India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day

India inch ahead on hard-fought day

The Report by Daniel Brettig

March 15, 2013

Comments: 152 | Text size: A | A

Australia 273 for 7 (Cowan 86, Warner 71, Smith 58*, Jadeja 3-56) v India
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ed Cowan and David Warner walk back for lunch, India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day, March 15, 2013
Ed Cowan and David Warner provided a strong start but India hit back after lunch © BCCI
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Australia's batsmen did their homework, fought hard and showed the right attitude. Yet they found themselves nursing a manifestly inadequate first-innings total for the third Test in a row, a tally of 273 for 7 at the close looking all too anaemic on the best surface of the series in Mohali.

For most of the second day, which served as the first due to a wash out on Thursday, India's bowlers toiled without much effect. David Warner and Ed Cowan fashioned an intelligent opening stand, the recalled Steven Smith demonstrated considerable poise at No. 5, and even the flown-in Brad Haddin started his punchy innings with a straight six.

But there were too many moments of familiar inattention to allow the tourists to gain a proper toehold. All this despite the suspension of four players designed to focus the minds and actions of the squad. The captain Michael Clarke skipped presumptuously down the pitch first ball after promoting himself to No. 3, Phillip Hughes maintained his unabated Indian nightmare with a pained 31-ball stay for 2, and Cowan found similarly terminal quicksand in the 80s.

R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and the recalled Pragyan Ojha all had their moments, and on a pitch offering him the merest extra ration of pace Ishant Sharma joined them with an important old-ball spell as the shadows lengthened around a near-deserted PCA Stadium. Some quick wickets on the third morning and India will have the better part of two days to bat Australia out of the series.

Ojha's inclusion for Harbhajan Singh was one of two alterations to the Indian team victorious in Hyderabad, Virender Sehwag also dropped for the left-hand batsman Shikhar Dhawan to debut. The visitors' changes had been largely forced by the suspension of four players plus an ankle injury to Matthew Wade, leaving Haddin to come in as the wicketkeeper while Smith slotted into the top six and Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were recalled.

Smart stats

  • The 139-run stand between Ed Cowan and David Warner is Australia's highest for the opening wicket in a Test in India. The previous-best was 136 between Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer in Chennai in 2004.
  • Both Cowan (86) and Warner (71) posted their highest scores in overseas Tests.
  • For the first time in his captaincy career, Michael Clarke was dismissed for a first-ball duck in Tests. Ricky Ponting has suffered this fate four times, and Greg Chappell five. It was the 20th such instance for an Australian captain.
  • Ravindra Jadeja has dismissed Clarke four times conceding 66 runs in 167 balls in this series. Against other bowlers, Clarke has scored 202 runs in 348 balls, and been dismissed once.
  • Phillip Hughes has scored 8 runs from 82 balls against spinners in this series, and been dismissed five times. That gives him an average of 1.60, and a scoring rate of 0.58 runs per over against spin.

Warner and Cowan walked to the middle for the earlier 9am start time, and swiftly found the pitch to be mild-mannered. Warner punched a pair of boundaries from the opening over, and regular runs were collected against a new ball that did not swing, seam or bounce to any uncomfortable degree.

The most nervous moment of the morning arrived when Warner chopped Bhuvneshwar Kumar past leg stump and to the fine leg rope, though he also mistimed a drive at Ishant Sharma that lobbed narrowly out of the tall fast man's reach and scooted to the straight boundary.

Ashwin's first over betrayed the fact that there was nothing too treacherous about the spin on offer, though Warner contrived to play and miss at three deliveries and snick another past gully. Shortly before lunch a Cowan cut, then a Warner drive, both flashed past slip, but Virat Kohli's surprised reactions reflected how safely Australia's openers had played.

They ambled on into the afternoon, playing conservatively but ticking the runs over sensibly enough, until Jadeja's move around the wicket brought a misjudgement of flight by Warner and a bat-pad catch for MS Dhoni. Clarke had conveyed his intention to take greater responsibility for guiding the innings following the Hyderabad debacle, and so walked in at the fall of the first wicket.

His body language was alert and positive, but his footwork and reading of length were found immediately wanting by Jadeja, who coaxed a dance down the pitch that resulted in a stumping for a delighted Dhoni. Hughes then scratched and scraped as though filled with dread, in an innings that only took place because Usman Khawaja had been deemed ineligible.

Hughes' exit, tentatively fiddling at a leg-side delivery from Ojha, was as unsurprising as it was dispiriting. The contrast with Smith, playing his first Test since the final match of the 2010-11 Ashes, was acute. He did not meet every ball with the middle of the bat, but showed the right combination of aggression and resolve.

At the other end Cowan fought bravely, not always looking secure but challenging India's bowlers to find something extra to dismiss him. It was the sort of dogged innings played all too rarely by Australia over the first two Tests.

The evening resumption had both batsmen struggling somewhat for rhythm, Cowan offering a chance to silly point off the face of the bat and Smith not finding the boundaries he sought. With the stand at 47 it was Cowan who succumbed, snicking a nicely pitched off break from Ashwin to slip, and cursing his inability to go on to a century after five hours of application.

Haddin announced himself by launching brazenly down the ground, and with Smith delivered a busy stand that briefly threatened to lift Australia to more certain ground. However Ishant found a modicum of old-ball movement on a ground where he and Zaheer Khan had tormented the visitors in the past, prompting Haddin to drag onto the stumps then perforating Moises Henriques' nervy forward prod.

Peter Siddle also succumbed for a duck, given lbw by the umpire Richard Kettleborough in response to a beseeching appeal by Jadeja. Though Mitchell Starc hit out typically and Smith remained composed, their hopes of driving Australia towards the kind of total merited by the pitch appear remote.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (March 16, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

Excellent batting by Dhawan!! This is what I have been talking about for so long on these boards. There's no shortage of talent in India. It makes no sense to continue with out of form Viru, Gauti and old man 10dulkar in the hope that they will perform some day. Those people caused us 2 back to back whitewashes and 1 series loss at home. It makes sense to play youngsters who are already in-form. Viru and Gauti can always go back to Ranji Trophy and regain their form. We don't have to keep losing because of some out of form seniors.

Posted by Nish_US on (March 16, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Congrats Dhavan on the 50 on debut.. nice looking shots... keep up the good work and develop some good defence as well..

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 16, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

What inning for Starc he'll get a ton one day but hopes he gets plenty of wickets!

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Starc, Smith, Cowan & Warner.....Good Inning by Aussies....

Posted by MTA_Mounties on (March 16, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

Question 1: Why did Indie/Aussie Test get replaced by a no-name-no-one-cares Bangladesh SRI test on Cricketplus channel???? Questiion 2 why are Aussies getting hell beat out of them in India given the Australia tour thumping administered last year? And before y'all yap I am a Canadian who lived and breathed Oz cricket living in Canberra for two years.

Posted by Nish_US on (March 16, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

Cpt.Meanster I disagree on the following 1.) Jadeja cannot spearhead the spinning dept, which Ojha can definitely do. Jadeja can only be a support spinner or the container. 2.) If ashwin is off colors, then there is little that Jadeja can do, if only they two were playing 3.) Dhoni will do everything in his control to take JADEJA to SA and other overseas series

One thing I do agree, Ojha needs to have little more control, for a frontline spinner, but he needs support from his captain...he is still a bowler in the making.

