The touring pacemen
One of the biggest knocks on India when touring Australia in recent years has been the pace cartel’s inability to have an impact with the ball. But at the back-end of their country’s most successful calendar year wicket-wise, the trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami made their presence felt. Sharma came up with an early statement by skittling Aaron Finch, while Bumrah ended important partnerships by removing Peter Handscomb and Pat Cummins to put the tourists on top.
Thank goodness for the hometown boy. Head came in at 4-87 and helped hold Australia’s innings together, even as others continued to fall around him. The left-hander looked composed throughout and will have a big role to play to inch the Aussies closer tomorrow morning.
India being exuberant in the field is nothing new. But there’s one player in particular behind the stumps who may have a sore throat by series’ end after appealing mercilessly – including a semi-laughing shout on occasion – that can’t be unheard once it’s heard. Virat Kohli also showed all sorts of trademark pep when he saw Finch’s stumps go flying.
Cummins’ code-switch hopes
The amazing run-out from the final ball of yesterday’s play impressed everyone Down Under – and gained some traction on the other side of the planet. Here’s Cummins getting a mention on Major League Baseball’s website.
How’s that for good timing? A Channel Seven interview with Marcus Harris’ dad Kim gained a bit of bonus content when the debutant chimed in with the catch of Rohit Sharma. The proud father’s reaction says it all.
The much-maligned batsman gave his critics plenty more reasons to keep getting stuck in. Marsh meekly surrendered his wicket by dragging a wide Ravi Ashwin delivery onto his stumps for just 2. It marked his sixth consecutive single-digit score – the worst Australian effort by a top-five batsman in more than a century. He may be once again fighting for his career in the second dig.
One of the men in line to step up into Australia’s unsettled batting line-up had a chance to make headlines at Sheffield Shield level today. But after reaching 57, Maxwell lost his wicket in the worst way possible. Matt Kelly dropped a return catch that would have dismissed Nic Maddinson, but the ball ricocheted onto the stumps and caught him short of his ground. How unlucky can you be?