 will mean 300 and that is a substantial psychological barrier. Further, bowlers are getting support and all aussie quicks have already been economical in the first innings. A fourth innings chase is typically tricky as well. It also proves that weakened aussies are better than surging windies that india faced before coming to australia. Anyway, if aussie start with a win then summer can repeat itself in winter for india.

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

How the hell do we get rid of Haddin??? Is he still a protected species? Don't anyone have the gall to criticize our bowling attack. This is a batting issue....and if we lose this test is their fault! Durrr ...Well, the BIG SWING CAMP didn't help did it! Back to square one...Warner is NOT a test opener. Clarke is now very inconsistent. Jury is still out on Cowan. Hussey has to do something big tomorrow. Ponting? Looks like an average sort of number 5 or 6 batsman now. Pattinson needs to bat for 2 hours tomorrow...big ask ...but he displays more batting technique than half the top order. Geez....I'd bat him above Haddin. Honestly...we are in big trouble. We need at least a lead of 300 to win this test.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 28, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

I think that this pitch is turning out to be a very good test match surface. There has been some assistance for the quicks but they still have work. Hobart was too much in favour of the fast men, although the weather played a significant role in that too. There has also been some turn and bounce for the spinners and I'd expect the turn to increase over the next two days, although the game may well not make it to day 5. Life has also not been too bad for the batsmen who have been prepared to knuckle down early and then play some shots when they're set. Unfortunately, not enough batsmen have shown the skill and willingness to do so.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

Australia will win this match for sure, India wont last a day against australian pace bowling given the fact that its a fourth day pitch, Hussey needs to make sure that they post target that is beyond 250 if it happens, Australia will be celebrating new year with success and joy !!

Posted by candyfloss on (December 28, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

Well I woke up today hoping to see India lead by atleast 60 odd runs but was totally disappointed.Nevertheless the day see sawed and its ended with Australia only slightly ahead only because Butterfingers Dravid couldnt hold on to a catch of Mike Hussey.I dont think we would like to chase anything above 260 it will be really tough.So hopefully we can wrap them up pretty quickly and get off to a good start.I also hope the aussies criticize the umpire for not giving Ponting out when we was plumb in front when Zaheer was bowling in the same breath as they criticized the howler hussey got.But I guess you wont hear anything about the wrong decision today simply because it favoured them.

Posted by sportz247 on (December 28, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

just as expected... this match will go till the lunch of fifth day with tailenders and one set batsman to finish the match(thriller) in favour of india..really a good script for boxing day and set the tone for the rest of the series.

Posted by anver777 on (December 28, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

Hussey's innings is gonna be the difference tomorrow..a great knock by" Mr.Cricket" If Ind gets 275-280 target then its anybody's game !!!!!!!

Posted by AidanFX on (December 28, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

Alot of hype about whether Tendulka will get his 100th 100 - but the anxiety for mine is equal for Ponting - back to back 50's in the same match is as good as Ponting has done for a while - the second innings he looked a lot more solid than the 1st innings. But he still got out for the 60 mark. Time past you would have backed him to have gone on to make a big one. I guess he has cemented his place for the series after these performances - I partly wonder if he was to get 100 in the next Test - if they would just give him a surge of confidence for the rest of the series. I suppose in terms of the Aus batting line up - just need to be patient for the continuity and stability to form and eventually it will catch up to the way the bowling line-up has improved drastically recently. The collapses are a concern but I suspect it is matter of patience that is required. That and Langer is not fit to coach the team.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

With efforts this morning of 8/68 by India and 4/27 by Australia, anything could happen tomorrow on a pitch now showing some variable bounce. Looks like the final result will depend on who can play LEAST worst on day 4. I'm glad at least that the pitches the Aussie greenkeepers are producing this season are garnering results. Healthy for the game.

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 28, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

Well.. Match fluctuating.. A good day of cricket which had everything.. Good bowling, good/bad batting, umpire issues, key drop, all kinds of bowlers getting purchase.. Poor captaincy by Dhoni allowed Aussies to play out the day without getting dismissed.. On positive note, the Aussies will be playing the first half hour atleast tomorrow, where it caused the problem for the Indians today.. They can get better conditions to start the innings.. Aussies generally falter when new strategy was adopted.. India can well ask Dravid to open and move out of form Gambhir to no.6.. Dravid can see off the new ball.. Gambhir's ODI experience while chasing can well work out in middle order.. VVS can come back to his relished no.3.. Just my thoughts!!