I hope this competition between aswin, jadeja and ojha will definitely bring about the best in them and will do India a lot of good, just need DHONI to be impartial in offering his support.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Australia need to develop some spin bowlers with suspect actions. Sri Lanka got away with it and it now seems India and NZ now have spinners that have actions that would not have been legal 20 years ago.

Just as well Australia, Sth Africa and England still adhere to the laws of cricket!!

Posted by Nish_US on (March 16, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

Classic spinner's dismissal - Ojha luring Steve Smith onto front foot just enough to get him out of the crease... something very difficult for a stump to stump bowler...

Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

This Australian bating may be competitive against Zimbabwe or Afghanistan.

Posted by Int.Curator on (March 16, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

Why is it all the pitches from 1st world countries Eng, SA, NZ, Aus, Ire, UAE can prepare and maintain pitches that offer bowlers and batsmen fair opportunity over the five days. While 2nd and 3rd world countries continue to prepare predictably rubbish pitches. Take the rubbish pitches out of the equation India might perform OS.

Posted by pat_one_back on (March 16, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Great seeing Hadds back in the team, he looked really centred and comfortable at the crease for a bloke barely off the plane.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Well done Australia!!! You held it together after a week of turmoil and a rain delay that would not have helped with your mental status. Thought that you would have been out for <250. Another opening partnership that got the job done .... I will refrain from calling it solid as I feel that some of the grassed opportunities would have been taken by ENG and SA. Ed is still getting runs .... and if it wasn't for an unfortunate LBW he would be having a concrete series .... our 21st Century Redpath!!!

The day was less kind to MJ Clarke. Why someone would bounce out of their crease on the first ball could only be due to a mind snap.

As stated in my post about the Tour Selection, Smith was our defensive option if we were up in the series, and the two Tour Deb's held the middle together, while Henriques may be a 1-Test wonder

Starc put willow to leather again, and I have to ponder what MJ Clarke was thinking at the end of the 1st Innings at Hyderabad.

A result is still on the cards.

Posted by Hash_Tag on (March 15, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster - for someone who constantly claims to hate Test cricket you are doing a passable impression of someone who loves it. Or is this just because we are winning this series at the moment? @3_Reasons - Dhoni is a DIRE captain. You have been taken in completely by the adverts. Dhoni should not even be playing Tests.

Posted by Mitcher on (March 15, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

Pressure all on India here. If they can't force a result then we will have our proof that Australia are better in India than India in Australia. You can do it fellas! Go the draw!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

Australia possibly have the weakest middle order in Test Cricket atm....discuss..

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 15, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

@GRVJPR, you are right. These so called experts, either in this forum, ex-players or commentators are not accountable, players, selectors and coaches are. We'll know when these so-called experts are correct but they rarely mention the numerous times they're wrong.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (March 15, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

Finally the Indian team selection heading in the right direction. The final piece in the rebuilding is Tendulkar but I doubt even MSD can do much about that. It's up to SRT to make the right call and give Rahane his chance and then India can start look forward in terms of building a new team, review its position on DRS, selection based on merit and no more undroppable players however great their record they be. Good to see Jadeja carry attacking the stumps and continued consistency from Ashwin. Would have be really good if Ohja had played the first 2 tests but Harbarjan's gone and hopefully stays gone unless he proves he's one of the top spinners in domestic cricket who deserves a chance and not because the opposition have left-handed batsmen.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 15, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

congrates both Finn & smith. both nightwatchman scored half centuries. World's best nightwatchman j.gillespie really applause him. lyon will get reverse swing on mohali pitch but the only problem is he bowls only in swingers with decent pace. opening stand is good for Oz but captain fails to take advantage.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

@jackthelad definately agree with you there. The only change I would still make, if the choice was at hand, would be Khawaja over Hughes (a no brainer really) and Mitchell Johnson over Peter Siddle. Why Siddle is being picked repeatedly in these conditions is beyond me - he offers nothing that would take wickets. At least Johnson can produce natural pace and bounce, something which has always worried India, and which Eng used successfully with Steven Finn on their recent tour here. Siddle is just a trundler who can bowl a lot of overs - a good workhorse, but that's really where it stops. Aust can't win this match but need to take some consolation - Starc should get reverse swing in these conditions, and Clarke should start to settle into no 3 or 4 in prep for Ashes.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Steve Smith still has his knockers. His average this summer is bettered by just a few - one of whom, Chris Rogers should be in the Australian team as he is a much better player than Cowan. Smith looked at ease, has good footwork to the spinners and provides the team with a much needed right-hander - something that Khawaja would not have.....

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 15, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

@landl47: Naw ah ! Australia have NO CHANCE in this game. It's gone, POOF ! They blew a solid start. Even if they score 350, it's below par for this pitch. Knowing about this ground and it's history from the Ranji season over the years, this is the FLATTEST Mohali pitch EVER. No bounce, no side ways movement, not much spin either. Australia should make a minimum of 450 and more to even compete with India here. India could possibly bat for 2 days on this pitch. Nothing will change much in terms of pitch deterioration given we lost 1 full day due to rain. A draw is all that's going to happen here. I don't see the drama for an interesting game here.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 15, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

@jb633: Wow, you deserve a Harvard University PHD for your analysis. No, seriously, I mean I am going to send your comment their way for some recognition. Okay, on a serious note. You are partially WRONG about Jadeja. If you follow India's domestic competition, the great Ranji Trophy, you will see that Jadeja has been a consistent performer for some time now. In Indian conditions, he's easily at par with Ojha if not better, plus he can bat. Obviously, India won't take him overseas because he bowls quick for a spinner and the pitches in England, SA, and AUS won't help him one bit. But in India or anywhere in Asia, he's a match winner. He's as good as Ojha. Personally, I would have selected Ojha in the place of Harbhajan given the drop in form of the off spinner for quite some time. But In India, Jadeja is a permanent fixture in my XI.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 15, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

270/7 on a batting wicket ? What a shame ! The average Aussie team once again showing they are not up to the challenge. A good start from the openers thrown away yet again. Terrific bowling by India and making things HAPPEN on a flat track. India should now bowl these guys out for less than 350 and bat out the next 2 days. Sadly, a result is unlikely on this pitch, courtesy the rain on day 1. Still, a half decent performance from the Aussies who in spite of winning the toss have squandered the advantage yet again. This series is OVER for them now. India will certainly win at Delhi given the pitch there.

