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

Hughes breaks the spin deadlock

Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test between India and Australia in Mohali

Brydon Coverdale

March 15, 2013

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni stumps Michael Clarke, India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day, March 15, 2013
Michael Clarke got his second golden duck in Test cricket and his first as captain © BCCI
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The run

In this series, Phillip Hughes has looked about as comfortable against spin as he did against Chris Martin's angling deliveries last summer. Again in this innings, Hughes looked incapable of scoring against the slow bowlers and spent his first 19 deliveries either defending, picking out fielders or missing. Eventually, from his 20th ball he got off the mark by pushing a single through the huge gap at cover off Ravindra Jadeja. It was the first run he had scored against spin in his past 59 balls against India's spinners in this series.

The initiation

The axing of Virender Sehwag meant Shikhar Dhawan was given his Test debut but it also forced a change to India's fielding plan. The position at first slip, usually occupied by Sehwag, was taken in this Test by Virat Kohli and he had a difficult introduction when the spinners were on. On 35, Ed Cowan cut hard off Pragyan Ojha and the ball flew past Kohli, perhaps too quick to be considered a genuine chance. But on 64 he should have had Cowan, whose thin edge off Ojha lobbed off MS Dhoni's pad and up towards slip. Kohli got his hand to the ball above his head but couldn't hold on. Eventually he had his man, when R Ashwin drew a regulation edge from Cowan, on 86, and Kohli completed the catch.

The duck

Michael Clarke has become so used to coming to the crease early that arriving at 139 for 1 was a very new experience. After the Hyderabad loss, Clarke declared that he would move up from No.5 and he decided first-drop was the spot for him in the Indian conditions. But his foray up the order didn't start well. In typical Clarke fashion, he advanced to the first delivery he faced from Jadeja, but in far from typical Clarke style, he failed to get to the pitch of the ball and it turned past his bat to allow a stumping from MS Dhoni. It was Clarke's second golden duck in Test cricket and his first as captain.

The welcome back

Brad Haddin hasn't played a Test since January last year, but when he got off the mark upon his return it was like he had never been away. Haddin defended his first two balls from Ojha and then got off the mark from his third delivery with a lovely lofted six straight down the ground, the kind of shot that Haddin has played many a time during his international career.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (March 16, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

Rather ironic that Cowan should make his best score of the series in his loosest innings - Kohli's troubles are further proof that slip fielding is an art unto itself, Clarke had similar problems when he first started in the Aussie cordon.

Australia's batting lineup is brittle, no matter which way you look at it. Smith and Haddin at five and six respectively is very fragile on paper. Not sure quite what Clarke was thinking coming in at 3... if he was trying to give Hughes a chop out, he mucked that up royally, and he shouldn't have had to at 1-for-plenty anyhow.

And Hughes... well, the whole Cricket Australia initiative to protect him and his confidence from South Africa leading into the Ashes has rather backfired, methinks. It's alarming how one man - the alleged golden child, no less - can look so poor in a team that generally has no idea about batting in India. How many more technical restructures until he's a capable Test batsmen?

Posted by ygkd on (March 16, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Poor Phil Hughes has lost all self-confidence. In that sense, he probably no longer belongs in the team as this is the most over-confident Australian team I think I've ever seen. If the Indian players had been more resolute in improving their absolutely atrocious fielding, this Test match would already be as good as over. Cowan batted well, but you have to ask how many times can you drop an opener in the first innings of a match and still get him out before he gets to a hundred? Smith has improved his batting technique - at least he now appears to have a technique, unlike before, but he's still just another number 6 or 7. How many such types can we shoehorn into the one team? The answer used to be just two, now they seem to make up over half the batting order and poor Phil Hughes is just another of their ilk. As for Steve Waugh not batting at 3, that's certainly true but in the teams he was in he didn't need to. Clarke does not have that luxury. He's the only marquee bat in the team.

Posted by PPD123 on (March 15, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

This game still has 98*3 =294 overs left. If India can get the remaining 3 wkts in 20 overs for 50 runs (aus 320 all out) and bat 120-130 overs at 3.5 (Ind 450) then Aus will have around 140+ overs to bat with a deficit of around 130. A lot can still happen in the match. This is not a spinning track like chennai or Hyd - I expect aus to put up a very good fight till the very end.

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

there were 14 more overs than regulated 90overs. So if no loss of time, then it will makeup for the first day loss of play, as extended sessions generally playout bad for batsmen, which will inflict the possible result for the match

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (March 15, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

Perhaps its time for Hughes to just hit out T20 style. Positive and aggressive. Try to get a quick 20 runs then settle in for the long haul. Force himself to back his abilities.

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

Enough of being pressurized ed into batting at number 3 because the top 5 cannot score. Michael Clarke is at his best at Number 5. Like Steve Waugh was. Ed Cowan and David Warner are doing reasonably well and should not be disturbed.Phil hughes is a non performer.He should be sacked.Usman Khawaja should be brought in for the 4th Test and for much longer.My Line Up for The the Fourth Test and The Ashes would be: Ed Cowan,David Warner,Usman Khawaja,Shane Watson,Michael Clarke,Brad Haddin or Mathew Wade,Steve Smith or Moises Heniques,3 pacers out of Johnson,Siddle,Starc,Hilfy,Harris and Bird, Nathan Lyon.

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

A disappointing card after the start the Aussies got. Nice to see Smith making runs. Though I would have much rather seen Maxwell playing instead, I am all for any of these young blokes doing well and won´t hold it against him if he somehow puts another 50 runs together tomorrow for his ton! Then it is all down to the bowling unit i suppose. The comm team thought the wicket might quicken up tomorrow and its certainly taking spin, so who knows, it may just offer something for all of our bowlers! Keep fighting lads!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 15, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

To be honest, 7/273 is an awful lot better than I was expecting, even if it is a flat track. India are still looking like winning by an innings, but time may be a factor now. Australia aren't trying to win this - they are hoping for a draw.

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

Agree with @ Mar00n5. Game is very much in India's grasp. Assuming Assie will fold under 320 tommorow morning, India bats for 4-5 sessions and leave final 4 sessions for Australia to ....well we all know what will happen :)

I would like point out here for ppl who are having a go at the pitch condition, three time Clarke has won the toss and chosen to Bat. No matter what the conditions are, if you do your part properly then the conditions become less of a matter.

Same applies for India when they tour abroad.

Posted by VJ_Cricket on (March 15, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Agree with @ Mar00n5. Game is very much in India's grasp. Assuming Assie will fold under 320 tommorow morning, India bats for 4-5 sessions and leave final 4 sessions for Australia to ....well we all know what will happen :)

I would like point out here for ppl who are having a go at the pitch condition, three time Clarke has won the toss and chosen to Bat. No matter what the conditions are, if you do your part properly then the conditions become less of a matter.

Same applies for India when they tour abroad.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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