Posted by Cricket_4_Blood on (December 28, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

Assuming the pitch conditions & India's vulnerable batting display, I predict the Indians will be rolled out for less than 150. Mark my words.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 28, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

This Test is magnificent precisely because the two teams are so flawed and mediocre that they are evenly matched. No batsman on either side has looked truly top class (of course Ponting and several Indians used to be) while of the bowlers Zaheer has looked a class above anyone else. He is probably the only bowler on either side who could get into the England, South Africa or Pakistan eleven.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 28, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

If this match had UDRS, Aus would be leading now by at least 300 runs

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:05 GMT)

Perfect Test match day..!!! Advantage swinging between teams @ regular intervals.. I wish Dravid cud hv hold on to that catch.. Bt, cant complain much.. For a change, our pace trio was very impressive.. And Ashwin came back well in his second spell.. After seeing Indian collapse, I feel anything above 250 will be a gud score to defend for Aus.. Hope, Ind keeps the target below 250.. Gud luck to both the teams.. :)

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:05 GMT)

After another Indian collapse, if there any still remains its only bcz of the unpredictable status of present Australian Team. Its just an indifferent attitude that slipped a probable win from Indians

Posted by   on (December 28, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Both teams had excellent quality fast bowlers, and given them their due credit. Ishant was clocking above 150 on a couple of occasions, Yadav was accurate and Zaheer was magical. Same could of said 3 Australian quicks. Batsman of both sides can be excused for falling for such magical fast bowling.

Posted by atthipatti on (December 28, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas...I would be more glad if you can back our Rahul Dravid to hold on to those dollies than extending your gracious support to Ponting or Hussey to convert their 50s to 100s.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 28, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

isn't this interesting ? the batsmen who were in form like clarke , warner , marsh are being dismissed cheaply & the out of form batsmen like ponting , hussey are making runs for australia in this match . pathetic battig display by indian lower order especially dhoni , laxman . dhoni is not suitable as a test batsmen . i bet ashwin will score twice than dhoni in this series .aus are ahead 250 will be a good total at this pitch . most depend on sehwag , gambhir opening stand .

Posted by Jaijo on (December 28, 2011, 8:03 GMT)

Yeah 4th innings story should be like this - Gambhir, Kohli, Dhoni will return with single figures. Sachin will be out in nervous 30s. Laxman cant predict since its the first test of a series.. Sehwag bad record in 4th innings.Dravid wil hit another half century and will be the last to go. He will have a partnership with either Ishant or Ashwin. Zaheer will try to hit sixes and perish. Umesh will be not out..Match ends on 4th day ... period.

Posted by Raj239 on (December 28, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

Great test match. Can go either way. Umesh is a fantastic find and zaheer although has lost some pace bowled smartly. Ishant had good pace (150+) but should pitch it up more often. I hope India win this, will really boost their confidence since they always start tours poorly. I also hope the big 3 and Zaheer remain at their best until july next year. India must get revenge on the english who are very arrogant at the moment. Like their soccer team they are overly hyped after some success by their media. They only have 1 win from their last 16 tests in the subcontinent. But we will need the aging players at their best.

Posted by warnerbasher on (December 28, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

Sehwag and Laxman are the dangers in the run chase. Tendulkar will invariably fail as he almost allways does when the pressure is on in a 4th innings chase. 250 lead for Australia should be enough

Posted by ssenthil on (December 28, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

"Ponting was fortunate to survive Zaheer's lbw appeal from around the wicket when he was 15, replays indicating the ball had struck him in line and would have plucked out middle." Perhaps this is the turning point of the match. had he was gone at that Time, India would be batting today chasing something below 200. Anyway, let see. The 230 lead already big enough for India and the onus is on the likes of Sehwag, Sachin and Dravid ONCE again. Don't know how much it will cost Dravid's Dropping Hussey? Well bowled by Hilfy and Umesh Yadav. This 2 are not expected to take more wickets but they are!!! All in all this 3 day is really a great days for Test match lovers. Will see who comes on top on 4th Day, that team eventually win the game. All the Best to India

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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