Posted by Nampally on (March 15, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

JRVGPR: When you compare Jadeja & Ojha's wkt. tally, don't forget the chances missed off Ojha's bowling. Dhoni missed a stumping & a caught behind off Ojha. Dhoni took a caught behind & stumping off Jadeja's bowling. Kohli missed 2 possible slip catches & Pujara missed a difficult one at silly point off Ojha. Had Dhoni took both the chances off Ojha & missed both those of Jadeja, the wkts. taken by Jadeja & Ojha would have been reversed. One might be justified in suspecting that Dhoni may have done it deliberately to justify his decision to drop Ojha in the first 2 Tests at the expense of incl. Jadeja in XI. So JRVGPR, please do not be so adament in concluding who is the better bowler. Ojha has proven his skills against a much stronger England side by taking 20 Wkts. This Aussie team does not have Cook, compton, KP, Trott, Bell as the top 5 batsmen. There are lots of politcs that go behind the scene even amongst the same team of which we the Cricket Fans are not aware of !

Posted by Herbet on (March 15, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

Did Steve Smith go in at 5 as a nightwatchman?

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

@david booer Ajinkya Rahane Isnt Playing Coz He is selected As A Middle Order Batsman In The Series And Not As An Opener....shikhar Dhawan Was The Reserved Opener For The Series So Fair Enough To Give Him A Chance.....probably Poor Showing Against Finn Exposed His Technique A Bit Against Fast bowlers So the Selectirs Are Looking For Someone With Some Gud Technique Against Pacers for The Tour Of SA....I Personally Feel Maybe Jiwanjot Singh Shuld have been Selected Coz He Played Most Of His Ranji Matches On Green Pitches Where Batting Was Quite Difficult And Scored Tons Of Runs...I Feel The Domestic Set Up In India Doesnt Reflects True Potential Of A Player For Example Saurashtra Played Most Of Jts Matches on Batting Technique Wise If A Batsman Has An Average If Sa Where D Ball Is Swinging And Bouncing He Is Better Dan D Player Averaging 55-60 in flat Concrete Pitches....It Isnt A Fair Barometer To Judge Two Players Based On Averages Alone One Has Too See The Conditi

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 15, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

Steve smith got 50.jesus India really did not play that well did they

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

@rohit101 same questions were raise before the previous South African true but India returned with respectable 1-1 draw and rahul dravid had a very bad series there just like in asutralia, so we won't miss him.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 15, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

Good to see Smith carry over his solid shield form to the test arena. I am somewhat surprised by the lack of recognition by people about Smith's improved technique & application, somethng I have been extolling since witnessing the change. Good for him, I admire people who put in the work to improve flaws in an endeavour to contribute more to their team. I do think his T20 skills may not be as high as before, but he has definitely got rid of that ugly swipe of his off the front foot. Good test cricket allround (except poor Hughes effort).

Posted by parikshit_Ops on (March 15, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

@David Boer, as with other Cricket Board, Indian Cricket Mgmt. has its own favorites. When player like Vijay with an avg. of 18 this year is purposely given chances by you-know-who so that he gets one big score and can be drafted directly into team, not squad mind you. Dhawan, with his aggressive approach s more suitable for T-20 and certainly his performance isn't of same stature as Rahane in Tests. But here the problem is that I don't know why he is only considered as 1 - down player which of-course he cant be his since Pujara has emerged into India's Best Test Batsman.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 15, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

@Mervo on (March 15, 2013, 10:40 GMT) I guess for the rest of this series they have to go with Hughes unless they recall Waj,Watson or call in some reinforcements. To be honest , although 270 odd for 7 might not be great if you take into consideration that Clarke was out 1st ball , if I was Australian I'd not be so down about it. 3 of your batsmen have scored 50 (none being Clarke) and credit to Smith for coming in under difficult curcumstances and doing a job. The problem is that re Smith it could be a one off inns but will keep him in the side for longer than it should

Posted by I_m_AKS on (March 15, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

I still feel if Aus adds another 50-70 runs for the last 3 wkts they will have the upper hand. Hope Ind restricts them below 320. Jadeja has been terrafic in this series with the ball, hope he contributes a bit with the bat. All the best Team India!!!

Posted by GrindAR on (March 15, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

good fight from Aussie. Cowan, Warner, Smith well known performers responded swiftly for all the dramas lead upto the test.

Posted by parikshit_Ops on (March 15, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

@David Boer. I fully agree with you. Rahane is mainly a Test Player. For Dhawan he should have been given opportunity after Rahane. As far Rahane's footwork as somebody mentioned, if it was that bad then would haven't scored 172 runs against English Lions attack at a young age. On contrary Dhawan/Vijay shined mainly because of IPL which has done damage to test cricket in India. India has a very weird system of picking players after they performed in IPL. Rahane was given more chances only after he played well in IPL. If the board doesn't value its own domestic league how will people value it. As far FC avg. is considered yes, it has to be the main criterion. Thats how Pujara and before Gambhir managed to get.

Posted by rohit101 on (March 15, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

i know m going out of the above topic but i like to know everyone view on this. i know india we are playing well and back on winning track but do you guys think these team will win against the south Africa do you guys thinks this team will be able to take 20 wickets in south Africa. i think our team combination will be like this in south africa 5 batsman 6 - dhoni 7 - jadega 8 -ashwin and with 3 fast bowlers. In 5 batsman - sachin kohli and pujara will be our middle order batsman . now the big question who will be the our openers in south africa?they have to face one of the best bowling attack steyn -has everything swing bounce pace philander - swing and length morke -bounce and pace. gambhir- inconsistent in last 2 yrs. sehwag -match winner but going through bad phase for almost 2 yr . murli vijay -less exp i do not think he will be able to play in south africa(my opinion) 4.shikhar dhawan - playing first test but have gud technique to face fast bowler . and wht abt fast bowlers

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 15, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

Now we know why Clarke didn't want to move up the order, His technique is not up to it. Opening or batting at 3 is just a different form of batting. You couldn't make it up: The first match Clarke is forced to move up, out of the comfort zone of the middle order, he is out first ball! Lucky he wasn't opening.

Posted by kzminn on (March 15, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Again, just like the thoughtless declaration in the 2nd test in the first innings, Clarke misses an opportunity in this test. After getting a very good start in this test from his openers, Clarke should have kept himself at 5. The need for him to come in at 3 was not there anymore and he should have kept himself at 5 where he is more confortable scoring. Clarke has been advertised as a smart captain, but I am not impressed so far.

Posted by mikey76 on (March 15, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

Phillip Hughes is a joke. He will be gone after this match. All this crap about him being the next big thing and how he's gonna butcher England in the ashes is coming home to roost. I doubt now he'll even make the trip to England. Aus might escape with a draw as its a 4 day game, but hopefully India will push on and make a quick 450-500 and bowl Aus out on a 5th day wicket. This Aus batting line up is the worst I have ever seen, it doesn't matter how good your quick bowlers are, if you haven't got the runs on the board you're going to lose. I would rate NZ top order ahead of this Australian one.@

Posted by binu.emiliya on (March 15, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Still too much hatred towards Jadeja ! Poor Jadeja ,he now having a habit that taking out the best batsman of Aus , still????

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

@haydospunter I'm sorry, I don't buy that argument. Averages can be over-hyped, but one over 60 cannot be ignored. You say anyone can score big in India against poor bowlers, why hasn't Dhawan scored more? Also, you talk about Dhawan not getting enough chances, but Rahane has not had a chance to prove himself at test level. Also, the two players you mentioned: Rohit and Badrinath, how have they been given any chances in the test arena? One has 2 tests and the other has 0. So no, that's not a great answer for me. Thanks anyway :)

Posted by ProdigyA on (March 15, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Dissapointed that Kohli missed a couple of chances considering that he sets very high standards for himself. But I hope he learns from this and does not ever ever repeat these mistakes abroad in SA or Eng. Remember Dravid dropped so many chances in the last couple of years and cost India very dearly.

Posted by brusselslion on (March 15, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

@Mitty2 (March 15, 9:54): Good reply, mate. I'll try to be serious & unbiased. If I was picking a composite England/ Aussie team on current form, it would look like this: Cook, Compton/Cowan, Trott, Pieterson, Clarke, Root, Prior, Finn, Swann/ Panesar, Pattinson, Anderson. If you go with 4 quicks then Starc for Swann/Monty. So, at most 4 Aussies, which speaks volumes. Funnily enough, I've said before in other threads that I do think that the Ashes series' will be closer than some people think. You have some good seamers, however, will you put enough runs on the board?

I know that this is an India- Australia thread but as far as a composite England/ India team is concerned, I'd go Pujara for Clarke; Ashwin for Root and either Broad or Ohja for Pattinson. Again speaks volumes, methinks.

It's not that I think that England are great rather there are some very average Test teams around at the moment. With the exception of SA - who are very good - England are the best of a bad bunch.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

maxwell should play instead of phill hughes.starc ,siddle will b key factor on day 2.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 15, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

@AussieheldhostagebywifeinUK. Hughes hasn't just struggled in Ind. Apart from his debut series against SAF in 09 he's pretty much struggled against every attack he's played against. Since then he has played 20 tests with an ave of 26 & scored just 1 hundred. Unless he suddenly finds something in the 2nd inns I don't see how CA can take him to Eng. You should also bare in mind his ashes record an ave of 17 in 5 tests.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (March 15, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

From start of the tour Australia should have played Smith and bring in Shaun Marsh and Fergusson with them. Warner, Watson, Marsh, Clarke, Fergusson, Smith, Paine, S.Keefe, Pattinson, Starc and Lyon would have been a good combination

Posted by philipsmgp on (March 15, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

MZM 149....Seems u desperately want Ashwin to fail.... But if had watched the match Ashwin by far was superb through out the day threatening to take wickets....Some unfortunate drop catches... he was flighting the ball... he was varying his pace troubling the batsmen more than often....sorry for you....

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 15, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

If the Australian team were a lift, then the bell boy would be saying-'Going down. Groundfloor and Basement.' Ain't it a laugh?!!! Aussie batting ranks with the worst of all the major nations now.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Phil Hughes scored one run against Jadeja, another single against Ashwin. My heart is "Philled" with "Hugh" resentment that NO ONE is applauding his great achievement. (By the way, is he related to Merv Hughes, or Kim Hughes?)

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

I think 273 for 7 is very good score. Australia still has three wickets and they have very good pace bowlers.

Posted by Powersss on (March 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

I Am really shocked to see some of us commenting regarding the techniques of the international players. Give them a break dear friends, if we had enough understanding of the game, we could have made it to the playing 11 of at least some county teams. Some Ex- Cricketers too make ridiculous comments about the current team & Captains. Empty Vessels do make the most noise all the time. Post match, innings or even sessions, anyone can analyze & criticize, but being there in the moment.. making proactive decisions are not the same... Cheers!!!!

Posted by ScottStevo on (March 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT)

@Mary_786, Agree, today was perfect for Hughes to bat 3 when coming in after a solid partnership. In moving him to 4, straight after MC's golden duck, it actually placed him under way more pressure. Personally, I don't see any point in moving Clarke in the order when he's doing the job at 5. Just find blokes who can bat around him. Wade at 5 or 6 is a joke, then again, so is Smith and Haddin - but it's kind of hard to find replacement batsmen when we've sent them packing, or never asked them to pack in the first place!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Good day for India.India can still win the match if they restrict aus to below 320 and than scoring nearly 500 bcoz it'll be very difficult for aussies to bat 5th day on this wicket.

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (March 15, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

@popcorn : I also predict 200* for Philip Hughes in the second innings :)

Posted by palla.avinash on (March 15, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Indians dropping catches costs really Indian bowlers,kohli 2 catches and pujara 1 and dhoni missed 5 catches and 1 stumping.They need to improve on taking slip catches and silly point.Very good bowling Indians though kumar should have bowled little more tight kohli ,pujara and vijay should make serious practice catching in improving their catching ability and dhoni needs to improve his keeping very good batting track.Ishant bowled well with reverse swing and jedeja again proved left arm spinners can trouble Clarke.

Posted by kdevil3 on (March 15, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Its interesting to see Smith batting like this . I dont find enough talent in Him to make a 50 in India . But 4th Day pitch i dont think we will be able to Bat like this ,,,

Posted by indpomoz2011 on (March 15, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

As an Indian, I sometimes wonder if Indian cricket fans have already started thinking that this Indian team is a world-beater. While huge victories, even if they are on the home soil, should be relished by all of us, comments by some Indian fans border on sheer amnesia and over-exuberance. Yes! This Australian team could well be the worst team from the Down Under to visit our shores, but still they managed to cross a 300-run mark once already in this series, and are on the verge of crossing it again in this innings (assuming there is no capitulation tomorrow morning). And how many times did Indian team cross a 300-run mark in Australia in 2011-12 series? Only once - and that was in Sydney. And how many times did India manage to get bowled out under 200 runs in that series? Four times and they barely managed to cross it in Adelaide, thanks to 31 runs put on by the last two wickets. While Oz has a lot of work to do dealing with spinning tracks, Indian cricket is not all hunky-dory.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

I take all my criticism back. Steve Smith is the second best batsman in the Aussie side (since Cowan is the undisputed no.1), and probably, an all time great in the making. What technique he showed on a flat day 1 indian wicket! What poise! What temperament! I am in tears.. Ponting is history. This generation will be called the era of Sir Steve Smith (knighthood is just a matter of time)..

Posted by bumsonseats on (March 15, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

well again they win the toss, and get the best use of the pitch. will they get the minimum total which they need which is 400 i doubt it. but it gives them something to bowl with. best scenario is the draw with the 1 day loss which although they will make up abit i feel it would be needed to win. if england had won the toss 3 out 4 tosses which india did against them i would have expected eng to win 2 - 0 or as the result ended up 2 - 1 so the aussies have still much to do.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

India in good position. India restrict Oz under 325 (with in 16 Over). India 320/5 (Over 80 Eco=4.00). If do that chance to win this match. Steven Smith bated really well.Phillip Hughes as usual.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

Whether there was any incidence in test match earlier it happened that Vice Captain of both the teams get axed in the same match ( May due to different reason ).

Posted by popcorn on (March 15, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

This is a good score for Australia.We will score 350 and bowl out India for less. I predict a win for us.

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

One thing I don't get is the constant demand of of Indians to judge people on picthes outside India While those who have come from outside to India are failing miserably, yet are labeled as better technicians. Unbelievable!

Posted by 30-30-150 on (March 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

@haydospunter - Ridiculous to call Rohit Sharma 'a failure' when he hasn't got a single chance in Tests, isn't it? Rohit's List A average is 34 while his ODI average is 31. His FC average is 60 but he is yet to make his Test debut! The FC and Test averages are quite comparable (Eg- Pujara: FC avg 60, Test avg 67... Dhoni: FC avg 38, Test avg 40... Sehwag: FC avg 48, Test avg 49) Rohit has the potential to deliver but the selectors should pick him for Test matches and not for ODIs, which is not his preferred format even at the domestic level (going by the averages).

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

@Nish_US Jadeja brings more to the team anyday when compared to OJHA. Playing cricket is just not bowl certain number of overs and then sleep in the dressing room. Just because Jadega is not in good books of Chopra it doesn't mean he is a bad bowler. In fact the people who matter when comes to test match bowling, like shane warne, are more impressed. And I will take word of shane warne on test match bowling then what aakash chopra thinks anyday. A good cricketer is a good cricketer no matter how much Indian X cricketers and their mad followers hate him for his success.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 15, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

one specialist spinner in Hyderaabd, chennai where pitches are heaven for spinner. But in mohali the pitch is good for pace bowling & reverse swing Aus is having 2 specialist spinner. really Amazing this kind of homeWork Micky & clarke wants? Is Bird is still injured ?

Posted by Charlie101 on (March 15, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

@jackthelad I agree you about Warner , he can really graft when he has to and is not just the ODI / T20 player . Both he and Cowan played well and gave the Aussies a good start.

Posted by womenlovecricket on (March 15, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Well played Indian and also Australia for hanging in there. What I don't get is why people are constantly attacking Jadeja. He has proved he can bowl, bat and field in India - why not wait and see if he can do it overseas as well before jumping the gun. I think he is talented and hopefully he will play an important part in the upcoming test series. It seems to me that fans decide to dislike a player and will than attack him at any cause without giving him the credit he is due.

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

For heaven's sake get Kohli out of the slip cordon, his slip stance is similar to Viru, hands on the knees and then he anticipates the ball too early... he will be a good asset as fielder on the inner ring, but not for slips.

As someone mentioned you need lot of concentration and patience (hallmarks of Dravid and Laxman) to be in the slip cordon, and then you need to crouch low hands in position, expecting every ball to take an edge and come to you....

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 14:09 GMT)


Spot on mate...................................

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 14:06 GMT)


Why do you think aakash or I should be in the hiding.... This is test match cricket and you are on day 1 of a test in the middle of the series.. Don't you think you are talking too early...some one who does not have the luxury of his captain's confidence, when he bowls him for just 5 in the first 55 overs...

So after one day you want Jadeja to be declared the Lead spinner

I can say 100 reasons of why things turned out the way they are... but they will all turn out to be excuses... I can see Ojha under lot of nerves, trying to bowl in the 90's something that is not him... hopefully someone did not brainwash him to do so...

You need to stick to your strengths... and if you delivery you deserve your place ..if not adios

Posted by Nightwing32 on (March 15, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Hughes has scored runs in Sri Lanka. I just think these conditions are just not to his favour and when your form ain't great, you don't get the best of luck. I mean Ponting had a horrible series in 2001, he'll learn from this. I was right about Steve Smith but everyone was like you don't know what you are talking about it but I know he is a solid batsman especially against spin like Haddin. Anyway Smith has done a good job and Haddin well helped, Wish Eddie and Dave got a 100. Anyway next test batting order for me is Cowan, Warner, Smith, Clarke, Wade, Haddin, Henriques, Siddle, Bowler, Bowler, Lyon. I don't think Khawaja will fair better than Hughes.

Posted by tony122 on (March 15, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

jb633 well I agree to your assertion Ojha is a really good bowler and there was no way he should have been dropped. But I think you make too mnay assumptions. Ashwin has taken so many wickets in such a short time, there must be something in his bowling to do that. Give Jadeja a break, he has done well with his bowling this series. it is hardly fair to always criticize him even after 3 solid performances in a row at the Test level. Also in Aus,Eng,SA he may not be as effective with his bowling but I feel he is a tough cricketer. He is an unattractive batsman but very un Indian like with a decent and fighting back foot play. He may be a useful lower order batsmen in fast pitches. I agree in more seaming conditions he is likely to flop with both ball and bat.

Posted by haydospunter on (March 15, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

@david booer Ajinkya Rahane is more of a t20 player.His footwork is ugly, especially the way he moves his back leg which makes him a good candidate of LBW.In the recent india-england odi series he struggled against Finn.Finn just pitched the ball up and got him clean bowled 2-3 times.Whereas dhawan has not been given enough opportunity to prove his worth that's why he has been picked and more over he is comfortable against high quality pace balling.The way he performed against pacers in IPL and india A tours is very impressive .And many people get carried away by FC averages of some indian batsman.I tell u what any one can score big against poor indian pacers at domestic level.There are many batsman who have good at FC but when they play intl. matches they fail.Example - Rohit Sharma, Badrinath.

Posted by Hammond on (March 15, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Well played Australia best I've seen this team bat this series. Now bowl to the good fields that Clarke sets and see what you can do in the next 3 days. Hope there is time to look for a win (from either team).

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 15, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Good to see an improved performance from Australia and potentially make a game of this. It's been said that this was likely to be the pitch that suited Australia the most and the rain wouldn't have hurt that so maybe that explains the improvement somewhat. It remains to be seen whether, after their discipline issues, they have enough firepower with the ball to stay in the hunt.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Agree with Varad's comments. Haddin is the 2nd best player of spin in Australia and should have been there from the start. Guys like Marsh and Ferguson who play the ball late and have good FC records should have been considered. Remember Marsh's last Test 100 was in the subcontinent against the highest wicket taker of last year. Australia's biggest blunder however was the non-selection of O'Keefe who is the best FC spinner in Australia by a country mile. Him and Lyon would have made a good combination in India with O'Keefe meating up the batting as well as providing a steady head along with Haddin for Clarke to turn to. The Aussie management has completely brought this thrashing upon themselves. As for India, Jadeja has been a pleasant surprise but I'm not really sure how long this honeymoon will last, especially outside the subcontinent.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Cowan was lucky to be dropped 3 times. Indians really need to improve on the catching, also Pujara is not suitable for Short-leg position!

Posted by jb633 on (March 15, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

@GPVR- come on get a grip mate. Jajeja is such an average cricketer but is taking wickets against the weakest Aussie side for 30 years, virtually none of whom have played in India before. Look at Ojha v England and we can get a fair reflection of his talent. As an English fan I felt throughout the series Ojha was India's best bowler by a distance but had no support from the other end. You can't judge players based on one innings. Jadeja has done well bowling his flat darts but when he plays abroad I can guarntee he will get no wickets and no runs. Ojha is a proper spinner and India should stick with him. I think he is better than Aswin and had he played on the two dustbowls in this series would have picked up a hatful of wickets himself. Too many fans, particulary Indian fans, like to judge a player based only on his most recent performance. Most cricket fans would agree that Ojha is a good bowler and Jadeja will get nowehere in NZ/ENG/AUS/SA.

Posted by First_Drop on (March 15, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

Regarding Hughes, problematic against spin in India? It would seem so. Problemtatic against spin in general - I don't think so. Lets not blow his failures, in the most alien of conditons, out of proportion. He's clearly a talented young batsmen, and he is toughening up mentally. He should be given and chance in England.

Posted by Charlie101 on (March 15, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Well it is lunch time over here and having bad mouthed Steve Smith and seen that he is on 58 not out I am going to eat "humble pie" for lunch.

Well played Smith !!!

Posted by Fine_Legs on (March 15, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

While in terms of runs Australia has fallen slightly short again, in terms of positives this has no question been their best innings. In spite of Clarke's failure, they have the opening stand, the amazing innings of Steve Smith and the great resolve of Cowan to write home about. There was an air of fight about the team, and occasional flashes of skill and confidence that should do the Australian dressing room a world of good. It is extremely unlikely that India will run through this batting line up in quick enough time in the second innings to win the match. This looks like the innings where the great Aussie fightback starts.

Posted by landl47 on (March 15, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Australia rather wasted the excellent start Cowan and Warner gave them. Had it not been for the much-maligned Steve Smith, the score might have looked fairly dismal. However, Smith batted well and is still there for tomorrow.

I have to wonder, though, whether the off-field pressure is beginning to get to Michael Clarke. Forced into batting at #3, he got his first golden duck as a captain. The Smart Stats point out that this is the 20th such occurrence for an Aus captain, but they don't say how many were out stumped off the first ball. My guess is that this is probably unique to Clarke.

However, if Aus can take the total past 300 tomorrow, then their bowlers will have something to work with. This could turn out to be an interesting game.

Posted by Nampally on (March 15, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Aided by missed catches by Kohli & Dhoni off OJha, Cowan managed 86 runs. Warner too had his share of luck. However the biggest let down was Skipper Clarke. When he & Arthur suspended 4 players for not doing their "homework", what example did Clarke set by jumping out to Jadeja on the very first ball to get stumped for a golden Duck? It is easy to blame others for playing irresponsible shots. But as a Leader when Clarke sets such a bad example, no amount of homework will solve Aussies problems. Practical & Adult solutions to the problems are needed rather than the schoolboy approach.Thanks to much criticized Smith's inclusion in the XI. Smith who played very well in the IPL showed that he is a fine young batsman with a fluent 58 & saved the day for the Aussies. Why were Smith & Johnson not in the XI to start with, is mystifying. India's poor catching let the Aussies end the day in a good position. This match appears to be heading for a draw if the Indian batting plays to its potential.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (March 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Aussies' woeful batting has brought the clean sweep back very much into the picture. The way Cowan and Hughes batted after Warner and Clarke's dismissal-they were defending every ball as if they were hand grenades- handed the initiative to India on a platter. Steve Smith looked the best of the Aussie batsmen by a mile (though it must be added that any batsman who walks in after Phil Hughes in the sub continent will look like Bradman). 400 looks a par score on this wicket and on a very fast outfield, Aussies with a depleted attack look doomed to chase leather for the next two days. And then the inevitable defeat on the final day.

Posted by thinktank1 on (March 15, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

The reason Dhoni trusting Jadeja is because the confidence Jadeja has on his bowling skills. I remember a one day match between India and Australia, every Aus batsman hitting Indian bowlers all round the park and suddenly this guy Jadeja came and put brakes on the scoring.. It was amazing to see Aus batsman charging to hit him and getting beaten or becoming cautious. It was a nice and confident performance from Jadeja. Dhoni was really impressed with Jadeja bowling and from then on Jadeja has been a permanent member of Indian team.. What else he can bat a bit too. It's all about nurturing that confidence in right path and that's what Dhoni did. Cool.

Posted by VickGower on (March 15, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

@David Booer: K. Srikanth said in an IBN interview that Ajinkya Rahane has told Sandeep Patil, the chief selector, that he is not comfortable opening, and therefore should be viewed as a middle-order batsman. That interview is up on the IBN website if you want to confirm. So, please, let's lay to rest this Rahane vs everyone else for the opening slot saga.

Posted by ravi_hari on (March 15, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

Dont go by the pitch. In Chennai everyone thought 380 was a very good score until India batted the Aussies out. So even a 300 might be handy for the visitors. However, looking at the batting form of the Indians it looks very low. Australia have nothing to loose. Whether you loose 2-0,3-0 or 4-0 it will not makie a difference. However, if they can be aggressive on the field, they can make a match out of it. The better bounce and the overcast conditions might be the right combo for the Aussie pacers and could come in handy. Also for Lyon the bounce might help get some purchase. Yet its the attitude which is important. Do the Aussies have it in them to make it happen. As for India, they are supremely confident and seem to do everything right at this moment. However, they should not be overconfident looking at the bowling attack. The way Smith batted, he might surprise the Indians with his fielding and may be bowling. Day 2 will decide the series, by tomorrow evening we can say who is king

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 15, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Sure Clarke failed at 3 but he has to stay higher up in the order possibly at 4. Clarke cannot afford to bat at no.5 if Wade is at no.6, simple as that. I like him at no.4 myself but 5 is okay as long as no.6 is a genuine bat like Khawaja .That doesn't make any sense why Hughes came in at 4. What was Hughes being protected from? Even if Clarke had scored a century, Hughes still would have faced two spinners the instant he walked out.Hughes knew he wasn't supposed to be playing, the only reason he did is because some of the squad got put in detention.The fact is Clarke can't hide at no.5 - if he wants the team to get better he needs to elevate himself and he's probably better suited to 4 than 3. I would have Khawaja in at 3 for Dehli but lets see what happens in the second innings.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 15, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

@Jackthelad, I would have to disagree with your comment 'A result looks unlikley'. There was 104 overs bowled today & a minimum 98 for the next 3 days, with that taken in to account 38 overs from the first day will be made up & probably a few more when Ind are bowling. Providing there are no further rain delays at least half the lost overs on day 1 will be made. Aus are once again heading for a below par 1st inns score as they did in the first 2 tests which both ended well inside 4.5 days, therefore I would say that there is every chance of a result the most likley being another Ind win.

Posted by baskar_guha on (March 15, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@Booer - Rahane has been deemed middle order and thus is waiting for SRT to retire. Rahane's technique may be suspect against top quality swing/seam bowling but he does have good temperament that can help compensate.

Posted by KhanMitch on (March 15, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@Haiphong very impressed with some of our batsman today, and like you i think having Khawja in at first drp with Clarke at 4 would be good. Surely Hughes has exhausted his chances now, if he doesn't fire in the second innings then Khwaaja should come in for Dehli. And how does Siddle bat above Starc and Pattinson for that matter when Australia play. Impressed by Ohja as well he should have played the first 2 tests.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

So were it not for that butt of derogatory jokes among Australian fans, Ed Cowan, Australia would yet again be staring down the barrel early. Well played sir, put the doubters wrong, those that cannot come up with any decent suggestions on who should open instead of you. I've said it before, I'll say it again and again, regardless of his average after a short career he has a much more solid and well-rounded technique for the long form of the game than Phil "no run" Hughes, whose technique has not improved one iota since his comeback. He did all right against some average county bowling over here in England. Woo hoo. Maybe Australia should bring in Chris Martin at 4. Well played Steve Smith, best of luck for a good career.

Posted by Great-shot444 on (March 15, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

Jadeja and ashwin are a street bowlerz

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Right, will someone answer a question for me? Why is Ajinkya Rahane not getting a game? He is being played continuously in the shorter formats, when it is known that he is more suited to the first class game. Comparing his and Dhawan's first class stats, he seems to be a far superior batsman (admittedly having playing 20 odd fewer games, but at an average 15-odd more). So why did Dhawan get a game over him? I would love it if someone may know why, because I am quite frustrated. Also, on a separate note, both of these teams have ridiculous managements and could really learn from England. They deserve eachother. But please, someone give me a reason about Rahane.

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 15, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

advantage india. scoring at 2.5 rr on indian flat track and getting only 272/7 on first day signals the trouble coming aus way on 5th day. this is flattest wicket in india alongside nagpur. if aus is chasing 200 runs on morning of 5th day then its curtains for aus. ishant showing aus bowlers how to reverse swing in these tough conditions. starc will be bowling straight ones to indians which they will put away with disdain. smith is as overrated batsman as u get, this is flat track, lets see how he plays on 5th day.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Strangely players who are not considered Test material by the purists have been the players of today. Ravindra Jadeja once again proves that he can be handful in helping conditions and if can contribute somewhat with the bat then he can absolutely fulfill the no.7 allrounder spot that India's been searching for long. And Steven Smith showed that he has the correct temperament and technique to play the spinners, playing a very controlled and chanceless innings under pressure. Hope this silences all those who have been criticizing them both over the years.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Jadeja's strike rate (wickets per ball, and wickets per run) is better than Ashwin's for this series; in fact the best of any Indian bowler. So why does Dhoni underbowl him relative to Bhajji, Ojha, and Ashwin? Ashwin got 33 overs, Jadeja only 22 today.

Posted by RaadQ on (March 15, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

To all the steven smith/cowan fan boys, can you not see the pitch? Their performances are quite good relative to the rest of Australia, but average pitch wise. It is best to judge in the long run, and cowan has failed epically so far. Steven Smith, who is likely to be given more opportunities, will fail in the long run too. Philip Hughes is just another Shaun Marsh, enough said.If Australia want to even think of contending for the Ashes, they better stop this illusion created occasional burst of performances when the conditions are right. They remind me of Sehwag (of late) or Hafeez, not suitable for difficult conditions.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 15, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

I'm not a fan of R. Jadeja but somehow this guy has been picking wickets , that too big ones. Getting Clarke Out again who is Ranked #2 is not a joke.

Although he has just played 3 matches and the fourth one in progress, his bowling average and Econ. is better than Saeed Ajmal. lol

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

@GRVJPR Buddy... Ojha just came after a brake.. & our fielders put the chances they got when Ojha was bowling.. Hope you were following the match.. It is true that Jadeja is a better fielder & batsman than Ojha.. Jadeja was taken as an All-rounder not as a bowler & Ojha is taken as a bowler

Posted by brandy80 on (March 15, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Hesistance? is that even a word?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 15, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

3_Reasons; you missed my point. He is the most defensive captain going around. Sharma is a good bowler being destroyed by Dhoni.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 15, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Ian Jones : For an aussie fan its the same having an Ashes squad including Bell, Anderson, Panesar and Broad.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Jackthe Lad - a better balanced side? Are you sure? 2 Openers not worth their name, Clarke too high at 3 (need to be 4), and the tail starts at 4!!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

@ 3_reasons... both haddin and moises are given bowled... not lbw neither catch lol and they were bowled , one playdown and other one was cleaned bowled

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

@3_reasons Poor attempt, both were clean bold. Better luck next time!

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

Where is that man hiding who argued with me when i Questioned the Akaash Chopra's wisdom of dropping Jadeja for Ojha. That man told me that he will judge when both ojha and jadeja play together. Well they are playing together and jadeja has outclassed him by a long long way. Plus jadeja can contribute even more with his fielding and batting while Ojha is finished.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 15, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

Australia had a very good start but the middle order failed to take benefit of the same. As I write this, six wickets have already gone and in remaining 4-5 overs, 1-2 more wicket falls, things can become crappy for Australians. The loss of first day, due to rain, has minimized the chances for a result however, if India can restrict Australia under 300 and score above 450, anything is possible on the last day. I am sure pitch will favor the spinners much more than it is doing currently and facing trio of Ashwin, Ojha and Jadeja on 5th day will be a touch challenge for this Australian team.

Posted by Mervo on (March 15, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

How long do we persevere with Hughes? He can't play pace bowling and he can't play spin. He has a good eye which works in Shield games but at Test level, three times proves he is not up to standard. ANY Shield batsman with a proper technique would be better. And Henriques was never going to work. What is wrong with Hopes? He has an outstanding record in the last two years with bat and ball and has earned his chance. But he is from QLD ... This is our C team here.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

An Ashes squad with Hughes and Johnson would be like winning the Euro Millions for an England fan!! Happy days indeed!!

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 15, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

@ Shaggy076

Dhoni is a Great Captain. Whatever the resources he has got, he is utilizing them properly.

Of course, if Ind had fast bowlers like Steyn or Morkel, we all would have been seeing Fast and Bouncy pitches in Ind which is not the case and since Spin Bowling is Ind's strength and Aus's weakness, only a fool would not ask for spinning tracks that too in his own backyard.

Well done, Dhoni. U doing a Great job. Btw, FYI, Ishant has just picked 2 Wickets. So we can hope Aus pacers will do better than him. :)

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 15, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

What a blunder !

Haddin and Moises Henriques were clearly not out.

No wonder. BCCI don't want to use DRS.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Dear me, instant karma for Clarkey and Ishant Sharma for Haddin.

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 15, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

Good on OZ holding their own even after a terrible GOLDEN DUCK for MJ Clarke. Stevie Smithers doing great job not put a mocker on him but I see a hundred.Oh damn I said it.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 15, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@brusselslion just make sure to add stuart broad,jimmy anderson monty panesar and graeme swann to your team, all have averages above 38 against australia ;)

Posted by Haiphong on (March 15, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

@brusselslion... "I suppose that it's asking too much for Hughes to score a few runs in the 2nd innings and book his Ashes spot?". The question regarding Hughes scoring runs is debatable but him booking a spot to the Ashes is not! He is the 'chosen one'!

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 15, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

As i write, cowan has just been dropped. All though these around the bat catches are almost impossible to take when they come straight off the bat and don't deflect of the pad.

Cowan has been dropped twice, and is on 85, he needs to score heavily. Smith hasn't given a single chance barring the sliding down leg LBW appeal. He looks all the more better when considering just how many people deingrate him. A Fc average just under khawajas, hughes, burns and above doolan. However, he is ranked a rather poor 27th in terms of aggregate of shield runs.

Before people go on with the incessant ramblings about this is a reflection of 'australia's bare cuboard', they need to realise that, like patel's selection, this was a horses for courses selection due to smith's ability to play spin.

I don't have much hope for this match, i think india could rack up 500+, there is no assistance for the seamers and only a little for the spinners. It should flatten out even more which would make it even harder

Posted by CrICkeeet on (March 15, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Not sure about that how many overs we can see today... :) its 72 overs till tea......

Posted by brusselslion on (March 15, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

Good to see Smith getting a few runs. Hopefully, he will go big and play himself onto the plane to England. With any luck, Lyon will nab a few wickets in the match and will also be in the Ashes squad. I suppose that it's asking too much for Hughes to score a few runs in the 2nd innings and book his Ashes spot? That would be like winning the Lottery Jackpot for an England fan!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

India VS New South Wales Mohali ..awesome match..

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 15, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

Its obvious why Dhoni wants rank turners because his plan is to put a couple fielders round the bat, several on the boundary and maybe a couple saving a single. No wonder a paceman struggles with these fields, as does cricket a long slow day where batsman take 3-4 singles an over then an occasional wicket. Dhoni on decent wickets really is a poor captain.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

So which of Australia's tour selectors was it who thought that banishing Watson and Khawaja would automatically improve Hughes' miserable form?? Even Maxwell would have been a better option, and that's saying a lot!!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 15, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Good to see Aus showing some fight but there has to be an irony in Clarke moving up the order to show more responsibilty/give the team more stability and following on from his summoning players to assessing their performances that Clarke is stumped 1st ball of the inns.

Posted by ABRULES on (March 15, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

before the start of this Hughes said that he has the technique to counter spinners and he had no problem against them in these condition. Now he would be thinking I should have name the spinner.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (March 15, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

Here is my essay for the coach/selectors: Phil Hughes against spin - last 70 balls faced 2 runs and out 5 times... What more does the administration need to know??

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

Watson and co. failed to do the homework, but Clarke failed to do the class work

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

Management of Hughes has been absolutely atrocious. Once it was plainly obvious that Hughes was worse than useless against spin, the rational thing to do would have been to put anyone else in his place who could swing a bat. Hughes now has 25 runs from 5 innings so far in this tour! Literally anyone else could have done better! My team for this match from the 12 available players would have been Maxwell for Hughes and give the kid a go a bit higher up in the order just to see what he can do.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 15, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

I obviously misread the match preview. I thought it said this was India's most pace-friendly pitch? Instead I see a cracking, turning pitch, where the pace bowlers were dispensed with after just 8 overs on the first morning. 18 out of 68 overs bowled by pace so far. Maybe someone can explain how this happens on day one of a test on a pace-friendly surface?

Posted by Haiphong on (March 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

Said it before, wil say it again...for this tour we needed 'grinder's' - guys who will work hard and occupy the crease. Cowan doing an excellent job at the moment. Just imagine him having Khawaja at first-drop to play alongside from the 1st test. Clarke at No. 4. Haddin in the line-up as well. I would say it would have been a very different Australia. Hughes - what a waste!

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

@VivGilchrist "2 off 31 balls", you're being kind it's 2 off 89 balls with 5 dismissals.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (March 15, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

Hughes is Shot! 2 off 31 balls. He cannot play spin. Keeping him in the XI is actually destroying his confidence. This 'discipline' that this regime is instilling has both set back the confidence of Hughes the disciple and Khawaja the 'rebel'. Terrible man management.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

ojha will complete 100 wkts here only

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

After all that excitement on reaching his maiden run hughes is out but not before going on to record his first DOUBLE MAIDEN RUN in India. Take a bow Phil.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 15, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

@mzm149 : That is, when you look at the stats alone. He still bowled as beautiful as he has bowled throughout this series till now. A minimum of 2 wickets will be a reward for his good work today.

Posted by Haiphong on (March 15, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

For God's sake, send Hughes home. PLEASE....

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

After 4 consecutive innings coming within one run of his maiden Test run against spin in India this must be a huge relief. Hughe's takes off his hat and with trembling lip wipes aways an emotional tear.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

STOP THE PRESSES!!! Australian time 5.55, After 67 balls and 4 dismissals Phillip Hughes scores his maiden ton, sorry I meant maiden run against spin.

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

In his 6 overs ojha produced three opportunities....

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

Thought that the dampness of the pitch would be exploited by our pacers, but Ishant learns nothing and forgets everything. Bhuvneshwar is too young to lead the attack and more a bowling all rounder. This test will end in a draw does not look to aid spin at all.

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

@GRVJPR So how many wickets do you need in those paltry 5 overs from Ojha do you need to prove the cricket pundits right?

Posted by Nish_US on (March 15, 2013, 7:50 GMT)


Ojha is contemplating ways to get wickets...without even bowling

Posted by matthEw12345 on (March 15, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Well done to the aussies so far well batted after a tough tour so far they have stood up after deciding to bat first

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Once again Indian Cricket experts are proved wrong. They first insisted Ojha should play, What he has done?? Second They insisted Michael Clarke should bat at 3, he fails again?? The sad part is these experts declare things and public follow them madly. Where is Mr. Chopra hiding now?

Posted by satishchandar on (March 15, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

How about the stats for Australian no.3 from last series.. Marsh was the ONLY player who didn't even touch the insipid Indian attack last time where everyone feasted on it. The only good series for Punter in the last 2 years of his career.. It would sound too awful inspite of whether it is pace or spin bowling it.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 15, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

You sort of knew that Clarke would come a cropper if the openers fired. To complete the pattern Hughes has to get the century stand. This could be the making of the young Phillip.

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 15, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Lot of cry among Indian Fans on "Why Ojha was not playing?" , Still its jadeja who strikes once again. What aakash chopra has to say now??

Posted by mzm149 on (March 15, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Not an assisting pitch and Ashwin back to earth.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 15, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

"but Virat Kohli's surprised reactions reflected how safely Australia's openers had played." - love it dan.

This has been the perfect start for australia, boy has this game needed to start. Perfect way to respond to the controversy. And Cowan's putting the arm around Warner when the session ended reflected how much it means to them.

Regardless to what other people say, this statistically, has been the best opening partnership in the whole of test cricket for the last year. People want to break it up due to the customary 3/50 odd, but it does not help having an out of form quiney, pointing, Watson and Hughes in the top four positions. The denigration of Cowan draws a parallel to nick Compton before he scores his centuries against NZ. Compton was constantly called to be omitted/replaced by root despite sharing many negating opening partnerships. Same goes for Cowan and Warner

The calls for Watson is only due to him being an opener or nothing, and frankly, he is not in our best batsmen

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

A VERY FLAT pitch on offer here. Hence, this kind of a start is not surprising. Nothing there for the bowlers. Mohali is traditionally a fast bowler's paradise but this pitch is a shame for test cricket. Adding to that, the rain on day one didn't help one bit. Still, well done Cowan and Warner. A dull draw is the likely result here.

Posted by VinodGupte on (March 15, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

'draw' written all over it. make merry, batsmen.

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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.
Tour Results
India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
India won by 8 wickets
India A v Australians at Chennai - Feb 16-18, 2013
Match drawn
More results »
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